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Child Safety Code of Conduct

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The Code

(1) All staff, volunteers and Council members of La Trobe University are required to observe child safe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children, as noted below.

(2) All personnel of La Trobe University are responsible for supporting the safety, participation, wellbeing and empowerment of children by:

  1. adhering to La Trobe University’s child safe policy at all times / upholding La Trobe University’s statement of commitment to child safety at all times;
  2. taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse;
  3. treating everyone with respect;
  4. listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused and/or are worried about their safety or the safety of another;
  5. promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal child’s self-identification);
  6. promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance of discrimination);
  7. promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities);
  8. ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not left alone with a child;
  9. reporting any allegations of child abuse to La Trobe University’s Child Safety Officer / leadership, and ensure any children at immediate risk are reported to the police or child protection;
  10. reporting any child safety concerns to La Trobe University Child Safety Officer / leadership;
  11. if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe; 
  12. encouraging children to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organisational activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to them.

(3) Staff and Volunteers Must Not:

  1. develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children);
  2. exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for example inappropriate sitting on laps. Sitting on laps could be appropriate sometimes (for example while reading a storybook to a small child in an open plan area);
  3. put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors);
  4. do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes;
  5. engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities);
  6. use inappropriate language in the presence of children;
  7. express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children;
  8. discriminate against any child, including because of culture, race, ethnicity or disability;
  9. have contact with a child or their family outside of our organisation without our child safety officer’s knowledge and/or consent (for example, no babysitting). Accidental contact, such as seeing people in the street, is appropriate);
  10. have any online contact with a child or their family (unless necessary, for example providing families with e-newsletters); 
  11. ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse.

(4) Educators Must Not:

  1. use personal devices to take photos of children;
  2. take children’s personal records or photos off the premises without the permission of the Child Safety Officer. This includes but is not limited to: information and photos stored on USB drives; Centre cameras, memory cards and computers; Centre mobile phones; paper copies of documentation or photos;
  3. fail to comply with Centre directives to meet a family’s cultural preferences for the personal care needs of their child;
  4. fail to report to the Centre’s Child Safety Officer, any person who has breached this Code of Conduct in any way.

(5) By observing these standards, you acknowledge your responsibility to immediately report any breach of this code to La Trobe University’s Child Safety Officer. 

(6) Child Care Centre educators must also report to the Centre’s Child Safety Officer, who will report to the University’s Child Safety Officer.

(7) If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000.