CHILD SAFE POLICY
Keeping our children safe is an important responsibility we all share. Our children have the right to be protected wherever they are, and that includes at school and in other education environments away from home.
The standards apply to registered schools and other organisations that work with children and young people up to 18 years old. The standards build on our already strong stance on preventing and responding to child abuse, providing more accountability and more consistency about how these issues are dealt with.
New child safe standards require schools and organisations to have particular measures in place to prevent and respond to child abuse, sending a clear message that abuse will not be tolerated. The standards call for documented child safe policies, codes of conduct and clear strategies for responding to suspected abuse. Schools and other organisations have new accountability for minimising the risk of child abuse in their organisation. Empowering children to understand their rights and raise concerns are also part of the new standards, because we know this is a powerful protective factor against child abuse.
Child safe standards include special protections for some children such as those with a disability, or those who might come from an Aboriginal or culturally and linguistically diverse background. This will help ensure all our children, regardless of their background and needs, are protected in our learning environments. The safety of our children is paramount.
What the child safe standards mean for your child and school. Students have the right to be safe and protected. We have a comprehensive Student Engagement, Well-being and Inclusion policy, safety procedures and practices in place which aim to keep students safe during any activity or program we offer. Ensuring student safety is a top priority. Child abuse will not be tolerated. We take the responsibilities for managing child safe standards very seriously.
What we do to prevent abuse :
We support all students through a preventative and intervention approach. Our teachers deliver classroom social skills, well-being counselling and activities at each level which build positive relationships, self-confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness skills.
Our teachers provide curriculum and programs valuing difference and that focus on student safety. In all activities, we actively promote an environment which is safe, supportive and inclusive. Programs to support child safety and positive relationships include: ‘Welcome to the Orchestra Program’ includes Social Skills Development, Appropriate Behaviours and Habits, Life Education, Buddies and Peers. Directors and teachers along with participants design expectations, rights, and responsibilities and review them on a quarterly basis.
We have a Child Safe Policy that includes our Code of Conduct, Child Safe Prevention and Intervention practices as well as procedures for the utilisation of strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety.
Participants, staff and families are supported by the Directors, the Well-being Coordinator, Teachers, and Counsellors. Referral to other supports is considered where applicable (outside allied health professionals and specialists agencies).
All teachers/volunteers hold completed Working With Children (WWCC) and Police Checks (NCC). Teachers undertake Mandatory Reporting training annually and report serious student well-being, health and safety concerns to Directors/Well-being Coordinators.
What is child abuse? Child abuse includes:
Who can I talk to about this?
If you are worried about child abuse, for you or someone you know, there are people you can talk to. Talking to an adult you trust about any concerns you have. That person might be a parent or relative, a teacher, or someone who works at your school. You may want to talk to more than one person about your concerns.
There are services that you can contact to access more information, and in some cases, to speak to somebody about your concerns.
National Child Abuse Helpline (Child Wise) – 1800 991 099
A toll-free number with access to expert advice from trained counsellors and an opportunity to speak up about child abuse.
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
For any time and for any reason – free, private and confidential phone and online counselling 24/7.
Headspace (National Youth Mental Health Foundation) – 1800 650 890
Headspace can help if you are aged 12 or over and you are going through a tough time. You can talk to someone at Headspace on the phone, online or in person. They also have a lot of information on their website.
Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault – 1800 806 292
Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault provide services to child and adult victims/survivors of sexual assault. The assault may have occurred recently or in the past.
Create Foundation – 1800 655 105
Creating a better life for children and young people in care.
Youthlaw – 03 9611 2412
Free and confidential legal advice.