Child Safety Code of Conduct
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(1) This Code of Conduct outlines appropriate standards of behaviour by adults towards children (child means persons under the age of 18). All members of La Trobe University (the University) are required to observe child safe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children, in physical and virtual environments, by:
- adhering to University’s Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and upholding the Child Safety Statement of Commitment at all times;
- taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse;
- treating everyone with respect, including listening to and valuing their ideas and opinions;
- respecting cultural values and norms that may be different from your own;
- where relevant, respecting a child’s Aboriginality and encouraging their sense of self and identity;
- consider cultural and disability needs when planning and delivering programs, services, and events;
- listening to children and responding to them appropriately;
- providing appropriate supervision for children based on their age and the activity, including complying with our guidelines on physical contact with children;
- working with children in an open and transparent way – other adults should always know about the work you are doing with children;
- maintain open, honest communication and collaboration with families, including seeking their feedback and input into any programs designed specifically for children as the primary cohort;
- respecting the privacy of children and their families, and only disclosing information to people who have a need to know;
- be vigilant for signs of abuse, harm or neglect, particularly if working with children how have communication difficulties;
- report any immediate risk to children to Victoria Police or Child Protection with subsequent report to University’s Child Safety Officer;
- reporting any reportable allegations of child abuse to University’s Child Safety Officer and ensure as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe;
- encouraging children to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organisational activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to them.
(2) Staff and volunteers must not:
- seek to use children in any way to meet the needs of adults;
- ignore or disregard any concerns, suspicions or disclosures of child abuse;
- ignore or inappropriately dismiss a child’s ideas;
- engage in rough physical games;
- belittle, shame, oppress or degrade children;
- discriminate against or denigrate any child because of their age, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or disability;
- question a child’s self-identification or self-expression related to their gender, race, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or disability;
- express inappropriate or disrespectful personal views on cultures, ethnicity, sexuality, or disability in the presence of a child or their family;
- initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes;
- develop ‘special’ relationships with specific children or show favouritism through the provision of gifts or inappropriate attention;
- exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking site or email addresses with children or families;
- engage in inappropriate conversations with or in the presence of a child (including online), such as making suggestive comments, sharing suggestive material, or engaging in open discussions of a mature or adult nature (for example, personal social activities);
- have unauthorised physical or virtual contact with children;
- take unauthorised photos or use personal devices to take authorised photos of children;
- post any information, online or in another public forum, about a child that could reveal their identity, without the informed consent of a parent or guardian;
- fail to report to the University’s Child Safety Officer, any person who has breached this Code of Conduct in any way.
(3) By observing these standards, you acknowledge your responsibility to immediately report any breach of this code to University’s Child Safety Officer.
(4) Child Care Centre educators must also report to the Centre’s Child Safety Officer, who will report to the University’s Child Safety Officer.