Every child has the right to participate in sport and recreation within a safe environment.
The Department of Local Government,
Sport and Cultural Industries expects all sport and recreation
organisations to create and maintain safe environments that are fit for
purpose, provide positive experiences and ensures the safety of
Provide leading practice guidelines for the sport and active recreation industry in creating child safe environments.
- Whilst most people who volunteer or work with children in the
sport and recreation setting do so in a safe manner, instances of child
abuse can occur.
- 63% of Western Australian children aged 5-14 years participated in at least one sport outside of school hours (ABS, 2012).
- Whilst instances of abuse can occur in any organisation, those
that fail to uphold relevant policies, procedures and a positive culture
are at greater risk.
- It is estimated that across Australian society; 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys are victims of sexual abuse (James, 2000).
Keeping children safe is a whole of community responsibility.
Children should be able to grow and develop in a safe environment
without the risk of harm. Most people who volunteer or work with
children are safe and do so to make a positive contribution and to help
children develop to their full potential.
There is legislation that covers the protection of children,
including who is legally responsible to report certain types of child
abuse. Sport and recreation organisations are required to comply within
the Working with Children Act 2004. Relevant acts include:
Through the sport and recreation
industry there are a range of initiatives and resources to assist
organisations to create child safe environments. Some of these resources
- Fair Safe Sport
– a partnership program between the WA Sports Federation, Equal
Opportunity Commission, Working with Children Screening Unit, WA Police –
Child Abuse Squad and the Department of Sport and Recreation that
provides information, training and resources to the sport and recreation
industry to address child safeguarding and member protection. The
underlying principles are to build a positive culture within sport and
- Safe Clubs 4 Kids
– an educational project that supports the sport and recreation
industry to create and maintain safe environments for children and young
people. This project is a partnership between the Department of Local
Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, WA Sports Federation, Working
with Children Screening Unit, Surf Life Saving WA and the WA Police –
Child Abuse Squad.
- Play by the Rules
– a website aimed at community level sport and recreation to assist in
creating safe, fair and inclusive sport and recreation environments.
Everybody is morally and/or legally obligated to provide a duty of care
that ensures children are protected from all types of abuse,
discrimination and harassment.
The department has partnered with the WA Sports Federation to deliver the Fair Safe Sport project and Safe Clubs 4 Kids project.
Manager, Industry Development
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries – Sport and Recreation
Telephone 61 8 9492 9700
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) Sport and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2012. Catalogue no 4156.0, Canberra, Australia. Retrieved in July 2016.
James (2000) Trends and Issues Series (no. 146). ‘Child abuse and neglect: Redefining the issues’ Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.
6 September 2016
1 February 2017