Child Safety is an ongoing key focus at Kerang Christian College. Providing a safe and supportive environment for children has always been an important part of being a Christian School. Legislation and compliance now demands all schools in Victoria to take child safety much more seriously.
The Victorian Government introduced the Child Safe Standards to improve the way organisations that provide services for children prevent and respond to child abuse that may occur within their organisation.
The Child Safe Standards apply to organisations across Victoria from the 1st January 2016. The Victorian Education Minister has issued Ministerial Order No. 870, which has provided very clear guidelines for schools in relation to implementing the Child Safe Standards. Schools must comply with the Ministerial Order from the 1st August 2016, as a requirement of registration.
In complying with the Child Safe Standards, schools are required to include the following principles as part of their response to each standard:
The Child Safe Standards are listed below. The Standards document minimum standards for schools under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic). The standards have been developed to assist in creating and maintaining a child safe organisation.
Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements.
Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety.
Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children.
Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel.
Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.
Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse.
Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.
A key objective for Kerang Christian College is to embed child safety practices into our culture. The work that is involved in building a child safe organisation will be ongoing. We are committed to the ongoing developmental process of learning, monitoring and reviewing our policies and procedures. Maintaining a child safe organisation is not and will not be a one-off task. It will become part of our school’s ongoing processes and be embedded into our culture.
I wish to highlight to our school community that we have high expectations that everyone in our school community is committed to child safety. Part of our School Mission is to see the “Provision of a safe environment” for our students. A safe environment includes developing a culture of child safety in the school, including a zero tolerance of child abuse.
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