As Victoria has introduced compulsory minimum standards that will apply to organisations that provide services for children to help protect children from all forms of abuse. The child safe standards form part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry.
The child safe standards are as follows:
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.
As PRACE strives to develop dynamic, responsive and innovative educational programs, teaching and learning experiences, it will intentionally promote and protect the interests and safety of children, and a child-safe environment for all children and young people in its care.
This will be achieved by:
- having a zero tolerance for child abuse
- working to actively listen to and empower children
- having systems to protect children from abuse, and will take all allegations and concerns very seriously and responding to them consistently in line with the organisation’s policies and procedures
- being committed to promoting cultural safety for Aboriginal children, cultural safety for children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability
- engaging only the most suitable people to work with children along with providing high quality supervision and professional development.
PRACE College cares about our students’ feelings and safety. If you have a concern about this you can talk to Jane Davey, the Assistant Principal of PRACE College.
Jane Davey is also PRACE’s Child Safe Officer. You can contact her on 9462 6077.
PRACE Code of Conduct as related to child safety
Children and young people engaging with Prace are entitled to a safe and supportive environment. Prace Representatives must adhere to Prace’s Child Safe Policy at all times and uphold Prace’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times.
This Code applies regardless of:
- whether it is on Prace / College grounds or during or outside school hours
- a child’s age
- a child’s consent
- the consent of parents / guardians and families
- circumstances in which a child initiates an interaction or relationship between the Representative and the child.
In addition to the personal and professional behaviours outlined above, Representatives must:
- adhere to this Code and all other applicable child safe policies and procedures
- take all reasonable steps to protect children and students from abuse
- abide by professional boundaries, acknowledging that interactions with students by their very nature are open to scrutiny
- treat everyone in the Prace community with respect, modelling positive and respectful relationships and acting in a manner that sustains a safe, educational and pastoral environment
- listen and respond to the views and concerns of children and students, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused and/or are worried about their safety or the safety of another
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal child’s self-identification)
- ensure as far as practical that Representatives are not alone with a student unnecessarily or in a manner unrelated to Prace or their role
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance of discrimination)
- promote the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities)
- report any allegations of child abuse to the Prace Child Safety Officer, and ensure any allegation is reported to the police or child protection (For more detail see the Prace Mandatory Reporting and Child Safety Policy and Procedure.)
- report any child safety concerns to a Prace Child Safety Officer
- if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe
- exercise prudent judgment and intervention consistent with the College’s student management policies and procedures when students engage in bullying behaviour towards others or act in a humiliating, degrading, intimidating or vilifying way
- encourage children to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organisational activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to them
- immediately notify Prace if they become the subject of any child safety investigation or become charged with any offence related to child safety
- comply with your professional and employment obligations, including any other relevant professional or occupational code of conduct such as the Victorian Institute of Teaching Code of Conduct
- only interact with students and children online using Prace technology systems, for educational purposes or for the organisation of co-curricular events and in compliance with Prace’s Social Media Policy
- comply with any lawful and reasonable direction by Prace
- cooperate with any child safety investigation by Prace or the College or any regulatory authority
Representatives must not:
- engage in any form of child abuse, including behaviour that could constitute grooming
- ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
- develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism – including the offering of gifts of special treatment, socialising with children outside of organised Prace events or meeting with children or students outside of Prace without permission from Prace
- exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical
- subject any child or student to any form of corporeal punishment
- put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors)
- initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or students or do things of a personal nature that a student can do for themselves such as toileting or changing clothes
- engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children
- use inappropriate language in the presence of children
- express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children that are discriminatory or fail to promote human rights and equal opportunity
- discriminate against any child, including because of sex, age, gender, race, religion, culture, vulnerability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability
- use any personal communication channels/device such as a personal email account, social media or instant messenger accounts to make contact with students
- have contact with a child or student outside of Prace without the Principal or Chief Executive Officer’s knowledge and / or consent (for example, unauthorised after-hours tutoring, sport coaching). This does not include accidental contact such as seeing people in the street
- exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking sites or personal email addresses with a child or student
- become ‘friends’ with, follow or add a child or student on any social media platform
- photograph or video a student without the consent of the parent or guardians
- share any photographs, videos, recordings or personal information about students without Prace’s consent, including on any of their own social media platforms
- work with a child while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- supply any child or student with drugs or alcohol
- drive a student in their car unless they have parental consent
- put themselves in a position where there is a conflict of interest
- engage in non-professional relationships with students as per the Outside Activities, Employment and Private Practice and Relationships section of this policy.
- ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse.
This section of the Code will be reviewed in line with the Prace Child Safe Policy and strategies.
Child Safe Policy