Statement Of Commitment To Child Safety

Our Statement for ALL stakeholders

  • Our service is committed to child safety – WE HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE TO CHILD ABUSE
  • We want children to be safe, happy and empowered
  • We support and respect all children, as well as our educators, staff and volunteers
  • We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children
  • All allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures and reported immediately, as soon as practicable to the approved provider
  • We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously
  • Our service is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks
  • Our service has robust human resources and recruitment practices for all educators, staff and volunteers
  • Our service is committed to regularly training and educating our educators, staff and volunteers on child abuse risks
  • We support and respect all children, as well as our educators, staff and volunteers
  • We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children of diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability

If you believe or suspect a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000.

Our children:
This policy is intended to empower children who are vital and active participants in our service. We involve them when making decisions, especially about matters that directly affect them. We listen to their views and respect what they must say and implement what we can of their suggestions.

We promote diversity and tolerance in our service, and people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are welcome.

In particular, through training and information sharing we:

  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children
  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • ensure that children with a disability are safe and can participate equally.

Our educators, staff and volunteers

  • This policy guides our educators, staff and volunteers on how to behave with children in our service.
  • All of our educators, staff and volunteers must agree to abide by our code of conduct which specifies the standards of behaviour and conduct required when working with children.
  • All educators, staff and volunteers, as well as children and their families, are given the opportunity to contribute to the development of the code of conduct.

Training and supervision

  • Training and education is important to ensure that everyone in our service understands that child safety is everyone’s responsibility. We require educators to attend a minimum of 4 training sessions per annum. Child safety every 2 years.
  • We work to maintain a culture in our service that all stakeholders feel confident and comfortable in discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns. We train our educators, staff and volunteers to identify, minimise risks of child abuse.
  • New educators, staff and volunteers will be supervised, trained and/or and informed to ensure they understand our service’s commitment to child safety and protection.
  • Any inappropriate behaviour will be reported through appropriate channels, including the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Police, depending on the severity and urgency of the matter
  • Children will be removed from harm/or suspected harm (an official investigation will take place in this instance)

Recruitment

  • We take all reasonable steps to employ skilled people to work with children. We develop selection criteria and advertisements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety and an awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities. Our service understands that when recruiting educators, staff and volunteers we have ethical as well as legislative obligations.
  • We encourage applications from Aboriginal peoples, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.
  • All people engaged in child-related work, including volunteers, are required to hold a Working with Children Check and to provide evidence of this Check.
  • We carry out reference checks and police record checks to ensure that we are recruiting the right people.
  • If during the recruitment process a person’s records indicate a criminal history then the person will be given the opportunity to provide further information and context, the sentence, age and nature of the crime will take into account.

Fair procedures for personnel

  • The safety and wellbeing of children is our primary concern. We aim to be fair and just by ensuring a fair and reasonable investigation and opportunity to respond to claims and supports are in place during an investigation or disciplinary action.
  • All allegations of abuse and safety concerns will be recorded, monitored and stored accordingly.
  • All personal information considered or recorded will respect the privacy of the individuals involved, whether they be staff, volunteers, families or children, unless there is a risk to someone’s safety. We have safeguards and practices in place to ensure any personal information is protected. Everyone is entitled to know how this information is recorded, what will be done with it, and who will have access to it.

Legislative responsibilities
Our service takes our legal responsibilities seriously, including:

  • Failure to disclose: Reporting child sexual abuse is a community-wide responsibility. All adults in Victoria who have a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child under 16 have an obligation to report that information to the police
  • Failure to protect: People of authority in our service will commit an offence if they know of a substantial risk of child sexual abuse and have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently fail to do so.
  • Any personnel who are mandatory reporters must comply with their duties.

Risk management

  • In Victoria, services are required to protect children when a risk is identified (see information about failure to protect above). In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children.
  • We have risk management strategies in place to identify, assess, and take steps to minimise child abuse risks, which include risks posed by physical environments (for example, any doors that can lock), and online environments (for example, no staff or volunteer is to have contact with a child in services on social media).

Regular review

  • This policy will be reviewed every 12 months or following a significant incident. We will ensure that families and children have the opportunity to contribute.
  • Allegations of abuse will be reported directly to the approved provider and Police and Department of Education and Training
  • We work to ensure all children, families, staff and volunteers know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour. Training every 2 years will be provided to educators and information for families through newsletters

REVIEW

POLICY REVIEWED

July 2018

NEXT REVIEW DATE

July 2019

MODIFICATIONS

Policy created for First Idea Family Day Care Services, inclusive of changes to the National Quality Standards and Education and Care National Regulations

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Testimonials

My kids and I have always felt home at First Idea. The team at First Idea have been so professional and understanding. I highly recommend their services to anyone who wants a safe…

Steven Zane

My kids always feel home at First Idea Family Day Care. Thanks to the team for not just doing their job, but adding a personal touch into their duties at work each day.

Rebecca Paul

The staff at First Idea family have been so helpful right from the time of admission till each day of nurturing my son to a better individual. I can’t stop thanking them for everything.

Daniel Johnson