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. Child Safety Officers are appointed 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?

On 1 July 2022, new Victorian Child Safe Standards come into effect. These changes support a nationally consistent approach, aligning to the National Principles for a Child Safe Organisation. Standards set out minimum requirements and outline the actions organisations must take to keep children and young people safe.

The Standards are:

  • Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued
  • Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
  • Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
  • Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
  • Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
  • People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice
  • Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused
  • Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
  • Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
  • Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved
  • Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people

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:

  • Maintain systems which 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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