Stonnington’s Child Safe Standards
In 2015 the State Government introduced minimum compulsory child safe standards for organisations regulated or funded by government that provide services for children.
The standards were recommended by the government’s parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations and are established under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act (2005). They aim to create and maintain child safe environments and take into account the sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, and serious neglect of children under 18 year’s old.
Council strongly supports the standards and the other legislative changes the State Government has introduced to help protect children and young people.
In line with the standards Council has a Statement of Commitment to Child Safety which reinforces its responsibility and commitment to providing safe environments for young people:
“City of Stonnington has a zero tolerance to child abuse. All Council officers, including employees, contractors, volunteers and Councillors have a legal and moral obligation to keep children safe and promote their best interests. All children regardless of their age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious beliefs, ability and family background have the right to be protected from harm and to be treated with dignity, respect and integrity.
As a child safe organisation we are committed to providing welcoming, safe an accessible environments where children feel valued, listened to and considered in decisions that affect their lives. The need to remove or reduce the risk of child abuse informs our decision making concerning children in our care. We have specific policies, procedures and practices in place to support our people to achieve these commitments.”
New organisational policies, procedures and other child safety initiatives are also being developed and will be introduced across Council as part of a broader strategy to further protect children and ensure compliance with the Child Safe Standards and related legislative reform.