Standard one

Committed leadership, governance and culture

Child safeguarding is embedded in the entity’s leadership, governance and culture

1.1 The entity publicly commits to child safeguarding and takes a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse.

1.1.1    The entity has a Child Safeguarding Policy that is approved and endorsed by the Church Authority and/or relevant leadership body and is publicly available. 

1.1.2    The entity publishes a Child Safeguarding Commitment Statement which is openly displayed and publicly available.


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1.2 Child safeguarding is a shared responsibility at all levels of the Church entity.

1.2.1    Leaders of the Church entity foster a culture of protecting children and upholding children’s rights.

1.2.2    The Church entity appoints a Safeguarding Trustee/Champion at the highest level of leadership who is responsible for advocating on behalf of children.

1.2.3    The Church entity appoints and promotes the role of Safeguarding Coordinator(s), with clearly defined responsibilities for safeguarding children at Diocesan or congregational level. Coordinators are responsible for reporting to the leadership about the entity’s child safe performance.

1.2.4    Leaders of the Church entity ensure that all relevant policies and procedures include appropriate safeguarding approaches, requirements and responsibilities.

1.2.5    The Church entity ensures the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards apply across all its operations.

1.2.6    Church personnel know that child safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

1.2.7    Church personnel feel empowered to have a say in, and influence decisions about child safeguarding.

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1.3 A Code of Conduct provides guidelines for Church personnel on expected behavioural standards and responsibilities.

1.3.1    The Church entity provides guidance on appropriate and expected standards of behaviour of Church personnel towards children.

1.3.2    There are clear ways, such as whistle blowing, in which Church personnel can raise allegations and suspicions about unacceptable behaviour towards children by other Church personnel.

1.3.3    Guidance to Church personnel makes it clear that discriminatory behaviour or language in relation to any of the following is not acceptable: race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexuality or political views.

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1.4 A Code of Conduct provides guidelines for personnel on expected behavioural standards and responsibilities.

1.4.1    The Code of Conduct explicitly and equally applies to all personnel and provides guidance on appropriate and expected standards of behaviour of personnel towards children.

1.4.2    The Code of Conduct is written in accessible language and communicated to personnel, children, families and carers.

1.4.3    The Code of Conduct takes into account the needs of all children, paying particular attention to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disability, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with particular vulnerabilities, for example, children who can’t live at home.


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1.5 Governance mechanisms and clearly articulated expectations are in place to manage information sharing and record keeping.

1.5.1    Policies and procedures in relation to record keeping and information sharing are in accordance with Australian Privacy Principles and relevant State legislative requirements.

1.5.2    Church personnel are aware of and understand their obligations in relation to data collection, information sharing and record keeping,

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1.6 The Church Authority and entity apply the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and risk management approaches to all ministries and activities, including overseas where relevant

1.6.1    The Church entity has appropriate governance processes in place to assess, evaluate, review and oversee the safeguarding of children participating in, or receiving, ministries including cultural immersions, pilgrimages and solidarity campaigns.

1.6.2    The Church Authority has clearly documented processes in place that demonstrate the application of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards where the Church Authority’s governance includes countries other than Australia.

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