Commonwealth Child Safe Framework
The National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) strongly supports the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (the Framework), which sets the minimum standards for creating and maintaining a child safe culture and practice in Australian Government entities. The Framework was established in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse findings.
The safety and wellbeing of children and young people is embedded in our operations, governance and organisational culture and leadership. We are dedicated to ensuring that the NDIS Commission is a child safe and child friendly environment where all children and young people are valued and feel safe.
The NDIS Commission is committed to the safety of all NDIS participants, including those whom are children. We acknowledge NDIS participants who are children are likely to have a different service experience to adults — the NDIS Commission, by integrating child-safe principles, is enhancing the impact of its regulatory functions and contributing to positive, quality and safe service delivery for children.
To date, the NDIS Commission, in line with the Framework has:
- undertaken a risk assessment in relation to activities of the entity, to identify the level of responsibility for, and contact with, children, evaluate risks to child safety, and put in place appropriate strategies to manage identified risks; and, committed to undertake this risk assessment annually
- implemented the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework eLearning module into our workforce training
- implemented information sharing protocols and procedures for referrals to State and Territory child welfare and protection services
- updated our procurement guidance relating to child safety contract considerations
- updated grant agreement templates to include child safety obligations as a specific requirement
- adopted the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
- committed to developing a tailored Child Safe Framework for the NDIS Commission.
The NDIS Commission is committed to promoting the provision of safe and quality supports and services to people with disability; this includes all children and young people.
The NDIS Commission has adopted the National Principles for Child Safe Organisation to form the basis of our child safeguarding culture.
- The safety and wellbeing of children, including those with a disability, is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
- Children with a disability are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them, and are taken seriously
- Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing for all children, including those with a disability
- Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
- People working with children are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values, and the nuances of working with children with disability, in practice
- Processes for complaints and concerns, include specialised consideration for children
- Workforce, including consultants, are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through ongoing education and training
- Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing, while minimising the opportunity for children to be harmed
- Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved
- Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children, including those with a disability.
The NDIS Commission is developing a Child Safety Policy. Additionally, we are implementing the Worker Screening requirements, with consideration being given to which specified NDIS Commission staff will require a check and whether this aligns with areas that may have more than incidental contact with Children.
The NDIS Commission Child Safe Policy will be available on our website.
The NDIS Commission has conducted a child safety risk assessment and in doing so considered the level of contact staff may have with children. The assessment identified only certain functions in the Commission have ‘Limited or Incidental contact’, while all others have no contact with children. Where staff have contact with children, appropriate arrangements are in place to protect and ultimately improve outcomes for children. To raise awareness across the NDIS Commission, the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework online learning module has been released to support staff in their awareness of the child safety framework and their obligations. As a comprehensive framework including policies, procedures, guidance material and assurance practices are underdevelopment, the overall risk level has been assessed as medium until this work has been finalised, at which time the overall risk level is assessed as low.