Child Safety

Council has zero tolerance for child abuse. Every child accessing Council services has the right to feel and be safe. We embrace diversity and inclusion. Children of all age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, family background and social background have equal rights to protection from abuse.

Council recognises that protecting children, preventing and responding to child abuse is an organisation wide responsibility. We commit to regularly review our policies, procedures and documentation to ensure that all principles of a ‘Child Safe Organisation’ (as outlined in the Victoria Child Safe Standards) are embedded into the everyday thinking and practice of Council. Council follows the Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme, which create distinct sets of responsibilities for organisations, but have been designed to complement one another.

Victorian organisations that provide services to children are required under the Child Safety and Wellbeing Act 2005 to ensure that they implement compulsory child safe standards to protect children from harm. The Victorian Government announced that new Child Safe Standards (Standards) will come into effect on 1 July 2022 which include 11 new Standards. They set out minimum requirements and outline the actions organisations must take to keep children and young people safe. Find out more about the Child Safe Standards

All our Councillors, employees, volunteers, contractors and community representatives must understand and act to prevent, detect, respond to and report any suspicions of child abuse, and maintain a child safe culture.

Reporting child abuse

If you suspect or know of a child or young person being abused, you must report it. Any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection can make a report to Child Protection. Child protection will decide when follow up is required and how to classify the report. This may mean providing advice to the reporter, progressing the matter to an investigation, referring the family to support services in the community, or taking no further action. More information can be found here: Child Protection

If a situation is life threatening, or you have immediate concerns regarding the safety of a child or young person, contact police on Triple Zero (000).

To report any concerns regarding a child, call North Division Intake 1300 598 521 during business hours or call the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service on 13 12 78.

Should you have concerns about the behaviour of a Council employee, Councillor, volunteer or contractor towards a child or young person, your concerns will be taken seriously and will be investigated appropriately and reported to Council's Executive Leadership Team. Any complaints about a Council employee, Councillor, volunteer or contractor’s behaviour or conduct towards a child or young person will be handled in accordance with Council’s Complaint Policy. This is in-line with the Victorian Reportable Conduct Scheme.