The Office of the Children’s Guardian has rolled out the NSW Child Safe Scheme, which requires, by law, child-related organisations in NSW to implement ten Child Safe Standards. The Child Safe Standards provide a framework for creating child safe organisations. They are designed to drive cultural change to create, maintain and improve child safe practices. Swimming NSW whole heartedly embraces the introduction of this key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and will begin inducting stakeholders into the framework.
The ten Child Safe Standards provide a framework for creating child safe organisations. They are designed to drive cultural change to create, maintain and improve child safe practices. When organisations implement the Standards, they build a culture where abuse of children is prevented, responded to and reported.
The Standards are based on the extensive research and consultation by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They provide clear guidance for organisations to create cultures, adopt strategies and act to put the interests of children first to keep them safe from harm.
Swimming NSW Sport Development and Participation Manager, Sarah Koen, is a member of the Sport and Recreation Sector Engagement Committee – Child Safeguarding. This committee brings together representatives from various organisations to collaborate on the implementation of this important piece of legislation.
“Swimming has become known as a champion of child safety by leading the way with regards to policy and best practice,” said Sarah.
“Thanks to Swimming Australia’s Safe Sport Framework, Swimming NSW is already an established child safe environment with child focussed procedures embedded within all aspects of our organisation at a state level.”
“We now want to ensure that our clubs are confident and able to make swimming at the grassroots level a safe space for all children and young people and pave the way for other sports to follow our example.”
Swimming NSW is committed to implementing the Standards and to continually working to make our organisation safer for children. We know that this requires strong leadership and sustained, collective effort and action, so to begin the induction process for our stakeholders, we have conducted an audit of our own policies and procedures to ensure we are setting the tone for the child safe culture necessary for our sport. The results of this audit can be found here, along with several ideas on how to practically implement Child Safe Standards at the grassroots level.
To ease the burden on our volunteers, in the coming months, we will release Child Safe Standards learnings in easy to digest segments using our known channels including:
- The Club House website
- Hot off the Blocks club committee member newsletter
- Swimmer Magazine for members
- Social media channels (@SwimmingNSW on Facebook; @nswswimming on Instagram)
In addition, club and area committee members will be invited to attend Facebook Live sessions in our Club Committee Member Facebook group. Then with a strong base of information built over the next few months, we will bring the cumulative learning together in an interactive session for club and area delegates as part of our State Forum webinar series later this year.
We believe all organisations working with children should be child safe, and we want to provide children the environment and care they deserve. We’d like to thank our stakeholders for the positive work they are already doing to protect and empower children and young people in their clubs and communities.
To learn more and review the ten Standards, visit The Guide to the Child Safe Standards.