2023 Commonwealth Child Safe Framework Statement of Compliance
Our commitment to the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework
The ABS is committed to promoting and maintaining a culture that provides a safe environment for children. The ABS is committed to child safety and complies with the whole-of-government Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (CCSF).
As part of our commitment, the ABS:
- has an internal CCSF Policy, which details the responsibilities and obligations of ABS officers and contractors, to ensure child safe practices are in place across ABS business and corporate functions when interacting with children
- undertakes an annual risk assessment to evaluate the risk of harm to children, and implements strategies to manage those risks
- has the National Office for Child Safety training available to all staff
- has child safe officers in key areas to function as a source of support, advice and expertise to ABS staff and children on child safe issues
- has child safe practices embedded in procedures and training, including mandatory reporting guidance for field staff
- ensures third party providers are assured through ABS procurement processes for child safety considerations.
ABS' interaction with children
The ABS has put practices and processes in place that help protect children in all ABS activities which involve, result in, or relate to, contact with children. These activities include children:
- providing data via ABS surveys and the Census of Population and Housing
- applying for ABS positions
- interacting with the ABS via outbound or inbound communication and social media
- interacting with any third parties on behalf of the ABS
- physically visiting any ABS offices or attending ABS events.
Annual Risk Assessment
Since 2020, the ABS has undertaken annual risk assessments to ensure child-safe practices are embedded into the organisation. The ABS assessed the activities where contact with children is likely to occur, evaluated the risk of harm and described the controls in place to manage the identified risks. The ABS has a range of controls, such as:
- reference and police checks
- tight access control provisions to limit staff access to personal records and survey data
- specific child safety training
- clear complaints and disclosure procedures.
Our current overall risk rating is medium. The ABS continues to work on initiatives to reduce our risk profile and implement child safety measures in alignment with the CCSF.
Over the past 12 months ABS has:
- made the National Office for Child Safety’s training available for all staff and mandatory for ABS Child Safe Officers
- refined onboarding procedures for field staff to ensure the continued reporting of abuse or neglect to children witnessed or suspected while operating in their official capacity.
Key focus area of the next 12 months is to:
- review the mandatory reporting policy and procedures for field staff.