Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
The purpose of this policy is to demonstrate Beyond Blue’s commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children.
It informs all employees (including contractors) and volunteers of their obligations to act ethically towards children and their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children.
It gives guidance on the processes and procedures that aim to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing across all areas of the organisation’s work.
This policy applies to all employees (including contractors) and volunteers whether or not they work in direct contact with children.
Third parties engaged by Beyond Blue are also required to comply with the Child Safe Standards, if applicable by law to their operations, as part of their contractual agreement with Beyond Blue.
4. Policy statement
At Beyond Blue, we are committed to promoting and protecting the safety and wellbeing of children, including First Nations children, children with disabilities, from cultural and language diverse backgrounds and children that are gender diverse.
Across our work, we endeavour to create environments where all children can feel, and be, safe and welcomed, and where their participation is valued.
We have zero tolerance for any form of child abuse and will embed and enact processes to respond to incidents.
We demonstrate this commitment by the following actions:
- This Policy is distributed to all new and existing employees and volunteers who are required to act in accordance with it
- Employees and volunteers are equipped with appropriate induction and training on children’s rights, child safety and wellbeing
- Employees and volunteers must report any child harm or abuse concerns
- Complaints under this policy will be investigated quickly and thoroughly
- All employees and volunteers are required to have a valid Working with Children’s Check
- Where reasonably possible, we involve children when making decisions, especially about matters that directly affect them
- We proactively manage the risk of harm to children
- This Policy is freely available and accessible to the public on our website
- This Policy, and associated procedures and processes, is reviewed every two years, for effectiveness and utility in creating a child safe environment
Safeguarding children is a shared responsibility within our organisation. It is the responsibility of all employees and volunteers to create and maintain a child safe culture. Specific responsibilities for each role are outlined in the table below.
- Ensure all employees and volunteers are aware of relevant laws and organisational policies and procedures
- Provide support for employees and volunteers in undertaking their child safety responsibilities
Employees (including contractors)
- To understand and ensure compliance with the policy
- To promote the safety and wellbeing of children
- Undertake the Child Safety and Wellbeing training
- Report any child harm or abuse concerns
Head of Legal and Secretariat
Head of People & Culture
- To receive and investigate complaints under this policy
- To escalate matters to the CEO as necessary
Employees and volunteers must report any child harm or abuse concerns to email@example.com or their manager.
Members of the public are also encouraged to report any child harm or abuse concerns involving Beyond Blue, its employees or volunteers, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All reports will be:
- Treated seriously.
- Investigated thoroughly and quickly in a culturally safe, child-focused manner
- Conducted in line with reporting, privacy and employment law obligations
- Escalated to the CEO as necessary
Employees and volunteers must keep confidential and cooperate fully with any investigation.
Beyond Blue will keep information about complaints confidential, except where it is necessary to share information to respond properly to a complaint or to prioritise child safety.
7. Reporting – sexual offences
All adults in Victoria who have a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child under 16 have an obligation to report that information to Victoria Police unless they have a reasonable excuse. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. Further information can be found here.
Factors contributing to reasonable belief may include:
- the child tells you they have been sexually abused
- the child tells you they know someone who has been sexually abused (which may be a way of talking about themselves)
- someone who knows the child tells you the child has been sexually abused
- you observe signs of sexual abuse in the child
- you are a qualified professional who observes the child’s behaviour or development, which leads you to believe the child has been sexually abused
Mandatory reporting rules differ around Australia. For matters outside Victoria, please contact email@example.com for further guidance
8. Related organisational policies and procedures
- Background Check Policy
- Distressed caller, emailer and visitor policy and procedure
- Social Media Policy
- Complaint/Feedback Policy
- Volunteer Policy and Management Procedures
- Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy (Volunteers)
- Grievance Policy (Volunteers)
9. Definitions and abbreviations
A person below the age of 18 years
Contact with a child
In this Policy, contact means physical contact, face-to-face contact, written communication, oral communication, or electronic communication.
Child harm or abuse
Refers to any behaviour or treatment that results in the actual and/or likelihood of causing physical or emotional harm to a child or young person.
The Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy will be reviewed every two years.
Depending on the circumstances, non-compliance with this Policy may constitute a breach of employment or contractual obligations. Those who fail to comply with this Policy may face disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or volunteer status.