Wyndham City Council are committed to safeguarding children under the age of 18 while enabling their participation as valued members of our community. We recognise the importance of child safety in the provision of quality community services. All children and young people who attend services, programs, events, and community spaces have a right to feel safe, be safe, and be heard. We will maintain a child safe environment, and value a culture of safety within council and its operations.

Wyndham City Council will not tolerate child abuse or harm. We will enable children to contribute to their safety by removing and reducing risks, supporting, respecting, and empowering all children. Our people are obligated to prioritise the safety of the children they interact with in the performance of their role and report conduct of concern. All allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently in line with our policies and procedures. We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are concerned about a child’s safety. 

Wyndham City Council identifies Integrity as a core organisational value and are committed to the consistent application of moral and ethical behaviour, encompassing honesty openness and respect. Transparency and accountability in administrative and management practices are important in the demonstration of public value. The Council has established clear expectations for appropriate behaviour in engaging with children via a Child Safe Code of Conduct. This code is referenced by and supports the Corporate Code of Conduct. Two managers have been appointed as Child Safety Officers to receive and manage notifications of conduct of concern and reportable conduct.

If you wish to report conduct of concern, or actual abuse or harm you can contact Victoria Police on 000 if the child is in immediate danger or the Department of Health and Human Services.

What are the Child Safe Standards?

In 2015 the Child Safe Standards were introduced as an amendment to the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act of 2015. The amendments were a result of findings from the Betrayal of Trust report by Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations. The standards consist of seven broad standards and three overarching principles. They are designed to drive cultural change in organisations where protecting children from abuse is embedded in everyday thinking and practice of leaders, staff and volunteers.

The Standards are:

  • Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
  • A Child Safe Policy or Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
  • A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
  • Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel.
  • Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
  • Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
  • Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children

The three guiding principles that Council must consider when implementing the standards:

  • The cultural safety of Aboriginal children
  • The cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • The safety of children with a disability.

Wyndham City Council has a Child Safe Policy to enable our people to be aware of and meet their obligations relating to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Visit the Commission for Children and Young People for further information.

What is the Reportable Conduct Scheme?

The Reportable Conduct Scheme (Scheme) was established by a 2017 amendment to the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005. The scheme compliments the Child Safe Standards and other existing child safety measures, including but not limited to mandatory reporting, by requiring improvements and timeframes to Council’s response to allegations of child abuse and neglect by their employees, volunteers, and contractors. The amendment also made the Commission for Children and Young People (the Commission) the power to oversee the Scheme.

The scheme requires Councils to:

  • have in place systems to prevent child abuse and, if child abuse is alleged, to ensure allegations can be brought to the attention of appropriate persons for investigation and response.
  • Ensure that the Commission is notified and given updates on Council’s response to an allegation.

The Scheme does not replace the need to report allegations of child abuse, including criminal conduct and family violence to Victoria Police, or any other mandatory reporting requirements for professions such as kindergarten teachers and earl years educators, maternal child health nurses, and youth counsellors.

Wyndham City Council has a Reportable Conduct Policy to enable our people to be aware of and meet their reportable conduct obligations.

Visit the Commission for Children and Young People for further information.

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