Child safe policy

Open, honest two-way communication

Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre (BALC) is committed to child safety.

We want children to be safe, happy and empowered.

We support and respect all children, as well as our employees. We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children.

We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures.

We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.

Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.

Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre has robust human resources and recruitment practices for all employees.

We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and in providing a safe environment for children with disability.

We have specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our employees and to achieve these commitments.

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

 

Training and education

Training and education is important to ensure that everyone at BALC understands that child safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Our culture aims for all employees to feel confident and comfortable in discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns.

We train our employees to identify, assess, and minimise risks of child abuse and to detect potential signs of child abuse. We also support our employees through ongoing supervision to: develop their skills to protect children from abuse; and promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from linguistically and/or diverse backgrounds, and the safety of children with disability.

New employees will be inducted to ensure they understand our commitment to child safety and that everyone has a role to play in protecting children from abuse. They will also be supervised to ensure that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate. Any inappropriate behaviour will be reported through appropriate channels, including the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Police, depending on the severity and urgency of the matter.

All employees of BALC are responsible for understanding our commitment to the Child Safe Standards, that they have a role to play in protecting children from abuse, and ensuring that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate. They also need to ensure they know how to report an incident or concern, and the legal implications of failure to disclose or protect a child.

 

We are guided by the following:

Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984
Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act 1975
Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992
Victorian Disability Act 2006
Commonwealth Fair Work Act 2009
Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 1984
Victorian Child Safe Standards

 

Legal responsibilities

We take our legal responsibilities seriously regarding the reporting of child sexual abuse, including:

  • Failure to Disclose: requires any adult (over the age of 18) who holds a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria by an adult (aged 18 and over) against a child (aged under 16) must disclose that information to police or child protection. Applies to everyone in the community, not just mandated professionals.
  • Failure to Protect: applies to people who hold a position of authority within organisations who know of a risk of child sexual abuse and have the authority to reduce or remove the risk, BUT negligently fail to do so.
  • Any personnel who are mandatory reporters must comply with their duties. Mandatory reporters must report to child protection if they believe on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from physical injury or sexual abuse.
  • Ensuring that no Grooming takes places through the accumulation of personal information from computer/data access and storage, CCTV monitoring, global positioning systems and technology (GPS), and call recording systems.