Child Safety Standards
The City of Stonnington has a zero tolerance to child abuse. All council officers, 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.
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 introduced minimum Child Safe Standards and a Reportable Conduct Scheme for organisations regulated or funded by government.
The standards and scheme were established by the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005, and are administered by the Commission for Children and Young People who oversee and monitor compliance with the standards and scheme. Both take into account sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, as well as serious neglect of children under the age of 18 years.
The Child Safe Standards is a set of seven standards that aim to create and maintain child safe environments. Council is required to implement and comply with these standards.
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 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.
For child safety enquiries call 8290 1333 and ask to be put through to one of our child safety advisors.