Child Safe Environments

CHILD SAFE ENVIRONMENTS 


In South Australia, organisations providing services to children and young people must, by law, provide child safe environments. As an organisation providing services to children and young people we (FSA and clubs) must:

  • have child safe environments policy(ies) in place and at a minimum, review these policy(ies) once every 5 years
  • complete Working with Children Check requirements
  • lodge a Child Safe Environments Compliance Statement with the Department of Human Services and lodge a new statement each time policy(ies) are reviewed and updated eg as a minimum every, five years

In November 2021, Fencing SA (FSA) lodged a new Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement with the Department of Human Services, which has been approved. Since the previous Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement was lodged, revised legislation has come into effect. This revised legislation places additional and updated requirements on FSA and its member clubs. 

CHILD SAFE ENVIRONMENT POLICY 


FSA has revised its Child Safe Environment Policy in accordance with the child safe environments provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016. The Child Safe Environment policy applies to FSA and our member clubs (you). It is important that you read the Child Safe Environment policy, including the referenced policies and documents, to understand your obligations as a club. The current policy can be accessed via this link: Child Safe Environment Policy_Nov 2021 FINAL.pdf (fencingsa.org.au). 

It is FSA’s expectation that all member clubs have a zero tolerance approach to any form of child abuse. FSA supports the rights of children and will act immediately to ensure a child safe environment is maintained where children and all participants feel safe, respected, valued and empowered at all times.

The key components of the Child Safe Environment Policy includes: 

 

Working With Children Check

In accordance with the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016, Working With Children Checks (WWCC) must be conducted and maintained for all FSA volunteers and member club coaches and volunteers who are 14 years of age and above, who work with children.

A WWCC is an assessment of whether a person poses an unacceptable risk to children. As part of the process, the SA Gov. Department of Human Services Screening Unit will look at criminal history, child protection information and other information. A valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment check will be recognised as a Working with Children Check until it expires. Then, you must apply for a new Working with Children Check. You will find more information on WWCC’s via this link: Screening Unit - Working with children check

FSA can organise a WWCC for its members. WWCC’s are free for unpaid volunteers. Please contact secretary@fencingsa.org.au for more information. 

 

Play By The Rules training

Play By The Rules (PBTR) was first developed by the South Australian Department for Sport and Recreation in 2001. PBTR is now a unique collaboration between Sport Integrity Australia, Sport Australia, the Australian Human Rights Commission, all state and territory departments of sport and recreation. 

The PBTR website provides information, resources, tools and free online training to increase the capacity and capability of administrators, coaches, officials, players, parents and spectators to assist them in preventing and dealing with discrimination, harassment, child safety, inclusion and integrity issues in sport.

In accordance with FSA’s Child Safe Environment policy, all FSA Board members, officials, along with Member Club board/committee members, coaches and volunteers must complete the following (free) Play by the Rules online training modules:

  • Child protection and safeguarding course
  • Harassment and discrimination course

These courses take approximately 15 mins to complete each module, you will need sound. You can access the portal to these courses via this link: Sport Integrity Australia eLearning: Log in to the site

It is FSA's expectation that there is a minimum of one AFF accredited coach present at every fencing course/class and it is mandatory that those who are training children or young people have a current WWCC and the prescribed PBTR training.

 

Mandatory reporting

FSA requires its board and member clubs, officials, coaches and volunteers be aware of their role and responsibilities to report and respond appropriately. FSA requires:

  • all officials, coaches and volunteers read and understand the South Australian Governments ‘Safe environments for children and young people -  Mandatory Notification Information Booklet’: Mandatory notification information booklet (fencingsa.org.au)
  • all officials, coaches and volunteers read and understand the Department for Child Protection’s ‘Mandatory Reporting Guide’. The Mandatory Reporting Guide has been designed by the Department for Child Protection to assist mandatory reporters when they are concerned that a child is, or may be, at risk and must decide whether or not to report their concerns via the Child Abuse Report Line. This document consists of a series of decision making trees and aims to assist mandatory reporters in becoming familiar with the reporting threshold and the provision of detailed reports: mandatory-reporting-guide.pdf (fencingsa.org.au)


Page last updated June 2022

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