Child Safety Standards
The state of Victoria has introduced compulsory minimum standards for organisations that provide services for children to help protect children from abuse. The Child Safe Standards form part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry (the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations). Education, awareness raising and helping organisations to create and maintain child safe environments will be the initial focus of the Child Safe Standards.
As part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust report, which found that more must be done to prevent and respond to child abuse in our community, there is a new regulatory landscape surrounding child safety, underpinned by the new PROTECT Child Safe Standards. The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian early childhood services and schools, to ensure they are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect.
When recruiting staff to Mount Eliza North Primary School, the ‘Child safe environments’ clause is included in all advertised vacancies:
“Victorian government schools are child safe environments. Our schools actively promote the safety and wellbeing of all students, and all school staff are committed to protecting students from abuse or harm in the school environment in accordance with their legal obligations including the Child Safe Standards. The school’s Child Safety Code of Conduct is available on the school’s website.”
Prior to an external applicant commencing employment, the principal must be satisfied that the person is suitable for child connected work.