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Legislative changes to child safe environments

On 22 October 2018, the second phase of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 will commence. The new legislation will replace parts of the Children’s Protection Act 1993.

Obligations

The new legislation will replace some of the child safe environments obligations for organisations that provide services to children and young people in South Australia. 

Where an organisation is currently meeting their obligations they are not required to do anything additional at this stage. 

There is no change to the types of non-government organisations that must provide child safe environments. Organisations will continue to be required to have in place policies and procedures that create child safe environments and lodge a statement with the department setting out these policies (a compliance statement). 

The current relevant history assessment (screening) obligations to work with children and young people are not changing at this time. 

The new obligations will require organisations to lodge compliance statements more regularly, provide copies of their child safe environments policy documents (in some cases) and undertake a review of their policies at least once every 5 years. 

Further changes

There will be further changes to the child safe environments obligations for organisations as additional legislation commences and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations are implemented. The Child safe environments program will keep you updated on upcoming changes. 

Background

The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 was drafted to ensure that keeping children and young people safe from harm is paramount. It makes up part of the most significant reform of child protection laws in South Australia since 1993. For more information on the act, visit the Department for Child Protection’s website
 

Contact

Child Safe Environments

Phone: 8463 6468
Email: educationchildsafe [at] sa.gov.au