First round of consultations now closed. Second round of consultations opening late August

We are proud to share with you that on behalf of the National Office for Child Safety (National Office), the University of South Australia, Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) will conduct a baseline analysis of specialist and community support services for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. ACCP, led by Amanda Paton, will deliver this project in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting and draw upon a range of subject matter experts across Australia.

The baseline analysis project is a measure under the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030 (National Strategy), led by the National Office, with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (National Action Plan Measure 24). The National Strategy was launched in October 2021. The National Strategy aims to build a holistic, nationally coordinated and consistent response that reduces the risk, extent and impacts of child sexual abuse and related harms in Australia.  

The baseline analysis will:

  • develop minimum practice standards for services, agreed by Commonwealth, state and territory governments
  • identify Australian services that meet the agreed standards
  • find gaps in the service system
  • make recommendations for expanding or developing new support services ‑ including for the National Strategy’s priority groups
  • make recommendations on the feasibility of developing a nationally consistent minimum data collection for relevant support services.

The baseline analysis will provide a clear picture of the existing service sector and where individuals are able to seek support. Benchmarking of services against agreed minimum practice standards will enable the National Office to gain an understanding of where there are service gaps, the demand and capacity on the sector, and where resources could be directed in future. Importantly, the standards are not a regulatory tool or tied to sector funding. Following the baseline analysis, ACCP will make recommendations on how to improve service access and options. This project will ultimately inform the development of a national website and helpline for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and enable victims and survivors to access the best possible support, by ensuring referred services are operating at a minimum standard.

ACCP will consult broadly on this project with Commonwealth, states and territories; key priority groups; key sector representatives and non-government organisations working on preventing and responding to child sexual abuse; and key advisory groups. Consultation will take place in different phases and will include a mix of surveys, virtual workshops and focused consultations, and consultation participants will receive feedback from consultation processes. This will be particularly critical for the development of minimum practice standards, where we hope to obtain diverse and comprehensive stakeholder input. Consideration will also be given to existing relevant practice standards.

In order for this project to be a success, engagement from as broad a range of stakeholders as possible will be critical. Watch this space for the link to an online survey on the draft standards that will be released in the coming weeks.

We would be grateful if you could also pass this information onto your networks.