Child Safety Standard 7 – Processes for complaints and concerns are child-focused.

Clubs should focus on

  1. The organization has an accessible, child-focused complaint-handling policy that clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of leadership, staff and volunteers approach to dealing with different types of complaints, breaches of relevant policies or the Code of Conduct, and obligations to act and report.
  2. Effective complaint-handling processes are understood by children and young people, families, staff and volunteers, and are culturally safe.
  3. Complaints are taken seriously and responded to promptly and thoroughly.
  4. The organization has policies and procedures in place that address reporting complaints and concerns to relevant authorities, whether or not the law requires reporting and co-operates with law enforcement.
  5. Reporting, privacy, and employment law obligations are met.

Documents required for compliance

  • A clear-to-understand, culturally safe, accessible, and child-focused complaints handling policy.
  • The policy is inclusive of;
  • How adults and children can make a complaint.
  • How the club will respond to and investigate the complaint promptly and thoroughly.
  • Have a complaints process that is accessible to the full diversity of children, staff, volunteers, families and communities.
  • Covers alleged abuse and harm of children by adults and by other children.
  • Covers breaches of the organization’s code of conduct.
  • Sets out what support and assistance will be provided for those making a complaint.
  • Outline how risks to children will be managed when a complaint is raised and an investigation is underway.
  • Cover recorded keeping obligations.
  • Support privacy and employment law obligations to be met.
  • Documents in print or outline, describe the complaints process for staff, volunteers, children, families and communities.
  • Policies highlight what matters are for internal investigation, matters that should be passed on to local authorities or both.
  • Disciplinary policies support the organization to take action when a complaint is raised.

 Actions required for compliance

  • Information about how to make a complaint is public knowledge and available for anyone’s use.
  • The Club provides all officials, staff, and volunteers with support and information on what and how to report, including to authorities outside of the club.
  • Complaints are taken seriously and dealt with accordingly.
  • All risks to children are identified and managed.
  • Complaints are responded to promptly and thoroughly.
  • Children’s safety is prioritized and meets the privacy and employment law obligations.
  • Supports everyone involved in the complaints process.
  • Reports complaints of alleged abuse or harm to the relevant authorities, and law enforcement, demonstrating active corporation.
  • Records are kept of complaints in line with privacy laws, including concerns raised about the safety of children and disclosures about alleged abuse or harm of children, and actions taken to respond.
  • All involved in the process (children, families, and communities) are consulted with when designing and reviewing complaint-handling policies and procedures.
  • The organization reviews complaint-handling policies and procedures at regular intervals

Complaints Management Tips and Scripts Fact Sheet
Complaints Register Template