A mandatory Child Safe Scheme, a residential care workers register and development of a child protection audit tool are all among new measures helping to keep NSW children safe, according to a report released today.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the NSW Government’s annual progress report provides an update on actions in 2021 to implement recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“Keeping children safe is our absolute priority. We have continued to make real progress while navigating a global pandemic, but there is still more to be done,” Mr Speakman said.

“We will continue to work hard throughout 2022 to protect children and young people, support victims and survivors and hold perpetrators to account for their horrific crimes.”

Key points mentioned in the annual report include:

 Introduction of new laws establishing the Child Safe Scheme, a regulatory framework requiring certain NSW child-related organisations to implement Child Safe Standards;

 Boosted protection for young people in detention, including expanding support services, trauma-informed counselling, and embedding a youth-centric and child safe approach in every Youth Justice centre;

 A new child protection audit tool to drive continuous improvement in the quality of child protection casework;

 Development of a new framework for preventing and responding to problematic and harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people;

 Completion of the residential care workers register build. When released, the register will support agencies making decisions about the suitability of an individual to provide care to children and young people in residential care; and

 The Department of Education continuing to deliver training and resources to improve online safety for children.

“Everyone in our community has a responsibility to keep children safe. The new Child Safe Scheme starting in 2022 will help create safer communities and is a big step forward in protecting our children and young people,” Mr Henskens said.

The NSW Government is making record investments to improve child safety and to support survivors, including $127 million over five years to implement responses to the Royal Commission’s recommendations. The fourth annual progress report can be accessed here.

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