Children’s Guardian Act
On Wednesday 12 May 2021, the NSW Government introduced legislation to amend the Children’s Guardian Act to require certain organisations to implement the Child Safe Standards. The Bill can be found [here].
We are pleased to note that the legislation now includes sporting organisations as we believe that this will not only provide greater support and protection for children and young people, but will also highlight the issues facing volunteer-based organisations such as churches and community sporting groups.
In its current form, the legislation requires religious bodies to comply with and implement the Child Safe Standards. The Office of the Children’s Guardian has power to monitor compliance, investigate, if necessary, to ensure compliance, or issue a compliance notice. If an organisation fails to comply with a compliance notice or enforceable undertaking then the organisation, or head of organisation for an unincorporated entity, may be fined up to $5500. We understand that the government intends to initially focus on capability building and does not intend to issue fines for at least twelve months.
For support in implementing the Child Safe Standards, see our Safe Church Health Check resource.