Everyone in society has a moral responsibility to keep children safe and to protect them from harm and abuse. The Victorian Government is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. 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, Ministerial Order 870 was declared, and guidelines for schools were released, framed 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 (reference: Department of Education 2016).
At Footscray North Primary School, we have developed policies and guidelines to support staff and the community to keep our children safe, and uphold the Child Safety Standards legislated by the Victorian Government. We ensure that all students can learn in an environment that is safe and supportive and have adopted the Child Safe Standards as part of our everyday practice. The attached documents provide further information about the Child Safe Standards to assist you to understand the new laws.Ministerial Order 870FNPS Keeing Children Safe Kit
Standard 1 - Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety
Child Safe Standard 1 requires schools to plan, implement and review strategies that will embed a culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements.FNPS Policy - Strategies to Embed an Organisational Culture of Child Safety (Standard 1)FNPS Policy - Commitment to Child Safety (Standards 1 & 2)
Standard 2: A child safety policy or a statement of commitment to child safety
Child Safe Standard 2 requires schools to develop and publicly communicate a Statement of Commitment to child safety or a school child safe policy.
A Statement of Commitment to child safety helps raise awareness about the importance of child safety in the school and the community and affirms the organisation's commitment to child safety and expectations. FNPS Policy - Child Safe (Standard 2) FNPS Policy - Commitment to Child Safety (Standards 1 & 2)
Standard 3: Developing a Child Safety Code of Conduct
Child Safe Standard 3 requires schools to develop a Child Safety Code of Conduct.
A Code of Conduct lists behaviours that are acceptable and those that are unacceptable. It identifies professional boundaries, ethical behaviour and how to avoid or better manage difficult situations.FNPS Policy - Child Safe Code of Conduct (Standard 3)
Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resource practices that reduce the risk of child abuse
Child Safe Standard 4 requires schools to use policies and procedures for recruitment, supervision, training and managing performance that support a child safe school environment.
Strong human resources practices promote child safe school environments and reduce the risk of child abuse.FNPS Policy - Screening, Supervison & Training for New & Existing Personnel (Standard 4)
Standard 5: Procedures for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
The following information provides guidance to schools to meet their roles and responsibilities under Child Safety Standard 5: Procedures for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.FNPS Policy - Procedures When an Allegation of Child Abuse is Made (Standard 5) FNPS Policy - Responding to Suspected Child Abuse (Standard 5)
Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
Child Safe Standard 6 requires schools to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate risk management strategies to ensure child safety in school environments.
A child safety risk management strategy is a formal and structured approach to managing risks associated with child safety. FNPS Policy - Risk Assessment Template (Standard 6)FNPS Policy - Strategies to Identify & Reduce the Risks of Child Abuse Policy (Standard 6)
Standard 7: Strategies to promote child participation and empowerment
Child Safe Standard 7 requires schools to develop strategies to deliver appropriate education about: