Our Commitment to Child Safety
We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all students at our school. We support the rights of children and will act without hesitation to ensure a child safe environment is maintained at all times. We also support the rights and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in creating and maintaining a child safe environment for all members of our school community.
We include our commitment to child safety in our Child Protection Policy and our Child Protection Code of Conduct.
Victorian Child Safe Standards
The Victorian Child Safe Standards comprise seven Standards, as well as Inclusion Principles. The Standards are:
- Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements.
- Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety.
- Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children.
- Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel.
- Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.
- Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse.
- Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.
Our Child Protection Program includes work systems, practices, policies and procedures designed to ensure our compliance with the Standards and the Principles. Compliance with the Standards and Principles is also a registration requirement.
In implementing the seven Standards, we take account of and make reasonable efforts to accommodate the diversity of all children, including (but not limited to) the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with disabilities, and children who are vulnerable.
Child protection is everyone’s responsibility. At our school, all members of our governing body, staff, volunteers and contractors have a shared responsibility for contributing to the safety and protection of children.
We acknowledge that child abuse may occur in many ways including:
- Sexual offences
- Physical violence
- Serious emotional or psychological harm
- Serious neglect
- Family violence
Our Child Protection Program
In order to comply with our responsibilities in relation to child protection, we have established our Child Protection Program which sets out our work systems, practices, policies and procedures designed to not only ensure compliance, but also to develop a child safe culture. We are committed to the effective implementation of our Child Protection Program and ensuring that it is appropriately reviewed and updated. We adopt a risk management approach by identifying key risk indicators and assessing child safety risks based on a range of factors including the nature of our school's activities, physical and online environments and the characteristics of the student body.
Our Child Protection Program relates to all aspects of protecting children from abuse and includes:
- Clear information as to what constitutes child abuse and associated key risk indicators
- Clear procedures for responding to and reporting allegations of child abuse
- Strategies to support, encourage and enable staff, volunteers, contractors, external education providers, parents and students to understand, identify, discuss and report child protection matters
- Procedures for recruiting and screening our governing body members, staff and volunteers
- Procedures for reporting reportable conduct and/or misconduct
- Pastoral care strategies designed to empower students and keep them safe
- Policies with respect to cultural diversity and students with disabilities
- A child protection training program
- Information regarding the steps to take after a disclosure of abuse to protect, support and assist children
- Guidelines with respect to record keeping and confidentiality
- Policies to ensure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and standards (including the Victorian Child Safe Standards)
- A system for continuous review and improvement.
Child Safe Recruitment Practices
We are committed to ensuring that our recruitment practices create a safe environment for our students. To this end, we have established policies and procedures for recruiting employees, our governing body members, volunteers and third party contractors, and for assessing their suitability to work with children. Any worker who engages in child-related work that involves direct contact with a child (being a person under 18 years of age) as a part of the worker’s duties needs a Working with Children Check prior to commencing their role.
Depending on the nature and seriousness of a child protection concern, there are various bodies which we and our staff may need to report the concern to. These include:
- Mandatory Reporting to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Conduct Reportable to the Commission for Children and Young People if it involves an employee
- Conduct Reportable to the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) if it involves a teacher.
Staff, contractors, volunteers, students, parents/carers and other community members who have concerns that a child may be subject to abuse are asked to contact our Senior Child Safety Officer. All communications will be treated confidentially on a need to know basis and without threat of punishment or victimisation.
Senior Child Care Safety Officer
Sandra Holland, Head of School (Operations) Tel: 9866 3540 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whenever there are concerns that a child is in immediate danger the Police should be called on 000. If you have any questions regarding our school’s child protection, and how it applies to you, our Child Safety Officers are available for advice.