14 September 2023

The National Office for Child Safety recently engaged the Australian Centre for Child Protection, in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, to develop the national Minimum Practice Standards: Specialist and Community Support Services Responding to Child Sexual Abuse (the Standards).

Victims, survivors and their support system can face barriers when seeking help, including gaps in services, inadequate responses, and inconsistent service provision.

The Standards provide a set of principles and benchmarks for services to promote safe and effective services that support individuals who have experienced or been impacted by child sexual abuse. The 18 month national project brought together significant research and clinical practice expertise, including expertise across the sector in academia, service design, practice, standards auditing and quality management. The project team also consulted with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and representatives from diverse groups, including LGBTQIA+, disabled communities and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

Key input was provided by a dedicated Community of Practice Lived Experience Advisory Group, including individuals from across Australia with a variety of backgrounds, which was convened to review initial themes to inform the Standards and provide ongoing review and advice to the project team in the development and refinement of the Standards.  

The group brought strong advocacy to the project to ensure that the voice of victims, survivors and their support system was embedded across the standards. This included the use of appropriate language, centring victims and survivors across each standard, and operationalising each standard to best meet their needs. 

The breadth of this expertise and sharing of lived experience provided to the project team has ensured that the final Standards are designed to both guide service providers and to assist victims, survivors, and their supporters to make informed choices about services they provide or receive. 

The Standards form a key part of Measure 24 of the First National Action Plan of the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030, to complete a baseline analysis of specialist and community support services responding to child sexual abuse.

Watch Attorney-General Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP, launch the new Minimum Practice Standards:


Read the Standards and complementary resources