Catholic Ladies’ College has a moral, legal and mission driven responsibility to create nurturing school environments where children are respected, their voices are heard, they are safe and feel safe. Our child safe principles are:
- All students enrolled at the College have the right to feel safe and be safe
- The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse
- We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety
- There is particular attention paid to the most vulnerable children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with a disability
- All student’s views and privacy must be respected
- There are clear professional expectations and boundaries communicated through professional learning with our staff and students
- Respect and support diversity and dignity
Catholic Ladies’ College supports Ministerial Order 870, which is a key part of the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government organisations. Catholic Ladies’ College has zero tolerance for child abuse and is committed to the protection of all children from all forms of child abuse. Child abuse includes sexual offences, grooming, physical violence, serious emotional or psychological harm, serious neglect and a child’s exposure to family violence.
The Child Protection Program at Catholic Ladies’ College is made up of work systems, practices, policies and procedures designed to maintain a child safe environment and to embed an organisational culture of child safety within the College community.
Ministerial Order 870 sets out seven minimum Standards and three principles of inclusion:
Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety including through effective leadership arrangements
A child safety policy or a statement of commitment to child safety
A child safety code of conduct
Screening, supervision, training, and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children
In implementing the minimum Child Safe Standards according to Ministerial Order No. 870, Catholic schools must be mindful of the diversity of students and school communities and consider the principles of inclusion as part of each Standard. This involves making reasonable efforts to accommodate ‘the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with disabilities, and children who are vulnerable’.
Catholic Ladies’ College has appointed Child Safety Officers. Each Child Safety Officer is available to answer any questions that you may have with respect to our Child Protection and Safety Policy and the Child Protection Program.
Child Protection Officers are selected based on a number of considerations, namely:
- their personal attitudes, experiences and beliefs, for example, a person who is non-judgmental, calm, resilient and demonstrates a high degree of integrity and respect for confidentiality;
- their role within the College, for example, a person who has seniority and experience working with complex student and family issues at the College and someone who is readily accessible and available to all members of the College community; and
- their personal profile within the College, for example, a person who is approachable, who students and staff trust and who is willing and able to respond to issues personally and sensitively.
The College’s Child Safety Officers are your first point of contact for reporting child protection issues within the College. They receive special training that allows them to deal with child protection concerns both sensitively and effectively.