Horse clubs impacted by new Child Safety Standards and legislation

child and ponyWhat is your equestrian organisation / agricultural society / breed society doing about the new Child Safety Standards and legislation in Victoria (and will be adopted by other states in the future) which came into effect on the 1st January 2017?

The new Standards and Legislation is aimed at organisations / associations developing an entire culture for child safety (not just have policies). WWC checks are merely a tool and will not be enough for an organisation to say “oh, we have WWC“.

The culture has to be obvious at all levels of the organisation including signed codes of conduct for contractors who come on site such as farriers, dentists, electricians, etc., judges, and even volunteers, through to policies and procedures re using change rooms and showers (how does an association safely manage children at an event who use showers and other such facilities?).

Organisations will need to appoint child safety officers either at a club or state level, maintain clear reporting pathways, include statements of being a child safe organisation in all ads, web sites, social media, publications, guidelines for comforting children etc, and ensure that no adult (other than parent or guardian) is out of sight with a child at any time.

As other State and the Federal Government are looking to model the Victorian legislation this is something that ALL organisations need to address if you have children as members or run events where children compete.

Check out https://vicsport.com.au/child-safe-standards for some useful resources.