Keep Them Safe is the NSW Government's five-year Action Plan that aims to re-shape the way family and community services are delivered in NSW to improve the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people.
Keep Them Safe is focused on shared responsibility and intends to build on the strengths of the current child protection system. It includes actions to enhance the universal service system, improve early intervention services, better protect children at risk, support Aboriginal children and families, and strengthen partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs) in the delivery of community services.
The main legislative changes include:
Further details on the legislative changes are available in the new legislation section of the Keep Them Safe website.
The non-government sector has a much expanded role in Keep Them Safe, as part of the new shared responsibility approach to child wellbeing. More than 40 per cent of funding will go to non-government organisations (NGOs) as recognition of their increased role in the new system. The NSW Government is funding a six-month transitional KTS Support Line to provide information and guidance to NGOs in the transition period as
the new reporting threshold comes into effect. Its purpose is to assist practitioners with information about what to do with cases where the concerns do not meet the threshold, and to provide advice about using the Mandatory Reporter Guide and about supporting families where the statutory service is not involved.
Further information is available on the Keep Them Safe website: www.keepthemsafe.nsw.gov.au
CHCCHILD401A, Identify and respond to children and young people at risk, is the national unit of competency from CHC08 Community Services Training package that focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfil duty of care requirements and apply relevant legislation, policies and procedures in responding to children and young people.
Training resources have been developed as part of Keep Them Safe to assist registered training organisations (RTOs) to train staff who work with children and young people, and to help them understand their responsibilities as mandatory reporters. The resources have been developed to reflect the changes to the child protection system resulting from Keep Them Safe. The resources will assist staff in using the Mandatory Reporter Guide, provide them with guidelines on maintaining professional boundaries, and be aware of their responsibilities under the new system and the new information exchange provisions.
If you would like to use these resources for entry-level child protection training, you should have completed the facilitator training.
Child Protection units of competency from the Community Services Training Package (CHC08) are included in qualifications across many industry sectors either as compulsory or elective units.
The units of competency are:
CHCCHILD301A Support behaviour of children and young people
CHCCHILD401A Identify and respond to children and young people at risk
CHCCHILD403B Promote the safety, well being and welfare of children, young people and their families
CHCCHILD404A Support the rights and safety of children and young people
CHCCHILD504B Assess risk of harm to children and young people
CHCCHILD505B Work effectively in child protection and out of home care for children and young people
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a significant pathway for candidates to attain a national training package qualification. There has been strong support from Commonwealth and NSW governments for RTOs to find innovative and accessible RPL strategies and approaches.
NSW Department of Education and Training is actively assisting this quest for improved RPL pathways and has worked in partnership across many industry sectors to pilot best practice models of recognition and develop supporting resources. Some of the innovation recognition pathways trialled included group, project and workplace based models.
Resources and further details are available at State Training Services
The Vocational Training Board establishes traineeships in NSW. Through a consultative process between peak industry groups, employers and unions, facilitated by the ITAB, qualifications are identified that meet industry requirements and have appropriate award arrangements. This information is submitted to the Board for the declaration of a vocational training order in accordance with NSW legislation.
As qualifications have a vocational training order established, they are posted on the NSW DET Commissioner’s Bulletin. Further advice is available from NSW DET www.training.nsw.gov.au
Child protection units of competency are found in qualfications across a number of qualifications in CHC08 Community Services Training Package.
Child protection competencies are delivered in some VET in School pathways.
For more information about VET in Schools in NSW visit: https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/vetinschools/
The NSW Board of Studies is responsible for the inclusion of training package qualifications in the HSC studies. Further information is available at www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au .
NSW Commission for Children and Young People
The Commission is an independent organisation that works with others to make NSW a better place for children and young people. The Commission reports directly to the NSW Parliament, and the Committee on Children and Young People oversees their work.
The Commission administers the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998.
NSW Human Services Community Services
Community Services (formerly DoCS) is the leading NSW Government agency responsible for community services.
They promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people and work to build stronger families and communities.
They work to protect children and young people from risk of harm and to provide care for children and young people who are not able to live with their families.
NSW Health has a network of Sexual Assault Services (SAS) and Physical Abuse and Neglect of Children Services (PANOC) across rural and metropolitan NSW. There are specialist programs for sexualised behaviour and for some offenders of sexual assault. Children, young people and their families or carers can be referred to these services.
Joint Investigation Response Teams (JIRTs) are made up of Community Services, NSW Police and NSW Health professionals who undertake joint investigation of child protection matters. Joint investigations link the risk assessment and protective interventions of Community Services with the criminal investigation conducted by Police. Community Services and Police have an equal partnership and share responsibility for the operation of JIRTs.
NSW Family Services Inc support non-government organisations in New South Wales that are providing services to families experiencing stress. They encourage and help these organisations to provide quality support services.
ACWA is the NSW non-government peak body representing the voice of community organisations working with vulnerable children, young people and their families. They work with their members, partners, government and non-government agencies and other peak bodies to bring about positive systemic reform that will deliver better outcomes to the lives of children and young people, including those living in out-of-home care.
This organisation is primarily funded by the NSW Human Services Community Services, and is recognised as the peak NSW Aboriginal body providing child protection and out-of-home care (OOHC) policy advice to the government and non government sector on issues affecting Aboriginal families involved in child protection and OOHC system. AbSec also advises on funding decisions related to service provision by local Aboriginal community controlled organisations who provide or seek to provide Aboriginal child protection and associated services.
The NSW Children's Guardian is a government department set up to promote the best interests and rights of children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW.
The Keep Them Safe website provides information for mandatory reporters in government agencies and non-government organisations about the new child protection system, including resources, training materials, and an email newsletter.
Please contact NSW Community Services and Health ITAB regarding training and assessment resource needs for child protection units of competency.
Other resources may be available from industry peaks, National Training Information Service (NTIS), Registered Training Organisations and Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council.