Child Safe Policy

Purpose

This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of the management, staff and volunteers of the Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club (the Club) to child safety and to provide an outline of the policies and practices the Club has developed to keep everyone safe from any harm, including abuse.

 Commitment to Child Safety

All children who are a part of the Club have a right to feel and be safe. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and the Club has a zero tolerance to child abuse. The Club aims to create a child safe and child friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun and the Club’s activities are always carried out in the best interests of the children.

 Application of this Policy

This policy was developed by the Club and in collaboration with staff, volunteers and the children who use our services and their parents.

This policy applies to all individuals involved in our organisation (paid and volunteer) including, but not limited to:

  • Administrators
  • Coaches
  • Officials
  • Participants
  • Parents

All of the people to which this policy applies have a role and responsibility in relation to child protection. They must all:

  • understand the indicators and risks of child abuse;
  • appropriately act on any concerns raised by children; and
  • understand and follow all applicable laws in relation to the protection of children and reporting or management of child safety concerns.

 Child Abuse

Child abuse can take a broad range of forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect. People to whom this policy applies need to be aware that child abuse can occur whenever there is actual or potential harm to a child, and these are circumstances that the Club is committed to reducing the risk of occurrence.

Background

Adults associated with the club have legal and moral obligations to protect children.

Any person who forms a reasonable belief that a child is in need of protection may report their concerns to the Child Protection.

Three criminal offences have been introduced in Victoria in the Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Act 2014 to protect children from child abuse:

  • Failure to disclose: All adults (not just those working with children) have a legal duty to report information about child sexual abuse to Victoria Police. The offence applies to any adult who forms a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child under 16 and fails to report that information to the Victoria Police.
  • Failure to protect: The offence applies to people within organisations who hold positions of authority and who know of the substantial risk another adult associated with the organisation may commit a sex offence and they have the power or responsibility to remove or reduce the risk but negligently fail to do so.
  • Grooming offence: The offence targets predatory conduct by an adult with the intent of committing child sexual abuse. Conduct may include communication, including online communication, with a child under the age of 16 or their parents.

Victorian organisations that provide services to children are required under the Child Safety and Wellbeing Act 2005 to ensure that they implement compulsory minimum Child Safe Standards to protect children from harm. The standards aim to drive continuous improvement in the way services prevent and report child abuse and respond to allegations of child abuse.

 Children’s Rights to Safety and Participation

The Club encourages children to express their views about their safety. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all children who use our services to ‘have a say’ about things that are important to them.

We support teaching children about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, or their parents, raise with us. Our club has designated child safety persons that children and/or parents can raise concerns with. Our club also works with outside agencies to provide information to children and young people at our club about safety, health and wellbeing. This promotes children and young people supporting each other and a culture of everyone promoting children and young people being free from harm.

 Valuing Diversity

We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. To achieve this we:

  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families;
  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families;
  • welcome children with a disability and their families and act to promote their participation; and
  • seek appropriate staff from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Recruiting staff and volunteers

The Club takes the following steps to ensure best practice standards in the recruitment and screening of staff and volunteers:

  • Require Working with Children Checks for relevant positions.
  • Our commitment to Child Safety are included in all advertisements and as part of the induction process for new staff or volunteers.

Supporting staff and volunteers

The Club seeks to attract and retain the best staff and volunteers. We provide support and supervision so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated. We have developed a Code of Conduct to provide guidance to our staff and volunteers, all of whom receive training on the requirements of the Code.

Reporting a child safety concern or complaint

The Club has appointed General Committee Member Ms Anneliese Knell and Committee Chair Mr Frank Tuskes as Child Safety Persons with the specific responsibility for responding to any complaints made by staff, volunteers, parents or children.  These people can be contacted by calling 0408105164 or 0419 601 470 respectfully.  Our clubs complaints process is being developed via a new policy that will be made available on the website.

Risk Management

We recognise the importance of a risk management approach to minimising the potential for child abuse or harm to occur and use this to inform our policy, procedures and activity planning. In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children. To reduce the risk of child abuse occurring, adults to whom this policy applies should avoid direct, unsupervised contact with children. For example, this should be a consideration when:

  • using change room facilities;
  • using accommodation or overnight stays;
  • travel; or
  • physical contact when coaching or managing children.

Reviewing this policy

This policy will be reviewed every few years and we undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from children, parents, carers, staff and volunteers involved in the Club.

This resource is supported by the Victorian Government.

This document was developed utilising and adapting content from:

The Commission for Children and Young People (2016), Child Safe Policy

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