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Child Safety

Child Safety

At bestchance, we are committed to protecting all children in our programs.  In order to do this, we focus on two areas of child abuse prevention.

Firstly, we screen all potential staff, volunteers and educators and provide supervision and training to ensure that safe and appropriate strategies are implemented when caring for your child.  All staff, volunteers and educators regardless of their role, hold a current Police Check and a Working With Children Check prior to commencing including identity, references and qualification confirmations.   All contractors engaged by bestchance must also have a current Working With Children Check.

All staff are Mandated by Law to report any:-

  • alleged, disclosed or suspected sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16; and

All early childhood educators are required to report any:-

  • alleged, disclosed or suspected sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16; and
  • alleged, disclosed or suspected physical abuse of a child under the age of 16.

All Mandatory Reporting must be reported to Victoria Police in the first instance and then Child Protection Services and any program specific reporting requirements.  In these instances, it will not be possible in many instances to discuss this action with you prior to reporting.

Secondly, we provide advice and services to families who may be struggling and at risk of harming or neglecting their children.  All families experience times when they are under pressure.  Please do not hesitate to seek assistance during these tough times.

bestchance staff are trained in recognising indicators of child abuse and neglect and will discuss any concerns about a child’s wellbeing with the Program Manager.  In some instances it may be necessary to report these concerns to Victoria Police, Department of Health and Human Services and/or the Department of Education.

For further information refer to the Child Safety Policy and Procedure and the Child Protection Policy/Procedure copies of which are available from reception and/or our website.

Child Safety Policy and Procedure

Child Safety Code of Conduct

Ministerial Order No. 870


Child Protection

Any employee, volunteer Family Day Care Educator and contractor concerned about a child being abused must first, report these concerns to their up line manager or Child Safety Delegate.  The Department of Health and Human Services must then be advised, through the up line manager of Child Safety Delegate.

It is mandatory for any person registered as a teacher or an early childhood teacher under the Education and Training Reform Act, to report physical and/or sexual abuse against children.  Any adult is mandated to report sexual offences against a child under the age of 16.

New criminal offences to improve responses to child sexual abuse

Three new criminal offences have been introduced, to improve responses within organisations and the community to child sexual abuse.

The offences form part of the Victorian Government’s response to the recommendations of Betrayal of Trust, the report of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.

‘Failure to disclose’ offence

A new offence came into effect on 27 October 2014 for adults who fail to disclose child sexual abuse to police. The new offence applies to all adults, not just professionals who work with children.

Any adult who holds a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child in Victoria, must report that belief to police, unless they have a reasonable excuse for not reporting.

For information about how the offence may affect the reporting obligations of funded organisations and Department of Health & Human Services staff, a fact sheet is available to download from this page.

‘Failure to protect’ offence

A new ‘failure to protect’ offence came into effect on 1 July 2015 that applies to people within organisations who knew of a risk of child sexual abuse by someone in the organisation and had the authority to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently failed to do so.

‘Grooming’ offence

A grooming offence is now in effect to target individuals who communicate with a child or their parents with the intent of committing child sexual abuse.

 

Child Protection Policy and Procedure