All members of Shishukunj Melbourne are required to observe child safe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children, as noted below.
We all have an obligation to do the best we can to keep children safe from harm and abuse.
Victorian organisations that provide services or facilities for children are required by law to implement Child Safe Standards to protect children from harm.
Shishukunj supports recognising, respecting and defending the rights of children and young people as promoted by the Commission for Children and Young People (https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/)
Shishukunj has a Child Safe Policy and all members are required to be committed to enacting the Child Safe Policy. Shishukunj has a zero tolerance of child abuse.
All members are responsible for supporting the safety, participation, wellbeing and empowerment of children by:
- adhering to the child safe policy at all times
- taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse
- treating everyone with respect
- listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, 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
- promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal child’s self-identification)
- promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance of discrimination)
- promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities)
- ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not left alone with a child
- reporting any allegations of child abuse to leadership, and ensure any allegation to reported to the police or child protection
- reporting any child safety concerns to leadership
- if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe
- encouraging children to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organisational activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to them.
Volunteers must not:
- develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children)
- exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for example inappropriate sitting on laps. Sitting on laps could be appropriate sometime, for example while reading a storybook to a small child in an open plan area)
- put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors)
- do things of a personal nature that a child 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 (for example, personal social activities)
- use inappropriate language in the presence of children
- discriminate against any child, including because of culture, race, ethnicity or disability
- ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse.
By observing these standards you acknowledge your responsibility to immediately report any breach of this code to leadership.
If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000.