Funding arrangements and child safety

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted the need for organisations to adopt child safe practices including appropriate screening of staff, mandatory reporting and adoption of National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

As part of the Australian Government’s response to these findings, the Community Grants Hub is writing to organisations with existing funding arrangements, commencing with organisations funded by the Department of Social Services, to seek confirmation that your organisation and any staff engaging with children, comply with state and/or territory legislation relating to working with children. This includes mandated police checks, working with children checks and working with vulnerable people checks.

All funding recipients are required to sign and return a statement of compliance in relation to your organisations funded activities.

Future funding arrangements

The child safety obligations for new funding arrangements will be dependent upon the nature of the funded activity. New funding arrangements, that involve services directly to children, or for activities that involve contact with children that is a usual part of, and more than incidental to, the funding activity, may require funding recipients to:

  • complete a risk assessment to identify the level of responsibility for children and the level of risk of harm or abuse, and implement appropriate strategies to manage those risks
  • train staff and monitor compliance to ensure staff are aware of, and comply with, the outcomes of the risk assessment and relevant legislation, including working with children checks and mandatory reporting requirements
  • provide an annual statement of compliance with the above requirements to the Commonwealth entity that has provided the funding arrangement
  • implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

The draft National Principles for Child Safe Organisations are available online. The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations provide 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.

Further information regarding Commonwealth child safety activities is available online.