Standard One

Committed leadership, governance and culture

Child safeguarding is embedded in the entity's leadership, governance and culture

1.1 The entity publicly commits to child safeguarding and takes a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse.

1.1.1 The entity has a Child Safeguarding Policy that is approved and endorsed by the Church Authority and/or relevant leadership body and is publicly available.

1.1.2 The entity publishes a Child Safeguarding Commitment Statement which is openly displayed and publicly available.

1.2 A child safeguarding culture is championed and modelled at all levels of the entity from the top down and bottom up.

1.2.1 The Church Authority and leaders of the entity create and maintain an entity’s culture of safeguarding by:

  • promoting child safeguarding regularly;
  • emphasising that child-safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility; and
  • actively monitoring safeguarding compliance and risk management.

1.2.2 The entity appoints a Safeguarding Committee at the highest level of leadership to oversee the effective ongoing implementation of child safeguarding practices, including the Child Safeguarding Policy and related procedures and practices.

1.2.3 The entity appoints and promotes the role of Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s), with clearly defined responsibilities for safeguarding children at diocesan, religious institute or ministerial PJP level.

1.2.4 Personnel understand that child safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and are empowered to provide input on child safeguarding practices.

1.3 Governance arrangements facilitate implementation of a Child Safeguarding Policy across the entity’s activities.

1.3.1 Governance arrangements are transparent and include safeguarding roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability for child safeguarding is clear.

1.3.2 Where the Church Authority’s governance includes countries other than Australia, the entity must apply these Standards taking into account relevant international declarations and local legislation.

1.4 A Code of Conduct provides guidelines for personnel on expected behavioural standards and responsibilities.

1.4.1 The Code of Conduct explicitly and equally applies to all personnel and provides guidance on appropriate and expected standards of behaviour of personnel towards children.

1.4.2 The Code of Conduct is written in accessible language and communicated to personnel, children, families and carers.

1.4.3 The Code of Conduct takes into account the needs of all children, paying particular attention to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disability, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with particular vulnerabilities, for example, children who can’t live at home.

1.5 The entity has risk management strategies focusing on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks to children.

1.5.1 The entity has a clearly documented safeguarding risk management plan, as part of its overall risk management strategy, which considers actual and potential risks relating to children.

1.5.2 The entity has appropriate risk management processes in place to assess, evaluate, review and oversee the safeguarding of children participating in, or receiving, ministries off-shore including cultural immersions, pilgrimages, solidarity campaigns and world youth days.

1.5.3 Leaders of the entity manage safeguarding risks effectively, through regular identification, monitoring, reporting and review of risks.

1.6 Personnel understand their obligations on information sharing and record keeping.

1.6.1 The entity has documented information sharing and record keeping policies and procedures which are communicated to personnel.

1.6.2 The entity’s information sharing and record keeping policies and procedures relating to all aspects of child safeguarding, including incidents and complaints, apply the following requirements:

  • complete and accurate records are created and maintained for all incidents, complaints, responses and decisions;
  • records are created at the time of, or as soon as practicable following, an incident, complaint, response or decision;
  • records are titled, organised and filed logically;
  • a master copy of each record is formally maintained to ensure duplicate records or multiple copies of the same record are kept to a minimum;
  • records are maintained and disposed of in accordance with legislative and statutory requirements, or after a period of 50 years (refer to Indicator 6.1.7), whichever is longer;
  • information and/or records are treated as confidential and records are appropriately secured;
  • sharing or distribution of information and/or records is restricted to nominated personnel and is conducted in accordance with relevant legislative and statutory requirements; and
  • individuals’ rights to access, amend or annotate records about themselves are recognised to the fullest extent.

Find definitions of key terms used throughout the Standards in our glossary