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Child Safe Organisation

Southern Grampians Shire Council Family Day Care acknowledges that children’s safety is a whole of organization responsibility and is everybody’s business. The welfare of children in our care is our first priority and we have zero tolerance of child abuse. All children, regardless of their gender, race, religious beliefs, age, disability, sexual orientation or family or social background, have rights to protection from abuse.

Our service is committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, and those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children living with a disability. Our service will consider the opinions of children and will assist in their empowerment in understanding personal safety and their right to speak out.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Family Day Care has processes in place that will enable all staff, contractors, volunteers, students, families and all stakeholders to be aware of the legal obligations relating to child abuse and reporting to appropriate authorities. This includes:

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.

Mandatory Reporting
Any personnel who are mandatory reporters (doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers, early childhood teachers, principals and police) must report to child protection if they believe on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from physical injury or sexual abuse.

From 1st March 2019, all Early Childhood Educators are mandated reporters. This includes Family Day Care Educators and Coordination Unit Staff.

Grooming offence targets communication, including online communication, with a child under the age of 16 or their parents with the intent of committing child sexual abuse. This offence targets predatory conduct undertaken to prepare a child for sexual abuse at a later time with the groomer (aged 18 years old or over) or another adult.

Failure to protect
People who hold a position of authority within a relevant organization are required by law to make a notification if they know of a substantial risk another adult associated with the organization may commit a sex offence against a child under 16 years, they have the power or responsibility to remove or reduce that risk but they negligently fail to do so.

Victoria’s Reportable Conduct Scheme
The Reportable Conduct Scheme has been in operation from 1 July 2017 and already covers a large range of organisations that were introduced in two phases. The scheme seeks to improve how organisations respond to allegations of child abuse and child-related misconduct.

Education and care services and children’s services are required to comply with the scheme from 1 January 2019 as they exercise care, supervision or authority over children, whether as part of their primary functions or otherwise. This requires organisations to notify the Commission of allegations of reportable conduct and to investigate them. This includes long day care, outside school hour care, kindergarten, family day care, occasional care, all limited hours and short-term licensed services, early childhood intervention, mobile services and school holidays programs.

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