Child Safety for Australian Government Grants

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) highlighted the necessity for a national response to child safety and the need for organisations to provide an environment where children feel (and are) safe, protected and respected.

In response to the findings, the Australian Government is committed to the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (Framework). The Framework was implemented to set minimum standards for creating and embedding a child safe culture and practice in Commonwealth entities. This includes an expectation that entities apply child safety measures to Commonwealth funded third parties engaged through a grant or procurement arrangement.

Child safe obligations

Child safe obligations differ depending on the clause used in the grant agreement. Clause G8A is used when interaction with children is unplanned or unexpected. It requires grantees to comply with relevant State and Territory legislation and apply the same child safe conditions to sub-contractors delivering the funded activity. Clause CB9 is used when interaction with children is a normal or an expected part of the activity. This clause includes the same obligations as G8A and additional measures which, in summary, are:

  1. Implementation of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
  2. Provision of training to staff on the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, the organisations risk strategy and relevant legislation
  3. To undertake annual risk assessments and a strategy to manage risks.

Organisations are required to submit an annual Statement of Compliance.

National Principles

The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations are a nationally consistent approach to creating organisational cultures that foster child safety and wellbeing across all sectors engaging with children and young people in Australia. There are 10 principles which are wide ranging and give organisations space to scale initiatives appropriate to the nature of their engagement with children. Risk assessments and staff training, specified in CB9, are included in the 10 principles.