Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Child Safe Standard 1 states:

School governing authorities must periodically review the effectiveness of the strategies put into practice and, if considered appropriate, revise those strategies.

A significant component of this requirement is the review of all policies relating to child safety.

Risk factors play a key component in determining a policy review schedule. As child safety is a high risk area, an annual review of all policies impacting on child safety should be undertaken.

“What do you do to test whether that safety is real? How do you audit, enforce, stress test, do your very best to make sure that somebody who should be reporting is and that proper procedures are understood and that the training has worked?” – Commissioner Andrew Murray – Royal Commision

Safeguarding Services believes a key component to policy review is the “stress testing” of these policies. To achieve this, as part of its policy review offering, Safeguarding Services can undertake “tabletop exercises” with the leadership of organisations. This is where a scenario is implemented and the policy is followed to ensure it meets the needs of all the possibilities envisaged in that scenario.

This process allows for the identification of any policy improvements, not only ensuring the policy is legally compliant but also ensuring it meets the individual operational needs of the institution.

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