Definition Child abuse includes sexual offences, grooming, physical violence, serious emotional or psychological harm, serious neglect and a child’s exposure to family violence.
Our Commitment to Child Safety At Warragul Football and Netball Club we have a zero tolerance for child abuse and are committed to acting in children’s best interests and keeping them safe from harm. The Club regards its child protection responsibilities with the utmost importance and is committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure compliance with all relevant child protection laws and regulations and maintain a child safe culture. We demonstrate this through the implementation of a Code of Conduct, this Child Safety Policy, clear reporting guidelines and the following:
Warragul Football and Netball Club is committed to child safety.
We want children to be safe, happy and empowered. We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers.
We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children.
We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our policies and procedures.
We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.
Warragul Football and Netball Club is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
Warragul Football and Netball Club has robust recruitment practices for all staff and volunteers.
Warragul Football and Netball Club is committed to training and educating our staff and volunteers on child abuse risks.
We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from a culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.
We have specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000.
Our Children This policy is intended to empower children who are vital and active participants in our Club. We will involve them when making decisions, especially about matters that directly affect them. We listen to their views and respect what they have to say.
We promote diversity and tolerance, and people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are welcome. In particular, we will:
promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children
promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
ensure that children with a disability are safe and can participate equally.
Our Staff and Volunteers This policy guides our staff and volunteers on how to behave with children at our Club. All of our staff and volunteers must agree to abide by our Code of Conduct which specifies the standards of conduct required when working with children. All staff and volunteers, as well as children and their families, are given the opportunity to contribute to the development of the code of conduct. The Code of Conduct is contained within our Club Handbook and distributed to everyone involved with the Club at the start of each season. The Handbook is also available on the Club’s website.
Training and Supervision Training and education is important to ensure that everyone at our Club understands that child safety is everyone’s responsibility. Our culture aims for all staff and volunteers (in addition to parents/carers and children) to feel confident and comfortable in discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns.
We support our staff and volunteers through ongoing supervision to:
develop their skills to protect children from abuse
promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children
the cultural safety of children from linguistically and/or diverse backgrounds
the safety of children with a disability
New staff and volunteers will be supervised to ensure they understand our Club’s commitment to child safety and that everyone has a role to play in protecting children from abuse, as well as checking that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate (please refer our Code of Conduct to understand appropriate behaviour further). Any inappropriate behaviour will be reported through the appropriate channels, including the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Police, depending on the severity and urgency of the matter.
Recruitment We will take all reasonable steps to employ skilled people to work with children. We will develop selection criteria and advertisements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety and an awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities. Our organisation understands that when recruiting staff and volunteers we have ethical as well as legislative obligations. We will actively encourage applications from Aboriginal peoples, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.
All people engaged in child‐related work, including volunteers, are required to hold a Working with Children Check and to provide evidence of this Check. Please visit www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au for more information:
Fair Procedures for Personnel The safety and wellbeing of children is our primary concern. We are also fair and just to personnel. The decisions we make when recruiting, assessing incidents, and undertaking disciplinary action will always be thorough, transparent, and based on evidence.
We will record all allegations of abuse and safety concerns using our incident reporting form, including investigation updates as they occur. All records will be securely and confidentially stored on our Google Drive by the Club Secretary.
If an allegation of abuse or a safety concern is raised, we will provide updates to affected children and families on progress and any actions, we as an organisation, take.
Failure to disclose: Reporting child sexual abuse is a community‐wide responsibility. 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 the police.
Failure to protect: People of authority in our organisation will commit an offence if they know of a substantial risk of child sexual abuse and have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently fail to do so.
Any personnel who are mandatory reporters must comply with their duties.
Risk Management In Victoria, organisatoons are required to protect children when a risk is identified (see information about failure to protect above). In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we will proactively manage risks of abuse to our children.
We have risk management strategies in place to identify, assess, and take steps to minimise child abuse risks, which include risks posed by physical environments (for example, any doors that can lock), and online environments (e.g. no Coaching Staff or Volunteer is to have direct one‐on‐one contact with a child via social media).
Regular Review This policy will be reviewed every two years and following significant incidents if they occur. We will ensure that families and children have the opportunity to contribute. Where possible we do our best to work with local Aboriginal communities, culturally and/or linguistically diverse communities and people with a disability.
Allegations, Concerns and Complaints Our Club will take all allegations seriously and has Child Safe Reporting Guidelines in place to investigate thoroughly and quickly. We have nominated Child Safety Officers and will ensure that they are trained to deal appropriately with allegations. We work to ensure all children, families, staff and volunteers are aware of our Child Safe Reporting Guidelines so that they know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour. We all have a responsibility to report an allegation of abuse if we have a reasonable belief that an incident took place (see information about failure to disclose above). If an adult has a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred, then they must report the incident. Factors contributing to reasonable belief may be:
a child states they or someone they know has been abused (noting that sometimes the child may in fact be referring to themselves)
behaviour consistent with that of an abuse victim is observed
someone else has raised a suspicion of abuse but is unwilling to report it