DHS recognises children and young people are valued citizens and that the future of South Australia is linked to their wellbeing. It is vital to South Australia that all children and young people have the chance to thrive.
We want each child and young person to:
- be safe from harm
- do well at all levels of learning and to have skills for life
- enjoy a healthy lifestyle
- be active citizens who have a voice and influence.
These outcomes are set out in the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.
Every person in South Australia must protect and promote these outcomes for children and young people.
DHS supports children and young people to feel:
- respected, and
- encouraged to reach their individual potential.
DHS powers and responsibilities
The department has certain powers and responsibilities around the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. We take these powers seriously and will provide early intervention when there is a risk that children and young people will be harmed.
DHS is a key partner in the South Australian Government’s Child and Family Support System (CFSS) reform activities.
We educate our staff
We continue to develop a culture in the department where the protection and support of children and young people is key. We make all staff, including new hires, aware of their responsibilities in this area.
DHS ensures staff include child safety and protection all aspects of their work. Everyone must follow the:
- Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy
- Working with Children and Young People Code of Conduct.
Protection and support of children and young people is part of:
- DHS screening processes
- recruitment and selection
- regular compliance reviews.
This is our responsibility as set out in the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016. It is one of the ways we support the provision of child-safe environments.
Many of our staff are ‘mandated notifiers’. This means if they suspect risk or harm to a child or young person, which they identify while performing their duties with DHS, they must report it.
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Feedback and helplines
If you believe that someone working for DHS has breached the Working with Children and Young People Code of Conduct, you can send us feedback or complaints.
If you believe a child or young person is at risk of harm, phone the Child Abuse Report Line on 13 14 78.
You may also seek support from:
- Kids Help Line. Phone 1800 55 1800
- Lifeline. Phone 131 114
- Youth Help Line. Phone 1300 13 17 19
- Parent Help Line. Phone 1300 364 100
DHS is responsible for administering:
- the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016
- relevant sections of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.