VicHealth has zero tolerance to any and all harm and/or abuse of children and young people. To achieve the best outcomes for children and young people who engage with us or our funded programs, we expect our staff, Board, Committee and Panel members, contractors and our funded partners or service providers to work in line with the Victorian Child Safe Standards (including the 11 child safety standards effective 1 July 2022 referenced below) and meet VicHealth’s obligations under the National Redress Scheme.
The 11 child safety standards effective 1 July 2022, which VicHealth maintains compliance with are as follows:
• Standard 1 – Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued.
• Standard 2 – Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance, and culture.
• Standard 3 – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
• Standard 4 – Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
• Standard 5 – Equity is upheld, and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
• Standard 6 – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
• Standard 7 – Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
• Standard 8 – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
• Standard 9 – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
• Standard 10 – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
• Standard 11 – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
We are committed to preventing child abuse by identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks by designing, implementing, and reviewing systems enacted through the implementation and monitoring of the Child Safe Standards.
We encourage all children and young people to participate in decisions that affect their lives, including letting us know about their experiences with our programs and offerings, how we can improve, and how we ensure they feel, and are, safe.
VicHealth is committed to listening to the voices of children and young people, particularly with respect to their emotional, psychological, physical and cultural wellbeing. All VicHealth staff have a legal and moral responsibility to respond to all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures.
We are committed to ensuring staff, Board, Committee and Panel members, volunteers and contractors, understand that child safety is everyone’s responsibility. VicHealth will equip all staff to identify and respond appropriately when they suspect or are made aware of child abuse or mistreatment. VicHealth staff will inform authorities when there are concerns about a child or young person's safety and wellbeing.
Through our funded services to children VicHealth will partner with suppliers and funded organisations who have child safe work practices in line with the Victorian Child Safe practices. Suppliers and funded organisations will advise of child safe work practices and insurance obligations as requested by VicHealth through our procurement, grant-making and contract management policies and practices.
VicHealth is committed to supporting diversity, inclusion and equality. In acknowledgment of all children and young people who face greater barriers to health and wellbeing.