New Child and Youth Safe Organisations Bill passed
Tasmanian children and young people in institutional settings will have greater protection after the Child and Youth Safe Organisations 2022 bill was passed by the Legislative Council on 25 May 2023.
Organisations that engage with children and young people in Tasmania could be legally required to comply with the new Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework from 2024 onwards. The framework will ensure that children and young people are protected, their rights are respected and measures are in place to prevent and respond to any risks to their safety and wellbeing.
The passing of this bill aligns with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: The Child and Youth Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
We’re deeply committed to the rights and wellbeing of children and young people, and we are honoured to have contributed to the recommendations made by the Commission.
Nicola Crates, our Executive Director of Human Rights, Practice and Innovation, contributed to the Tasmanian Commission of Inquiry.
Nicola gave evidence about her experiences with young people in out-of-home care and therapeutic residential care. She spoke of the need for all organisations who work in this space to be accredited with the Australian Childhood Foundation and for staff training in child safety to be required rather than voluntary. Nicola believed that bringing such assessments and standards in would help prevent wrongdoing.
Nicola’s team is now developing a human rights framework for our organisation, so rights and quality of life are at the heart of our services.
Child and Youth Safe Organisations
Many Tasmanian organisations that work with children will have to implement the Child and Youth Safe Organisation Framework by January next year, while others will have until July 2024 to comply.
Examples of organisations that have to comply with the framework:
- Accommodation and residential services for children, including housing services and overnight camps
- Health services for children, including counselling
- Childcare and commercial babysitting services
- Justice and detention services for children
- Early intervention or disability support services.
- Education services for children.
This framework is about improving child protection practices and creating a safer environment for all.
Most Tasmanian organisations will need to start to comply with the framework by 1 January 2024.
To learn more about the framework, visit here.
Wondering what your organisation can do to prepare for framework? Visit here.