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.
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!
We look forward to working with you 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.
Child Safeguard is excited to announce that we have been endorsed by the NSW Education Standards Authority to deliver Child Safe Training for Early Childhood Teachers! We look forward to helping educators keep children safer in early childhood centres by implementing the Child Safe Standards.
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.
25 October 2018
Marco Blanco attended the Royal Life Saving Australia Charity Golf Day with AUSTSWIM on 25 October 2018. AUSTSWIM NSW & ACT raised awareness for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and emphasised the significance of child safety in Australia.
Thank you for having us!
24 October 2018
Child Safeguard had the honour of attending the NSW Children’s Week Awards 2018. The awards recognised the great achievements of children, young people and adults who worked towards positively impacting the lives of children and young people in 2018.
We congratulate all the award winners and thank the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People for hosting a great event!
22 October 2018
Child Safeguard was honoured to be invited to attend the official event hosted by the NSW Government for the National Apology. The NSW Premier delivered an apology to survivors on behalf of the NSW State Government.
17 October 2018
The AIFS reported that approximately $5.2 billion was expended on child protection services in 2016-2017. Child abuse creates ongoing long-term effects for survivors including homelessness, juvenile offending and drug & alcohol misuse, creating a cycle of economic failure and financial cost in Australia.
You can read the full article here.
15 October 2018
Marco Blanco appeared on ABC News to discuss changes to the National Redress Scheme and discussed the National Apology to Survivors of Institutional Child Abuse. The Redress Scheme reform now provides survivors an option to choose to share their impact statement with the offending institution.
This reform enables institutions to carry out investigations and financial assessments, but survivors argue that the reform forces victims to relive the trauma and do not trust institutions with their sensitive information.
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.”
Marco Blanco, Managing Director, delivered a presentation at the ACWA 2018 Conference at the International Convention Centre (Sydney) on How to Become a Child Safe Organisation through the Child Safe Standards. The Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) is a national body for community work organisations.
The presentation provided insight in how community organisations in the Australian welfare sector can work towards implementing the 10 Child Safe Standards.
Latest News – September 2018
Former Scouts Leader Sentenced for Child Sexual Abuse
Former Scouts Leader, Michael Schulz, was convicted of child sexual offences, including grooming and sexual penetration of a child under 16, in relation to the 14-year old Scouts girl. The victim alleged Scouts failed to adequately respond to the abuse and shuffled her around “so they didn’t have to deal with me in that group and having to be able to deal with a child that had gone through that.”
You can read the full news article here.
Police Can’t Keep Up with Online Child Abuse
Australian Police identified a proliferation of self-produced child exploitation material online. The online grooming process often involves the predator initially obtaining a compromising image or video from a child. The predator then blackmails the child by threatening to expose material. The Australian Federal Police Manager of Victim-Base Crime, Commander Lesa Gale, commented that “the number is so great…we can’t keep up.”
You can read the full news article here.
We recommend that all parents and children refer to the eSafety Commissioner’s website to understand online safety guidelines.
Adelaide Archbishop Wilson Resigns
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Phillip Wilson, who was convicted for concealing child sexual abuse that occurred in the 1970s. The resignation comes after Malcolm Turnbull called for the Pope to sack Wilson and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called for the “superiors in the church…[to] take action” after Wilson initially refused to resign after his conviction.
Wilson was sentenced to 12 months detention.
You can read the full news article here.
NSW Man Charged with Additional 210 Charges for Child Abuse
A NSW man from the Tweed Heads region has been charged with an additional 210 offences including producing child abuse material, aggravated sexual assaulted and stalking. The man is alleged to have committed offences against at least 160 victims, including young children and the elderly.
You can read the full news article here.
Child Safe Training Workshop – Austswim Soak it up 18!
Child Safeguard delivered a child safe workshop & Conference Presentation at the Austswim NSW Splashout 2018 Aquatic Education Conference and Aqua summit on 21-22 July 2018.
Topics covered were:
- Developing a Child Safe Policy for a Swim Centre
- Minimising risks in a Swim Centre
- How to detect and prevent grooming
- Complaints Handling
- Legal obligations
- How to train staff in child safety
This workshop provided Swim Centres with practical tools in how to implement Best Practice – the 10 Child Safe Standards:
- Child Safe Culture
- Child Participation
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Equity & Diversity
- Child Safe Recruitment
- Child Safe Complaints Handling
- Education & Training
- Risk Management
- Continuous Improvement
- Policies & Procedures
Participants were swim centre managers and owners/operators.
If you would like more information on how your Swim Centre can become a Child Safe Swim Centre, contact us on (02) 9252 3198 for a Free Consultation.
Child Safe Training for Shopfront Arts Co-Op
Tuesday, 10 July 2018
Child Safeguard delivered a Training Workshop to Shopfront Arts Co-Op in Sydney on Tuesday 10 July 2018, as part of Child Safeguard’s Child Safe Certification Process.
The workshop provided participants with skills and insights to enable Shopfront to implement Best Practice in Child & Youth Safety and the 10 Child Safe Standards endorsed by the Royal Commission.
Participants developed creative ideas in how to implement the Child Safe Standards in practice.
Child Safeguard is proud to work with clients that are passionate and committed to Child & Youth Safety and Empowerment!
Launch of the Sydney Sports Incubator (SSI)
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Marco Blanco met with the NSW Minister for Sports, Stuart Ayres, at the launch of the Sydney Sports Incubator (SSI) at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday 26 June 2018.
SSI will be the leading the hub of science and innovation in the sports start-up industry. It is a joint initiative between the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) and Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) providing resources for start-ups with ideas to enhance wellbeing, health and performance. SSI aims to become the ‘silicon valley of sport’.
Mr Ayres stated
“We are encouraging the development and retention of sports lead innovation right here in New South Wales, which in turn will promote more jobs in the sporting field, raise our profile and give our athletes the chance to access and influence the latest technologies before they hit the market.”
Child Safeguard is excited to be partnering with the Element 8 Group in the development of the Child Safe Sports App.
Child Safeguard welcomes Government response to Royal Commission
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Managing Director of Child Safeguard, Marco Blanco, welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to making a national apology to survivors of child abuse, the creation of a national office for child safety, and the support for the 10 Child Safe Standards.
The Federal Government has accepted or accepted in principle 104 of 122 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Government is considering a further 18 recommendations.
Marco Blanco stated,
“Child Safeguard commends the Federal Government for accepting the creation of a new National Office for child safety, and by incorporating the Child Safe Standards into the National Principles. All child-related organisations should now be working towards implementing the Child Safe Standards to become a Child Safe Organisation. We now encourage all State and Territory Governments to work towards full implementation of the Child Safe Standards.”
Child Safeguard congratulates all Austswim NSW Award winners
Child Safeguard proudly sponsored the Austswim NSW Awards of Excellence which were held at the Epping Club on 25th May 2018.
Our Managing Director, Marco Blanco, represented Child Safeguard and introduced the MC, Elka Whalan.
Child Safeguard is specialised in providing child safe solutions to Swim Centres.
If you would like to learn more how Child Safeguard can help your Swim Centre, contact us on (02)92523198 to arrange a Free Consultation.
Child Safeguard Proud Sponsors of Austswim NSW Awards of Excellence
Child Safeguard is proud to sponsor the Austswim NSW Awards of Excellence. The awards dinner will be held on 25th May 2018 at the Epping Club.
The Austswim Awards of Excellence recognise brilliance, commitment and innovation in the teaching of swimming and water safety.
Child Safeguard’s Managing Director, Marco Blanco, will be introducing the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Elka Whalan. Elka is a dual Olympian, multiple medallist, mother of three young children, and TV personality.
Child Safeguard congratulates all nominees!
CHILD SAFEGUARD IN THE MEDIA
ABC News – Sentencing of Former USA Gymnastics’ Team Physician – 2018
Marco Blanco appeared on ABC News to discuss the biggest child sexual abuse scandal in US sporting history. Judge Aquilina handed down a landmark 175-year sentence to Larry Nassar. Mr Nassar was the physician for USA Gymnastics and served at 4 Olympic games, and found guilty of numerous cases of child sexual abuse.
Mr Blanco discussed the implications of this case on Australian sporting bodies and the high risk of child grooming in sports. Mr Blanco emphasised the importance of implementing child safe standards to prevent abuse in sport.
You can find the full interview on ABC News here.
ABC News – Royal Commission’s Final Hearing
Marco Blanco, Founder and Managing Director of Child Safeguard appeared on ABC News on Thursday 14 December, to discuss the final hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr Blanco noted that the handing down of the final report was,
“a great opportunity for Australia to become world leaders in the protection and safeguarding of children.”
Mr Blanco anticipated that the Royal Commission would recommend that organisations would be required to implement 10 Child Safe Standards, that are essential to creating a Child Safe Organisation. In addition Mr Blanco called for a National Approach to coordinate the implementation of the Child Safe Standards.
Click here to watch the full interview.
Child Abuse in Sports (USA) – May 2018
Former world record holder and olympic swimmer, Ariana Kukors Smith, is taking legal action against USA Swimming, claiming that the governing body was aware that her coach was sexually abusing her as a child and failed to report the abuse to authorities.
Kumors Smith alleges that her former coach, Sean Hutchinson, began grooming her at the age of 13, which led to a sexual abuse when she was 17 years of age.
Kumors Smith stated,
“Those at USA Swimming need to change the culture of protecting predator coaches over young and vulnerable athletes such as myself.”
Read more at the guardian here.
Katoomba Circus School’s Sexual and Physical Abuse – May 2018
Three of the seven members from a regional performing arts school charged with 127 offences relation to the abuse of children, have been released on bail.
The group of seven people including a 17-year old girl, two women and four men, were charged with sexual and physical abuse charges relating to three boys at the Katoomba circus school between 2014 and 2016. The group has been charged with numerous offences including aggravated sexual assault of children under 10, sexual intercourse with children under 10, and aggravated kidnapping.
You can read the full article here.
ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Final Report – December 2017
The Royal Commission handed down its Final Report on Friday 15 December 2017 after a five-year long inquiry. The Final Report contains 12 volumes worth of recommendations aimed at improving the child safety practices of Australian institutions, including schools, out-of-home care, and religious institutions. Each volume focuses on areas of child sexual abuse and common themes investigated by the Royal Commission.
Notably, Volume 6 titled ‘Making institutions child safe’ contains 10 key Child Safe Standards to be implemented across Australian institutions. The Final Report’s recommendations address the need to increase education and awareness about the prevalence of child abuse in Australia, and recommends additional services for all individuals affected by child abuse.
Importantly, the Royal Commission recognised the failure of Australian institutions to prioritise the best interests of the children. Instead, organisations prioritised their reputations, allowing the cycle of child abuse to continue. The Final Report recommended more consistent recordkeeping, information sharing, assessment of, and responses to child abuse within institutions.
The Royal Commission calls for a uniform national body to monitor the implementation of these recommendations.
Child Safeguard’s Managing Director, Marco Blanco, stated;
“Australia now has an incredible opportunity to become world leaders in the protection of children and creation of child safe organisations. Child Safeguard calls on the Federal government to ensure the recommendations are implemented in full. We also call on child related organisations to implement the recommended Child Safe Standards, to ensure children and young people are protected from harm.”
Supervision lacking in child drownings
The findings of research undertaken by the Royal Life Saving Society has found that in every case of backyard drownings involving a child under 5 in the last 15 years, there was a lack of active supervision.
In raising awareness of the importance of proper supervision, Ms Peden (National Research Manager, Royal Life Saving Society) told the Sydney Morning Herald “No supervised child has ever drowned”.
461 children under five have drowned in Australia in the last 15 years. With summer approaching, it is crucial that children are adequately supervised when swimming.
Child Safe Sports App
Child Safeguard was pleased to present at the Sport NSW Information & Innovation Forum to present our work on the Child Safe Sports App.
Child Safeguard is partnering with the Sydney Sports Incubator (SSI), NSW Institute of Sport, and the Sydney Olympic Park Authority in the development of an App aimed at making children safer in Sports.
Child Safeguard currently works with Sporting Associations and Clubs in carrying out Child Safe Sports Audits, Providing Child Safe Training, and Drafting Child Safe Policies and Procedures.
Feel free to contact us on (02) 9252 3198 to learn more about Child Safe Sports.
Child Safeguard in partnership with the City of Sydney
Child Safeguard is proud to have delivered training for the City of Sydney as part of the Connect Sydney program.
This innovative 1 day Child Safe training workshop provides participants with knowledge, skills, and evidence-based solutions in how to build a child safe organisation through the implementation of child safe standards. Areas covered in the workshop include:
- How to develop a culture that is child safe
- How to design child safe policies and codes of conduct
- How to implement effective risk management procedures
- How to implement best practice procedures in child safe recruitment
- How to respond effectively to disclosures and incidents of abuse
The training content incorporates best practice standards in child protection and expert analysis from recent developments and recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
At the completion of the workshop, participants have an understanding of:
- How to make your organisation Child Safe
- Mandatory reporting legislative requirements
- How to promote the participation of children and young people in your organisation
- Working With Children Check requirements
- Best practice findings and recommendations from the Royal Commission
This training workshop is designed for front line social workers, HR Managers, designated child protection officers, or any individual working in a child related organisation seeking to implement child safe best practices in their organisation.
Child Safeguard in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission
Our Managing Director, Marco Blanco, was invited to provide a presentation at the TeachMeet Human Rights Talk hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission in March 2017.
Marco gave a presentation about the importance of Child Protection in Education and highlighted best practice guidelines in how to create a child safe school.
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Please download a copy of our 2017 Brochure:
Download: Child Safeguard Brochure