Our Commitment to Child Safety
Hastings Childcare & Community Kinder is a Child Safe Organisation. We are committed to providing an environment and promoting an organisational culture where all children and young people are safe and feel safe.
At Hastings Childcare & Community Kinder we are committed to acting in children’s best interests and keeping them safe from harm. We have a zero tolerance to abuse, racism, bullying or harassment of any kind. We have an explicit commitment to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children. We regard our child protection responsibilities with the utmost importance and as such, are committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure compliance with all relevant child protection laws and regulations and maintain a child safe culture.
We have a greater focus on safety for those children and young people who are considered more at risk to abuse and neglect. We actively support and facilitate participation and inclusion of Aboriginal children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD), those who are unable to live at home, children with a disability and/or children from sexuality and gender diverse groups (LGBTQIA+). We have a commitment to managing both physical and online environments to keep children and young people safe through governance, systems and processes.
This statement provides the framework for the organisational approach to complying with best practice by aligning with the Victorian Child Safe Standards in conjunction with the guiding National Principles for Child Safety.
OUR CHILD SAFE PRINCIPLES
1. All children have the right to be safe.
2. The welfare and best interests of the child are paramount.
3. The views of the child and a child’s privacy must be respected.
4. Clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children are established in our Child Safety Code of Conduct and Early Childhood Code of Ethics.
5. The safety of children is dependent upon the existence of a child safe culture.
6. Child safety awareness is promoted and openly discussed within our Centre community.
7. Procedures are in place to screen all staff, Direct Contact Volunteers, third party contractors* and external service providers who have direct contact with children.
8. Child safety and protection is everyone's responsibility.
9. Child protection training is mandatory for all staff.
10. Procedures for responding to alleged or suspected incidents of child abuse are simple and accessible for all members of the Centre community.
11. Children from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds have the right to special care and support including those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. We have an explicit commitment to the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
12. Children who have any kind of disability have the right to special care and support.
13. Children in out of home care, foster care or kinship care have the right to special care and support.
14. We value and respect diversity and have zero tolerance towards racism or discrimination.
OUR CHILD SAFE APPROACH
Across our whole organisation, we have:
a code of conduct which includes expected behavioural standards and responsibilities for child safety and well-being
risk management procedures and practices to identify and mitigate risks to children’s safety
management practices which take full account of child safety, including promoting our service as a child safe organisation, rigorous reference checks and pre-employment screening for staff members or volunteers looking to join us
a program of continuous education and training to ensure all our staff members are fully up to date with their child safe knowledge, skills and obligations
practices in place to identify children who are at risk of abuse or neglect outside our services
practices in place to ensure that families participate in decisions affecting their children
effective and culturally safe processes for allowing families to raise concerns
clear complaint handling processes
Hastings Childcare & Community Kinder
investigates all incidents relating to child safety
reports all allegations of abuse as required by law and by our duty to safeguard children in our care
shares information when required for child safety and well-being purposes
OUR CHILD SAFE CODE OF CONDUCT
A child safety code of conduct:
lists acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.
identifies professional boundaries and ethical behaviour.
supports families, staff and volunteers to avoid or manage inappropriate behaviours and difficult situations.