Child Safety and Wellbeing
Statement of Commitment
CFA is committed to creating safe and supportive environments for children and young people and has a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of child abuse. All CFA members have a legal and moral obligation to keep children and young people safe.
As an organisation, we value the contribution of children and young people and create opportunities for them to build their skills and confidence and participate in decision making.
We are committed to the cultural safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people, and families.
CFA recognises that children’s rights to safety and participation are embedded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights for the Child and protected in Victorian legislation through the Child Safe Standards. CFA will align and act in compliance with the established Child Safe Standards governed by the Commission for Children and Young People and with legislation that directly or indirectly impacts the safety of children.
CFA embraces its obligations and responsibilities to act with integrity and transparency in continuously improving the organisation’s child safety and wellbeing approach. All child safety concerns, or allegations of child abuse and neglect will be reported and investigated by CFA or their contracted agencies. A child focused, immediate and effective response that protects the privacy and confidentiality of all parties will be prioritised.
CFA's approach to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people
CFA’s approach to child safety and wellbeing is informed by the Victorian Child Safe Standards, which exist as part of the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act (2005) Vic. CFA is one of many organisations required to comply with these Standards.
The Standards support organisations to promote the safety of children and young people by requiring them to implement policies to prevent, report and respond to allegations of child abuse and harm.
Child Safe Standards
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.
Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance, and culture.
Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
CFA’s Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy (PDF 79.7KB) exemplifies our commitment to child safety principles and practices across the organisation in line with the Victorian Child Safe Standards. It outlines how CFA prioritises the safety and wellbeing of children and young people - within CFA and in the community.
The policy lays out CFA’s expectations about child safe practices from CFA leadership, members and the wider CFA community.
A whole of organisation approach
Being child safe does not just happen, preventing child abuse requires a proactive approach underpinned by our policies, procedures and practices and the commitment of all our members.
CFA is committed to educating and empowering our members to play their part. Protecting children and young people from child abuse and harm is a shared responsibility.
Our Child Safety Behaviour Statement sets clear guidelines on the child safety responsibilities and expected behaviours at CFA.
Zero tolerance for all forms of child abuse
CFA has a zero tolerance for all forms of child abuse and neglect, and we will act to safeguard children and young people according to our ethical and legal obligations. Child abuse is any behaviour that harms a child or young person and can take many forms including:
- emotional abuse
Supporting diversity and vulnerability
While any child or young person can be vulnerable to abuse, some groups face a higher risk, including children and young people who:
- are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity
- are from a culturally and linguistically diverse background
- have a disability
- have previously experienced abuse
- identify as LGBTIQA+
or are experiencing disadvantage such as poverty, homelessness, or living in out-of-home care.
Understanding child safety risks
Child safety risk is more than just physical hazards such as slips, trips, and falls. According to research commissioned for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, organisations should assess risks from four different perspectives:
- Situational risk refers to the specific characteristics of the activity and the environment where it occurs.
- Vulnerability risk considers the circumstances or characteristics of the children in the program or attending the event that might make them more vulnerable to harm or abuse
- Propensity risk. There is no one psychological profile for a person who harms or abuses children. Unfortunately, we have to assume that there is potential for someone involved in or attending any program or event who will perpetrate child abuse.
- Organisational risk refers to the characteristics of the organisation, such as its structures, attitudes, and practices, and how they affect the risk of child abuse and harm
Reporting a concern
If you have a child safety concern, complaint or allegation, please complete the Child Safety eReporting form or download the Child Safety Incident Report form - docx 50k to notify CFA.
If you are a child or young person and have something you need to share, please use this form
You can also report concerns, complaints, and allegations via our external reporting service:
Complaints and allegations of child abuse will be taken seriously and all matters will be dealt with in a confidential manner. You can read more about what happens when a child safety incident is reported to CFA (PDF 68.5KB).
If you require any further information about Child Safety at CFA, please contact the Child Safety team via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page last updated: Thursday, 9 March 2023 3:57:47 PM