The review found:
- strong support for the existing Child Safe Standards and the current scope of organisations required to comply with them
- implementation of the Child Safe Standards was challenging but most organisations believe that the Standards help support a child safe culture
- strong support for aligning the Child Safe Standards with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
- oversight and compliance of the Child Safe Standards needs to be strengthened.
The review makes 15 recommendations, which fall into 3 categories:
- Amending the Victorian Child Safe Standards to align with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
- Amending the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 to more clearly define which organisations are required to comply with the Child Safe Standards, and who is responsible for regulating those organisations
- Amending the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 to provide a consistent suite of compliance and enforcement tools to regulators.
The department is grateful to the stakeholders, peak bodies, government departments and regulators who communicated information about the review and the public consultation to their networks, made written submissions and sought the views and experiences of the children and young people that they provide services to.
Completion of the review fulfils the Victorian Government’s commitment to review the Standards in 2018–19 to ensure they are as strong as possible, and to consider what adjustments may be needed to better align with the recommendations of the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The government has endorsed all 15 recommendations in the review’s final report.