In response to findings handed down by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2017, legislation was enacted in 2021 requiring organisations such as local government to embed the Child Safe Standards. The ten standards were developed following evidence presented to the Commission, its finding and other research. They help make organisations child safe by providing a framework for organisations to create a culture of safety and inclusion, and develop strategies to keep children safe from harm. The ten Child Safe Standards are:

  1. Child safety is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture. 
  2. Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
  3. Families and communities are informed and involved.
  4. Equity is upheld and diverse needs are taken into account.
  5. People working with children are suitable and supported.
  6. Processes to respond to complaints of child abuse are child focused.
  7. Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through continual education and training.
  8. Physical and online environments minimise the opportunity for abuse to occur.
  9. Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is continuously reviewed and improved.
  10. Policies and procedures document how the organisation is child safe.
     

What is BMCC doing to meet the Standards?

On 30 August 2022 Council adopted a Statement of Commitment to child safety. This statement affirms that Council is committed to keeping children safe and marks the first step in our journey to becoming a child safe organisation. 

As the next step, we are developing a Child Safety and Participation Policy and have nominated a Child Safety Officer as a first point of call for members of the public as well as Council employees. The Child Safe Standards will be considered as part of our regular review and update of policies and changes will be made where needed to implement the standards. We have already updated our recruitment information to ensure prospective employees know BMCC is a child safe organisation and committed to building a culture of safety and inclusion for children and young people, and will start to look at our risk management procedures in the coming months. 

The Annual Report will outline progress of these important developments, so the community is aware of how Council is meeting its obligations year by year.

For more information on what Council is doing to implement the Child Safe Standards, please contact SCSCorpPlanning@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

To raise a concern about child safety please contact hresources@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

The Office of the Children’s Guardian has more information on the Child Safe Standards and how they apply across NSW: https://ocg.nsw.gov.au 
 

Blue Mountains City Council Child Safe Statement of Commitment

Blue Mountains City Council is committed to working towards compliance with the ten Child Safe Standards as legislated and outlined in the Children’s Guardian Amendment (Child Safe Scheme) Act 2021. 

Council has zero tolerance of violence and abuse towards children and young people and supports measures that reduce opportunities for harm. All children have the right to grow up feeling loved, nurtured and protected and with opportunities to reach their full potential.

Council is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. We value and support inclusion, diversity and equality. We support the empowerment and participation of children and young people. We take them seriously when they raise concerns regarding their wellbeing, or when we see that they are being harmed in any way. 

Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of First Nations children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who identify with the LGBTQI community, as well as the safety of children with a disability or long-term illness and those who are caring for others. Whilst recognising that some of these children will have additional vulnerabilities or challenges, we also acknowledge their resilience, strength and resourcefulness. 

Child protection is everyone’s responsibility in the community, and not just the families and carers of children and young people. It includes the broader community that children grow up in, their neighbours and friends but also the institutions like schools, churches and community organisations, as well as Council. Everyone has a role to play in keeping children safe. In the coming months and years we will look to strengthen our policies and procedures in all areas in our journey to becoming a child safe organisation.

Our Child Safe Statement of Commitment applies to all employees, volunteers, work experience students, contractors, contract employees and councillors. Everyone will be provided with appropriate training and support to comply with the Child Safe Standards and understand their responsibilities regarding keeping children safe from harm. We will also work towards integrating the perspectives of children and young people in Council’s decision making and delivery of services.

BMCC is committed to building a culture of safety and inclusion for children and young people.