Annual child safety statement of compliance
A statement of the entity’s commitment to child safety
The Commission currently has nil interactions with children in our day-to-day business, however we recognise that it is the shared responsibility of all government agencies to prevent child exploitation and abuse. The welfare of children will always be a priority. The Commission has zero tolerance for child abuse and exploitation, and any allegations and concerns for safety of children and young people will be treated most seriously. We believe that all children have a right to feel safe, respected, valued and protected from harm. We will not knowingly engage – directly or indirectly – with anyone who poses a threat to children.
If any future Commission activity is determined to have an impact on children, then an assessment of child safety risk will be completed and, depending on the level of risk identified, the appropriate child safety measures will be applied to manage the risk. All employees have an obligation to immediately report any behavior that they suspect or allege might be in breach of the APSC Child Safe policy to the Assistant Commissioner Enabling Services.
Further to the actions set out in the Child Safe policy, all Commission employees, partners and contractors are required to comply with all state and territory child safety requirements, including Working with Children Checks and mandatory reporting where relevant.
A description of the entity’s interaction with children as part of its operations
Nil in the last reporting period FY2021-2022
The outcome of the entity’s child safety risk assessment, and actions taken to mitigate these risks.
As the Commission had nil direct interactions with children in FY21/22, the child safety risk assessment using our Risk Management Framework is based on a RARE likelihood of occurrence. The Commission notes however that there could be MAJOR consequences should there be an occurrence and therefore assigns a risk rating of MODERATE.
Such a risk rating requires the development and implementation of a range of controls to manage or mitigate the risk. Controls include any policy, procedure, practice, process, technology, technique, method, or device that modifies the risk. The controls being employed by the Commission to manage this risk include: APSC Child Safe Policy; annual risk assessments; Child Safe training for employees; adoption of the National Principles; and, the embedding child safe practices in our recruitment, procurement and project planning processes.
In considering the need to undertake a risk assessment in future years, Commission will consider any types of contact and interactions with children and young people that may have occurred, including:
direct physical contact
third party contact
Obligation to undertake risk assessments annually in relation to activities of the entity, to identify the level of responsibility for, and contact with, children, evaluate risks to child safety, and put in place appropriate strategies to manage identified risks
If in the future, Commission employees are required to undertake any type of activity where there will be a direct interaction with a child, or interactions with children, risk assessments will be conducted and appropriate strategies put in place to manage the identified risks.
Information on whether the entity is compliant with the Framework and any measures to improve compliance going forward
The Framework aims to protect children and young people from the risk of harm or abuse and requires Commonwealth agencies to be ‘child safe’. The Commission has taken all reasonable and necessary steps to be ‘child safe’. There are four core requirements under the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework and actions against each requirement are outlined below.
- Undertake annual risk assessment – complete.
- Establish a system of training and compliance – The Commission has developed the APSC Child Safe Policy outlining: its commitment to Child Safe principles; strategies to manage risk if the Commission was to interact with a child/children in the future; and, stipulating reporting requirements incumbent on employees with regard to breaches of the policy. The Commission has launched the National Office for Child Safety six module training program, and elements of this are mandatory training for all employees. This training has also been made available to all APS agencies through the APS Academy Training Portal.
- Adopt the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations – complete. The relevant aspects of the Principles that are appropriate for Commission have been codified in the APSC Child Safe Policy and the Commissioner’s Statement of Commitment.
- Publish an Annual Statement of Compliance – complete.
This statement of compliance was approved by the Commissioner on 25 October 2022.
Peter Woolcott AO
Australian Public Service Commissioner
25 October 2022