The Victorian Child Safe Standards aim to create child safe cultures and environments in organisations that work with children. These standards are required to be implemented and enforced in Victorian schools and for organisations like NVM who work with children. NVM is committed to ensuring it fulfils all legal and moral requirements to keep children safe.

NVM has zero tolerance to child abuse and has a range of risk management strategies to mitigate risk to children. Any concerns or disclosures of child abuse will be taken very seriously.

Child abuse includes any act committed against a child involving:
A sexual offence
A grooming offence; or
A child’s experience of family violence, physical violence, serious emotional or
psychological harm (including bullying) or serious neglect.

The Child Safe Standards are:

1. Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
2. A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
3. A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
4. Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse
5. Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
6. Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
7. Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children

Risk Management

A risk is anything that can cause harm to a child or abuse of a child. A child is defined as a person under 18 years.

Child abuse includes any act committed against a child involving:

A sexual offence
A grooming offence; or
The infliction on a child of physical violence, serious emotional or psychological harm or serious neglect.

Risk Management is identifying and assessing all potential sources of harm and taking steps to decrease the likelihood that harm will occur.

What is child safety risk and child abuse?

If a person receives information that leads them to form a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria against a child (under the age of 16 years) by another person (of or over the age of 18 years), the person has a legal obligation to disclose that information to the Police as soon as it is practicable. Individuals who fail to comply with this obligation under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) may be subject to a penalty of 3 years imprisonment.

Strategies to identify, reduce or remove risk:

NVM programs are conducted in school/ holiday program environments where the supervision of students remain the responsibility of the school or programs teachers/staff. NVM is responsible for ensuring they deliver safe programs within a safe environment.

1. NVM will assess risks and implement risk management strategies regarding child safety in their environments conducted for all activities. The risk assessment for each organisation will be discussed and NVM will conduct a review of risks prior to the commencement of each program.

2. NVM’s risk management strategies regarding child safety must identify and mitigate the risk(s) of child abuse in school/host organisation environments by taking into account the nature of each environment, the activities expected to be conducted in that environment by NVM and the characteristics and needs of all children expected to be present in that environment.

3. If NVM identifies risks of child abuse occurring in one or more school/host environment, NVM will make a record of those risks and specify the action(s) the school will take to reduce or remove the risks (risk controls).

4. As part of its risk management strategy and practices, NVM will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of its risk controls.

5. At least annually, NVM ensure that appropriate guidance and training is provided or completed by instructors, contractors and employees about:

- Individual and collective obligations and responsibilities for managing the risk of child abuse;
- Child abuse risks in the school/host organisation environment; and
- NVM current child safety policy and code of conduct.

Child Safety Risks

Following child safety risks are identified (but not limited to) as possible risks for NVM:

• Instructors who have not completed child safe training and are not aware of their responsibilities
• Children alone with instructor unsupervised
• Recruitment/contracting of an inappropriate person
• Inappropriate behaviour not reported
• Online breach of conduct including email, text or other social media
• Lack of adequate supervision by schools/host organisations
• Inappropriate environment for program which does not allow line of sight by supervising staff
• Unknown people in the environment

Child safety Risk Management Strategies:

The following policies and procedures are available for employees and instructors to implement to minimise risk and reduce the possibilities to harm or abuse children.

• Child safety policy
• Code of conduct
• Incidents or concerns reported to child safety officer or NVM Director
• Induction and manual for instructors
• Annual workshops re: Child safe policy and reporting obligations
• No contact between children and contractors outside of programs (online or face to face)
• Regular monitoring of instructors and feedback about the programs/activities
• Empowering students to detect and feedback inappropriate behaviour
• Contracts to include child safety and reporting obligations
• The presence of (in line of sight) of a school teacher/host organisation supervisor with instructors during programs
• Assessment of new or changed physical environments for child safety risks
• Supervision or monitoring of programs
• Instructors contracts will include requirement of an awareness and understanding of child safety and reporting obligations.
• Assessment of the suitability of the environment prior to the program/activity
• All students are given information about how NVM keeps them safe and how to complain or provide feedback
• Pre-contract interviews and reference checks that include checking for child safety
• Criminal history checks/WWCC will be sought

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