Safeguarding Children Accreditation Program

Safeguarding Children Accreditation is unique and effective

The Safeguarding Children Program is a unique voluntary accreditation scheme for organisations who have a duty of care to children and young people whilst delivering a service or activity to them and/or their families.

It systematically builds the capacity of organisations to keep children and young people safe from abuse and exploitation by staff, volunteers or other relevant related individuals.

Safeguarding Children Accreditation supports a wide range of organisations in an ongoing way to

  • enhance and maintain a collective culture that promotes the safety of children and young people;
  • review, design and execute specific policies and procedures to protect children and young people;
  • provide relevant training to management, staff and volunteers;
  • engage the participation of children, young people and their parents/carers in safeguarding practices;
  • implement a consistent set of endorsed operational standards at every level; and,
  • respond effectively to situations in which a child is abused or exploited by an individual involved in the management or delivery of a service or activity.

It is a tailored step by step process that is accompanied by expert advice, policy development and resources from experienced child protection practitioners.

Nationally relevant, Safeguarding Children Accreditation clearly communicates to children, young people and their families that the organisation values the safety of children and young people. It also demonstrates to governments, funding bodies and other stakeholders an ongoing organisational commitment to best practice and quality improvement in relation to the protection of children and young people.

It is the only accreditation scheme in Australia to have received endorsement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

What resources do organisations receive?

  • Support and advice to implement effective child protection policies and procedures that meet the standards of Safeguarding Children Accreditation
  • Access to an online Safeguarding Integrated Management System which enables the use of our Child Safe Policies and Procedures Bank which includes up to date resources and tools
  • Protocols that promote the safe recruitment and supervision of staff and volunteers
  • Online and face to face induction and training packages for Board, management, staff and volunteers to ensure that safeguarding children policies are understood and consistently implemented
  • An independent audit of an organisation’s operational framework benchmarked against a set of evidence based standards
  • Regular updates about changes to legislative, policy and practice developments nationally and internationally in relation to protecting children and young people in organisations
  • Communication tools that enable organisations to reinforce safeguarding practices to their staff and volunteers
  • Access to a responsive debriefing service for organisations following child protection critical incidents
  • Availability of advice about how to respond to allegations and situations of concern in relation to children and young people.

Why should organisations become Safeguarding Children Accredited?

  • It optimises an organisation’s risk management policies and procedures with regard to the safety of children and young people in its services and programs.
  • It provides organisations with access to an evidence based approach to protecting children and young people.
  • It enables organisations to assure parents and carers that it values and knows how to keep children and young people safe from abuse and exploitation.
  • It offers opportunities to promote an organisation’s Safeguarding Children credentials to service users, funding bodies and other stakeholders.
  • It enables organisations to advertise the Safeguarding Children Accreditation Stamp in their buildings, on their website and all of its documentation and marketing material.
  • The Australian Childhood Foundation will promote your organisation’s logo on its website as having achieved Accreditation.

What outcomes does Accreditation help pursue?

Children and young people are inherently vulnerable to abuse by adults. The large majority of employees and volunteers are well motivated and contribute positively to the well being and development of children and young people in their care. Some do not.

Adults may intentionally or inadvertently cause harm to children. There is evidence that some adults target organisations specifically to gain access to children for the sole purpose to abuse and exploit them.

Organisations can take preventative steps to safeguard children and young people. Safeguarding Children Program provides the resources to support organisations meet evidence based standards that ultimately reduce the risk of abuse of children and young people by employees and volunteers.

It achieves this through facilitating organisations to

  • recognise the factors that increase a child’s vulnerability to maltreatment;
  • be aware of the vulnerabilities which may indicate a need to assess, monitor or curtail the behaviour of individuals in relation to children and young people within organisations;
  • create an environment which limits the opportunity for children to be maltreated;
  • develop and maintain a culture that is child-focused, transparent and respectful; and,
  • implement a comprehensive framework that ensures appropriate policies and guidelines for all individuals associated with an organisation.

Safeguarding Children Accreditation is a three year cycle that involves ongoing communication with staff, volunteers and service users. Each year of accreditation, organisations are prompted to ensure that all new staff are trained about Safeguarding Children policies and procedures. There is also an expectation that organisations will use a standardised critical incident reporting mechanism in the event that a child or young person is identified as having been harmed.

Every twelve months, accredited organisations are required to undertake a formal internal review by completing a short self-assessment survey.

At the end of the third year, organisations undergo an audit against the Safeguarding Children standards. The audit is comprehensive and involves an examination of relevant organisational documentation and an analysis of the degree of understanding and commitment by staff and volunteers to continuing to adhere to the Safeguarding Children strategies.

Re-accreditation enables organisations to continue to use the Safeguarding Children Accreditation stamp in its documentation and promotional material.

What is the difference between Safeguarding Children Accreditation and Certification?

Unlike our Certification Program, Safeguarding Children Accreditation has more benefits for organisations. It includes a comprehensive onsite audit, assessment by an independent panel of experts and an ongoing review process. Accreditation affords organisations the highest a level of quality assurance that is based on an independent validation that its policies and procedures have actually been implemented in the way it was intended.

A quick comparison table is found below.

Find out more about Certification

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