YMCA NSW is accredited by the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) under the Safeguarding Children Program.
This program is a voluntary accreditation scheme designed for organisations who have a duty of care to children and young people whilst delivering a service or activity to them and/or their families. It systematically builds the capacity of organisations to keep children and young people safe from abuse and exploitation by staff, volunteers or other related individuals.
Gaining full accreditation means that YMCA NSW successfully meets and complies to the ACF’s seven standards of the accreditation requirements. It recognises that we know how to keep children and young people safe from harm and endorses our efforts to actively pursue the highest level of child safety in our organisation.
The accreditation also highlights our ability to:
- recognise the factors that increase a child's vulnerability to maltreatment
- be aware of the vulnerabilities which may indicate a need to assess, monitor or curtail the behaviour of individuals in relation to children and young people within organisations
- create an environment which limits the opportunity for children to be maltreated
- develop and maintain a culture that is child-focused, transparent and respectful
- implement a comprehensive framework that ensures appropriate policies and guidelines for all individuals associated with an organisation
Over the past few years, YMCA NSW has worked hard to ensure safeguarding of children and young people is embedded in its culture.
- We created and implemented the YMCA NSW Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Framework that demonstrates how safeguarding will be built into all areas of our business and operations.
- We established a dedicated Risk and Assurance team including a Child Protection Unit.
- We introduced new reporting tools for staff to report any behaviour not consistent with child safe practices including the independently-run Whistle-Blower service for clients and third parties who can make anonymous reports of actual or suspected wrongdoing.
- We significantly improved recruitment and induction processes, with all new staff now required to pass a Working with Children Check and Police Check and all staff required to complete regular, mandatory child protection and safeguarding training.
- We regularly distribute child safety resources to our staff and clients.
For more information on the accreditation process, visit Australian Childhood Foundation's website.