Stonnington’s Child Safe Standards
Several State-led initiatives have been introduced to improve both organisational and community responses to child abuse - because protecting children from abuse is everyone’s business.
Criminal Law Reform
New criminal offences have been introduced in Victoria to improve responses to child sexual abuse within organisations and the community. They impose a clear legal duty upon all adults to protect children from sexual abuse and to report their concerns to Victoria police.
Victorian Child Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme
The Victorian Government has also introduced minimum Child Safe Standards and a Reportable Conduct Scheme for organisations regulated or funded by government. These complementary schemes are established by the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005, and are administered by the Commission for Children and Young People (the Commission) who oversee and monitor compliance with the schemes. Both schemes take into account the sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, as well as the serious neglect of children under the age of 18.
The Child Safe Standards aim to create and maintain child safe environments. There are seven standards that Council is required to implement and comply with.
The Reportable Conduct Scheme aims to improve organisations’ responses to allegations of certain types of misconduct involving children committed by their workers and volunteers. It imposes new legal obligations on heads of organisations to have systems in place to prevent child abuse, and if child abuse is alleged, to ensure allegations are brought to the attention of appropriate persons for investigation and response.
Council strongly supports this reform, which serves to reinforce our responsibility and commitment to creating and maintaining child safe environments.
Stonnington’s Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
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 and 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.
For child safety enquiries, contact 8290 1333 and ask to be put through to one of Council’s Child Safety Advisors.