Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Helping organisations to protect children

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced an extra $300,000 in Australian Government funding for a project helping children and youth organisations improve their child protection standards.

“The Australian Council for Children and Youth Organisations (ACCYO) will work in partnership with Child Wise to introduce an accreditation process for all organisations that work with children and young people to ensure their safety.

“The accreditation process is based on the Choose with Care program developed by Child Wise and focuses on encouraging organisations to have more effective screening, recruitment and selection processes for staff and volunteers, a child protection policy, and external audit processes.

“The Australian Government committed $50,000 to ACCYO in 2002 so that they could conduct a series of pilots. This project was also supported by some of Australia’s leading philanthropic trusts and foundations, not-for profit organisations, the police, magistrates and the judiciary.

“An independent evaluation of the ACCYO pilots showed that all 23 organisations that participated in the project believed it had successfully raised their awareness of child protection issues and the need to ensure standards of protection.

“This extra $300,000 will help ACCYO to extend its accreditation model to an additional 100 service outlets across Australia over the next year,” Mr Anthony said.

ACCYO Chief Executive, Anton Hermann, thanked the Australian Government for its commitment to a national roll-out of the ACCYO Accreditation model.

“This is a major step towards consistent national child protection standards for organisations working with children and young people. Kids, their families and the wider community will have a new level of assurance that services for children and youth are transparent, accountable and safe,” Mr Hermann said.

Mr Anthony commended ACCYO and Child Wise for the work they do to assist organisations to create a safe environment for children and young people.

“We all have a responsibility to our children and young people to provide them with a high standard of care in a safe and nurturing environment. I am pleased that all of the organisations involved in this project supported the move towards a consistent standard of care across the sector,” Mr Anthony said.