Child safeguarding

Every child has the right to feel safe when participating in arts, cultural, community, sporting and recreation activities.

If you have an urgent concern about the safety, health or welfare of a child, contact emergency services on 000.

If you are a child or adult who has been the victim of child abuse, or if you have information about someone else being abused, you can contact police anytime on 131 444 and can request to speak to a member of the Child Abuse Squad.

If you have concerns for a child’s wellbeing, contact the Department of Communities on 1800 271 889.

All children are entitled to explore and enjoy life in a safe environment. Organisations that are involved in child-related work have a responsibility to keep children and young people safe from harm. Protecting children and young people from abuse, discrimination and harassment is a legal requirement and a moral obligation.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) has established a dedicated Child Safeguarding Implementation Unit to lead child safeguarding work across DLGSC, and support and build capability in local government, arts, cultural, sport and recreation organisations to embed child safe practices.

The unit can provide assistance to sectors to better understand child safety risks and support them to create child safe environments by implementing child safe practices.

The unit’s work is driven by the recommendations and findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

You can contact DLGSC’s Child Safeguarding Implementation Unit at

Making complaints or raising concerns

Please raise any complaints or concerns regarding children or young people involved with a DLGSC sport, recreation, or cultural activity.

Raise a complaint or concern

Sport Integrity Australia Review of the WAIS Women's Artistic Gymnastics Program 

On 22 April 2022, a review carried out by Sport Integrity Australia of the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG) Program found it reasonably likely that some gymnasts suffered abuse and/or harm while participating in the program. Click below for more information on how DLGSC is responding to this report, including the Acknowledgement Payment Scheme established by the WA Government.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) was established in January 2013 to examine institutional responses to child abuse. In 2017, the Royal Commission made 409 recommendations aimed at preventing abuse from occurring and providing support for survivors of abuse.

State Government response

Of the 409 recommendations made by the Royal Commission, 310 are for the State Government to action. The findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission are extensive and require careful and thorough consideration.

Reform is a long-term commitment. The State Government is currently 5 years into a 10-year implementation plan with almost half of the recommendations completed. WA’s progress on implementation of Royal Commission recommendations is outlined in annual progress reports, the 2021 Progress Report is now available.

Child safety in local government

The Royal Commission recognised the role that local governments play in building a community approach to child safety. The Unit has been working to support the local government sector in understanding the child safe reforms that impact them as well as building and maintaining child safety in their communities.

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

In 2019, the Council of Australian Governments endorsed the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations which build on the 10 Child Safe Standards proposed by the Royal Commission. The National Principles have a broader scope that goes beyond child sexual abuse to cover other forms of potential harm to children and young people. The National Principles outline strategies an organisation should adopt to create a child safe culture, implement policies and processes that promote child wellbeing and work in ways that encourage the participation of children, young people and the broader community. The National Principles are focused on preventing abuse as well as developing systems that improve the identification and reporting of abuse if it occurs.

Independent oversight system

The Royal Commission recommended that organisations engaged in child related work or activities implement the Child Safe Standards and for implementation and compliance to be monitored and enforced by an independent oversight body.

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet is leading the work to develop a system of independent oversight that improves child safety in organisations.

Resources for child safe organisations

The Child Safe Organisations Knowledge Hub is part of the State Government’s commitment to supporting the development of safe organisations for Western Australian children and young people.

The Commissioner for Children and Young People WA has developed a range of resources for organisations, their leaders, staff and volunteers that reflect the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. Information also includes guidance for children and young people on how to make a complaint and how an organisation can create a child-friendly complaints system.

Self-assessment against the National Principles

Organisations that undertake child-related work or activities have a responsibility to create a safe environment for children and young people.

When an organisation provides a safe environment, children and young people usually have more fun, are more engaged and are more likely to continue participating in the future.

DLGSC has adapted the Australian Human Rights Commission’s self-assessment tool to:

  • assist arts, cultural, community, sport and recreation organisations to reflect on their current child safe practices against the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
  • identify areas for improvement, to act and make positive changes.

The self-assessment tool is a resource that assists organisations to reflect upon and improve their child safe practices.

Page reviewed 07 June 2024