Wellington Shire Council has released its draft Child Safe Policy and is now calling for the community to provide feedback.
The policy follows changes made by the Victorian Government to increase protection for children and young people throughout the state.
On 1 July 2022, the Victorian Government introduced a new regulatory framework for the Child Safe Standards, replacing the previous seven Standards with 11 new Child Safe Standards now in place across Victoria.
The 11 Standards set out the minimum requirements and outline the actions that organisations must comply with to strengthen child safety, improve Aboriginal cultural safety, and empower children and young people.
Under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act (2005), Wellington Shire Council is obligated to have policies and procedures in place that promote safe environments for children and young people and to ensure Council is prepared to respond to allegations of abuse and misconduct.
Wellington Shire Council is committed to child safety and has an existing employee Child Safe Policy. Following the update to the Victorian Child Safe Standards this policy has been expanded and will become a publicly available document, demonstrating Council’s commitment to child safety.
The draft Child Safe Policy will apply to all Council facilities and online environments; including when children and young people participate in Council activities, programs and community events.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Ian Bye said that Wellington Shire Council is committed to remaining a child safe organisation.
“Our vision is that all children and young people in our communities grow up in a safe and supportive environment and are protected from any form of harm. We all have a role to play in protecting our youngest population and this policy will help us embed child safety into our daily practice” Cr Bye said.
To view the draft Child Safe Policy and provide your feedback, please visit the Your Wellington Your Say website at https://your.wellington.vic.gov.au/child-safe-policy-feedback.
Feedback on the draft policy will close on Wednesday 5 April 2023.