Child Safeguard has responded promptly to the current COVID-19 public health emergency to ensure our staff are safe, and that we can continue to support our clients.
We have established continuity measures which are now in place. Our client’s projects will continue with little disruption.
Child Safeguard has acted early to implement recommended health measures, including all staff working from home.
“We want to assure our clients that we have implemented measures to ensure that our work for you continues.
We strongly recommend that our partners follow ongoing advice from the Australian Department of Health.
We recognise that at this moment, children and young people can be scared & confused. We will be providing regular updates with useful information and resources that aim to help you communicate child friendly & child safe messages in response to COVID19.
Stay safe and should you have any queries, please contact us.”
With recent news and media coverage about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) it is normal for both adults and children to feel confused and overwhelmed at this time.
Parents, guardians and child-related organisations may be wondering how best to communicate with children about COVID-19 in order to reduce worry and distress.
We have included some links to resources below that may be useful:
Winner of the Acquisition International Legal Award!
Child Safeguard is proud to announce that we have been named the Best Child Protection Law Firm in Australia as part of the Acquisition International Legal Awards. The Legal Awards are designed to reward parties based on their excellence demonstrated in the legal industry.
Managing Partner, Marco Blanco, made the following statement:
“Child Safeguard is extremely proud to receive this international award and be recognised as the best child protection law firm in Australia.
Child Safeguard has had a huge impact in preventing harm to children and young people and keeping them safe. Our work with our clients has improved protective measures for hundreds of thousands of children and young people across Australia and other parts of the world.”
A big thank you to AI and our congratulations to the other award recipients!
Child Safeguard in the Media
Cardinal Pell Appeal
21 August 2019
“First and foremost we should commend the bravery of the complainant in coming forward and remember the late victim.
Hopefully the Court’s decision will empower other victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward.”
Thank you for having us Andrew Geoghegan and Karina Carvalho from ABC!
Legislative Loopholes in Child Protection Reporting
In light of the recent child sexual abuse allegations against Mosman swimming instructor, Kyle Daniels, Child Safeguard’s Managing Director, Marco Blanco, appeared on various media outlets to discuss the legislative loopholes in child protection reporting.
25 March 2019
Marco Blanco featured in a Sydney Morning Herald article which discussed how Mosman Swim Centre may not have had certain child protection reporting obligations. The article discussed how contractors operating a facility on behalf of a council, such as Mosman Swim Centre, are not subject to Mandatory Reporting or the NSW Ombudsman Reportable Conduct Scheme.
The Mosman swim centre received a complaint against Kyle Daniels in 2018 about his “inappropriate holds” during swimming lessons, but the centre was not required to report it to authorities.
Marco Blanco explained:
“Swim centres aren’t facing the same regulations as other sports, it’s an area that can have higher risks but less regulation…Often there is a gap when a private operator is running a swim program in a council pool. Councils have very controlled policies, and from our experience, a lot of policies from local government are drafted with early childhood centres in mind – those policies don’t necessarily address the specific risks in an aquatic environment.”
On 2GB Radio, Marco Blanco commented:
“Swimming instructors don’t come under the scope of those laws…what should happen is that the scope of mandatory reporting laws should be broadened”.
27 March 2019
Marco Blanco also featured on news.com.au. Marco stated:
“When councils outsource child-related services, they should ensure all private contractors have a contractual obligation to implement comprehensive child protection policies.”
Child Safeguard’s NESA Course Now Live!
Child Safeguard is endorsed by the NSW Education Standards Authority to deliver Child Safe Training for Early Childhood Teachers. We are excited to announce that our first course is now live!
The course targets Early Childhood Educators at Proficient Level. For more information on this course, please search ‘Child Protection Best Practice’ under Course Name on eTAMS.
This course will be available until the end of November 2019!
Please contact our office to register for upcoming workshops.
COAG Endorsement of the National Principles on Child Safety
The Council of Australian Governments has endorsed the National Principles on Child Safety, which are based on the Royal Commission’s 10 Child Safe Standards.
All child-related organisations should be implementing the Child Safe Standards to ensure they are mitigating risks and building a Child Safe organisation to prevent future abuse.
Marco Blanco, Managing Director of Child Safeguard, has been appointed to the NSW Law Society’s Children’s Legal Issues Committee 2019. The Committee represents the Law Society in relation to child rights in the civil and criminal jurisdictions. The Committee discusses and advocates key child-related issues including Indigenous children in the legal system, children as victims of domestic violence, and Care and Protection issues.
Congratulations Marco! Child Safeguard is looking forward to reading about the Committee’s achievements in 2019.
to Lifeguarding Services Australia in 2019
Child Safeguard is excited to announce that we will be delivering Child Safe Certification to Scone Memorial Swimming Pool, Merriwa Pool and Lifeguarding Services Australia in 2019!
Lifeguarding Services Australia provides professional pool and ocean lifeguards.
We look forward to working with Stan Wall and the team at LSA to help keep children safer!
The Creative Kids Program NSW commenced on 1 January 2019! The Program provides families with school-aged children a $100 voucher to be used towards participation in a creative activity. These activities include: visual arts, creative industries, literary and linguistics arts, performing arts and cultural experiences.
The NSW Government requires all eligible providers of these activities to have a Child Safe Policy.
Child Safeguard is excited to support this NSW Government initiative by offering providers various Child Safe Policy Packages that suit their needs. We look forward to continuing to work with organisations in the Creative Arts sector in 2019!
Please contact us on (02) 9252 3198 to find out more.
NSW introduced new child abuse laws in response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations. These new offences include:
- Grooming (providing a benefit to) a child or adult to access a child for unlawful sexual activity
- Failing to report child abuse to the police without a reasonable excuse
- Failing to protect a child in an organisation by failing to reduce or remove the child abuse risk
You can find more information about these reforms here.
6 March 2020
Child Safeguard was thrilled to deliver its bespoke Child Safe Training in Aquatics session to Belgravia Leisure and Liverpool City Council Australia!
Participants gained a better understanding of how to create a Child Safe Aquatic and Recreation Facility.
Thanks to Scott Vanderheyden and the Belgravia crew for facilitating the training!
2 December 2019
Child Safeguard had the pleasure of participating in the launch of the Cultural Competence program by Royal Life Saving NSW at Roselands Aquatic Centre.
Aquatics Centres can now aim to be a Culturally Qualified Centre.
Well done to the RLS NSW team!
Child Safeguard is excited to partner with City Venue Management and Rackley Swimming in the delivery of our Child Safe Certification process.
City Venue Management is committed to creating energised cities through managing swim schools, aquatic centres and health clubs. City Venue Management operates 23 venues across South East Queensland and the Sunshine Coast.
Rackley Swimming is City Venue Management’s longest running and most successful business. Rackley Swimming has provided City Venue Management with a solid foundation of growth, support and sustainability. There are currently 20 City Venue run swim schools in South East Queensland.
We are looking forward to working with the CVM team!
21 November 2019
It was our absolute pleasure to partner with the City of Sydney in the delivery of Child Safe Training for community organisations as part of the Connect Sydney program.
Connect Sydney is a City of Sydney program that aims to build the capacity of community organisations with free governance and skills training.
A big thank you to Redfern Community Centre for hosting the workshop!
4 October 2019
Marco Blanco delivered a presentation at the AUSTSWIM Soak It Up! World Conference on the Sunshine Coast on ‘Child Protection Reforms in Aquatics and the Regulation of the Child Safe Standards’.
A big thank you to everyone from AUSTSWIM for putting on a fantastic conference!
3 – 4 October 2019
Child Safeguard was part of the AUSTSWIM ‘Soak It Up!’ Conference Trade Expo on the Sunshine Coast.
Thank you to everyone who came to visit us!
10 September 2019
Child Safeguard had a great time in Ballarat with Shayne Reese Swimming!
We are developing Child Safe policies and procedures and had a lot of fun carrying out focus groups with Shayne Reese Swimming staff and students.
Thank you to Shayne Reese Swimming for having us!
1 – 7 September 2019
Child Safeguard is proud to support the National Child Protection Week 2019! The theme of the week this year focuses on introducing a ‘child development’ communication framework to help to support parents so that their children can thrive.
28 August 2019
Child Safeguard delivered a presentation at the Aquatic and Recreation Institute NSW Pool Safety Summit on Child Protection Reforms and the Upcoming Regulation of the Child Safe Standards.
A big thank you to ARI for having us!
Australian Swim Schools Association Conference Cairns 2019
1 August 2019
Marco Blanco presented a fantastic Child Protection Masterclass at the Australian Swim Schools Association (ASSA) Conference 2019. The Masterclass was tailored to Swim Schools and provided operators with the tools and skills to implement the 10 Child Safe Standards.
A big thank you to ASSA for having us!
17 June 2019
Marco Blanco attended the Aquatic and Recreation Institute (ARI) Conference 2019. The day started with an inspiring presentation from Kurt Fearnley and finished with a presentation on The Art of Networking by Jen Harwood.
Well done to the ARI team!
14 June 2019
Marco Blanco met with Ross Gage of the Australian Swim Schools Association (ASSA) to discuss preparations for the 2019 ASSA Conference in Cairns. Child Safeguard will be delivering a Child Safe Masterclass, participating in a Q&A on Crisis Management for Swim Schools and exhibiting at the Partner Expo.
We are looking forward to attending the conference!
10 May 2019
Marco Blanco presented at the Aquatics & Recreation Victoria (ARV) Regional Conference on 10 May 2019 in Bendigo, Victoria. Marco delivered a presentation on Child Safe Practices and Reforms in the Aquatic and Recreation sector.
Thank you to ARV for having us.
Aquatic and Recreation Institute (ARI) NSW Child Safety Q&A
4 April 2019
Marco Blanco participated in a child safety Q&A session as part of ARI NSW’s new initiative, ARI TV. Marco provided expert advice on how aquatic and recreation centres can become child safe organisations.
Thank you for having us and we look forward to the release of the full interview!
9 March 2019
Marco Blanco presented at the Aquatic and Recreation Institute (ARI) NSW Conference on 9 March 2019. Marco delivered a presentation on Child Protection Legal Reforms in the Aquatic and Recreation sector.
Thank you ARI for your invitation.
29 January 2019
Child Safeguard delivered a Child Safe Training workshop for Willoughby Leisure Centre on 29 January 2019. The workshop focused on child protection reforms and how to implement the Child Safe Standards in the Aquatic Centre.
A big thank you to Roz Neville for facilitating this workshop.
21 January 2019
Child Safeguard was excited to deliver Child Safe Training for Royal Life Saving NSW. It is great to work with organisations that are passionate about promoting Best Practice in Child Safety. The workshop focused on understanding Royal Life Saving’s new Child Safe Policy, and how staff can implement best practice.
Thank you Matt Griffiths and the team for helping us facilitate this workshop.
Child Safeguard in the Media
Cardinal Pell Sentence
13 March 2019
Managing Director, Marco Blanco, appeared on ABC News to discuss the sentencing of Cardinal Pell. Cardinal Pell was sentenced to six years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Marco Blanco discussed the controversy around whether the sentence was too lenient. Marco acknowledged the measured and meticulous sentence delivered by Chief Judge Kidd, but also recognised the disappointment felt by the late victim’s father and some people in the community as to the length of the sentence.
Marco Blanco commented:
“Chief Judge Kidd’s decision was meticulous and methodical but there have been some criticisms of the length of the imprisonment term. I empathise with that and do agree the sentence could have been longer.”
Cardinal Pell has sought leave to appeal the decision.
Cardinal Pell Convicted
26 February 2019
Marco Blanco appeared on ABC News to discuss the conviction of Cardinal Pell, Australia’s highest ranking Catholic. Cardinal Pell was convicted in December 2018 for the sexual abuse of two boys while he was the archbishop of Melbourne. The conviction was only publicly released to the media in late February 2019 due to a court suppression order that prohibited media outlets from reporting the conviction.
The Vatican has now confirmed that there will be an investigation into Cardinal Pell’s child sexual abuse offences.
Vatican Child Sexual Abuse Summit
Marco Blanco appeared on ABC News to discuss the outcomes of the Vatican’s Child Sexual Abuse Summit and the need for the Catholic Church to implement concrete measures to prevent future abuse and create accountable structures. The summit was a 4-day meeting at the Vatican where Catholic leaders discussed child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has promised new rules and guidelines that will assist bishops respond in the future.
20 November 2019
Anti-money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC has revealed that Westpac’s LitePay service has allowed paedophiles to send money to the Philippines to pay for child exploitation without raising alarm. AUSTRAC has identified 12 Westpac customers who had transferred nearly half a million dollars to the Philippines between them over several years. As a result of these allegations, Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer has resigned.
Read more here
18 November 2019
A Sydney police officer allegedly failed to fully investigate the criminal record of a sexual predator on parole and failed to notify community corrections staff of new allegations made against him. Days later, the man sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl in the women’s bathroom of a dance studio in the South of Sydney.
Find more information here
13 November 2019
The High Court of Australia has referred Pell’s application to appeal his convictions to the Court’s full bench. A timeline for the application has been set down, with written submissions on Pell’s behalf due on January 8 2020.
Find more information here
13 November 2019
The Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People has released a report entitled ‘Lost, Not Forgotten’ which investigated the suicides of 35 young people aged 12 to 17 years old between 2007 and 2019. The Report outlines how Child Protection repeatedly closed cases despite knowing of severe abuse, neglect and self-destructive behaviours that were exhibited by the children. They also failed to follow up on whether the families had sought help.
Read the full report here
Office of the Childrens Guardian Accused of Placing Children at Risk
9 October 2019
The NSW Children’s Guardian Janet Schorer, and her director overseeing the Office’s Working With Children Check Steve Gholab, have been accused of placing children at risk by granting Working With Children Checks to unsuitable applicants.
According to internal whistle-blowers, Gholab has ordered staff to award Working With Children Checks before suitable risk assessments have been undertaken in order to reduce a backlog of applications.
The Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services has been called on to establish an independent inquiry into the issue.
18 September 2019
The son of Ian Thorpe’s former coach is facing 57 historical charges of sexually abusing and grooming 11 boys at his father’s swim school. Paul Frost has been released on strict bail conditions and will appear in court in December 2019.
17 September 2019
Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for child sexual offences has been dismissed by the Victorian Court of Appeal. Pell will return to prison to carry out the remainder of his sentence. Pell has maintained his innocence and has sought leave to appeal to the High Court.
Find more information here
6 August 2019
The Director of Aquatic Sports at Knox Grammar School was arrested following child abuse materials being found on his phone. A Police search resulted in the seizure of six USB drives from his home and quantities of drugs which were found in his car. He was released on strict bail conditions.
Read more here
Australia’s Most Senior Anglican Clergyman on Trial for Child Sexual Abuse
18 June 2019
Former Newcastle Anglican Dean Graeme Russell Lawrence is standing trial for alleged offences on a 15-year-old boy in the Hunter Valley dating back to 1991. Mr Lawrence has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been on bail since being charged in December 2017. Over the coming weeks up to 28 Crown witnesses are due to give evidence.
Read the full article here
Sydney Teacher Arrested Over Alleged Sexual Assault of Student
14 June 2019
A young Sydney teacher has been arrested after allegedly grooming and sexually abusing a 14-year-old student at a high school in Sydney’s south-west. Police allege that the man sexually assaulted the boy on numerous occasions between 2018 and 2019. He was refused bail and will appear in Campbelltown Local Court.
Read more here
Thousands of Child Abuse Survivors to Get a Second Chance at Justice
13 June 2019
Victorian survivors of child sexual abuse can now apply to have unfair historical compensation payments overturned. Previous arrangements often meant that survivors signed away their rights to take further legal action, were short-changed on compensation pay-outs, and agreed to stay silent about their abuse. Survivors can now apply to the courts to overturn previous compensation agreements by setting aside ‘deeds of release’.
Find more information here
George Pell Appeals Conviction of Historical Child Sexual Abuse
7 June 2019
On 5 and 6 June 2019 George Pell appealed against his conviction of sexually abusing two choirboys in 1996 and 1997. He is currently serving a six-year sentence for the crimes but has appealed on the basis that the jury could not have been satisfied of Pell’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The hearing has been adjourned and it is unknown when a decision will be handed down.
Read more here
Joint AFP and South Australian Investigation Team has Rescued 85 Children from Sexual Abuse
2 June 2019
Over the past four years 85 South Australian children have been removed from harmful situations due to a joint federal-state investigative team working to combat child sexual abuse. Since its establishment in 2015, the team has launched 508 investigations.
Read more details here
Ellen DeGeneres Opens Up About Past Abuse
30 May 2019
Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has revealed that she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather at the age of 15. In an interview with David Letterman for an episode of his Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, DeGeneres talked about the abuse and how she was not believed when she finally came forward. DeGeneres encourages women to share their experiences and not to suffer in silence.
Read more here
Catholic Church Opposed to Expansion of Child Sexual Abuse Reporting
23 May 2019
The WA Labor government plans to expand mandatory reporting laws to include all recognised religious leaders who are authorised to conduct worship, services and ceremonies. The new reporting obligations will also encompass knowledge of child sexual abuse gained through the confessional. According to WA Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk, Perth’s Catholic Archbishop had contacted the state government and urged them not to change the laws.
You can read the full article here
13 March 2019
Kyle Daniels, a 20-year-old swimming instructor at a Mosman swim school, has been charged with child sexual abuse. The alleged abuse took place at the pool and was against two young girls, aged six and eight. Detective Superintendent Kerlatec commended the young girls’ bravery in disclosing the abuse to their parents.
You can read the full article here.
YouTube’s Child Protection Move
1 March 2019
YouTube will disable commenting on videos of young children following the discovery of paedophile rings on YouTube after users posted provocative comments on innocent children’s videos and exploited YouTube’s algorithm to highlight videos of underage children. This decision is to reduce the risk of paedophilic behaviour.
You can read more about it here.
Child Safeguard – Proud Preferred Supplier for ASSA Members
Child Safeguard is now a proud Preferred Supplier of Child Safe services for Australian Swim
Schools Association (ASSA). ASSA is the Peak Industry Body for Swim Schools in Australia.
This partnership combines ASSA’s expertise and network within the Aquatic Industry with Child Safeguard’s own consultancy expertise.
Child Safeguard is excited to be partnering with ASSA to help Aquatic Organisations implement Child Safe Practices and keep children safer.
Marco Blanco, Managing Director, stated:
“Child Safeguard is delighted and looking forward to working with ASSA to ensure it is a leader as a peak industry body regarding child safe practices and helping its member swim schools with vital compliance matters as they head towards world best practice.”
Child Safeguard Facebook Page
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Download: Child Safeguard Brochure