North Sydney Council believes that all children and young people have a right to be heard and is committed to the journey of becoming a child safe organisation through the 10 Child Safe Principles:
- Leadership, governance, and culture.
- Children are safe, informed and actively participate.
- Families and community involvement.
- Equity and diverse needs.
- Human resource management.
- Child focused complaints.
- Staff education and training.
- Physical and online environments.
- Review and continuous improvement.
- Child safe policies and procedures.
Council's Child Protection Framework
North Sydney Council's Child Protection Policy (273KB) is designed to ensure that Council complies with the requirements of the legislative framework, and acknowledges the following key responsibilities:
- Reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect of children.
- Protection of young people from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and neglect.
- Ensuring identified "prohibited persons" are not employed where the nature of their work brings them into contact with children.
- Providing training to staff in the identification of suspected child abuse and procedures involved.
- Notifying the relevant authority of any allegations of child abuse against a Council employee and give written notice within 7 days to parent or guardian.
- Working with other agencies within agreed guidelines to plan and provide services for child protection and family support.
For more information, refer to the Child Protection Policy in full (above).
Child Safe Standards
The Child Safe Standards are one of several recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. They provide a benchmark by which organisations can assess their child safe capability. The standards provide guidance for organisations to create cultures, adopt strategies and act to put the interests of children first whilst keeping them safe from harm.
Implementing the standards effectively will help the organisation drive cultural change. A child safe culture encompasses a set of values and practices that guide the attitudes of all Council employees.
National Redress Scheme
The National Redress Scheme is a recommendation arising out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Scheme commenced on 1 July 2018 and will be in place for 10 years (2018 - 2028).
The Redress Scheme was designed to provide acknowledgment and support to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. It can provide any of three aspects to survivors. The first two include payment of up to $150,000 as well as access to counselling - both of which are underwritten by NSW Government. The third aspect includes a Direct Personal Response (DPR) whereby Council is responsible for delivering a personal apology and should be undertaken in consultation with the survivor.
Should Council become subject to an application through the Scheme, there is an accessible procedure and management process to be followed.
More information can be found on the National Redress Scheme website.
Making a Complaint
North Sydney Council takes complaints and allegations involving children and young people seriously. For a suspected or confirmed concern or complaint involving a Council staff member or Council representative where the safety or protection of children or young people (under 18 years of age) may have been compromised, complaints and concerns can be made directly to the service that your child/ren is involved in or via Council’s complaints process: www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Complaints
Under the Children's Guardian Act 2019, Council is required to report any allegations against Council staff within 7 days.
As a part of the commitment to Child Safety and Wellbeing, North Sydney Council is proud to share all documents and resources as they become available, with the focus of assisting other organisations and institutions in becoming child safe.
Employment - Recruitment and Training
North Sydney Council is committed to the recruitment and training of its staff in being aware of child protection considerations, seeking to prevent harm and responding to risks posed to children and young people. This includes verifying Working with Children Checks for employees, volunteers and contractors in child-related roles.
Local Support Services for Families
For other children's services go to the: Children's Services Guide
Kids help and counselling over the phone
- Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800
You can also contact North Sydney Council with any further questions: 02 9936 8100 or firstname.lastname@example.org