Child Safeguarding

New Victorian Child Safe Standards came into effect on 1 July 2022 in all Victorian schools.  An important inclusion in the 11 standards is Standard 3: Child and student empowerment – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.

Valuing young people and their rights is a fundamental aspect of this Standard, and aligns with Clonard’s vision for student participation which focuses on student voice, agency and leadership as the key elements which empower students.

To achieve this we commit to:

  • informing students about their rights and responsibilities in an age-appropriate way
  • recognising the importance of friendships and peer support
  • enabling students to actively participate in creating a culture that is safe.

Empowering children and young people improves child safety. Student voice has been an important addition to the documents outlined below, in the knowledge that policies and practices that are shaped by children’s and young people’s views can better prevent the risk of harm.

Child Safeguarding Program

Kildare Education Ministries has zero tolerance for child abuse and is committed to the protection of all young people from all forms of abuse.

The Child Safeguarding Program at Clonard is made up of work systems, practices, policies and procedures designed to maintain a child safe environment and to embed an organisational culture of child safety within the College community. The Program deals specifically with child protection issues and is designed to ensure compliance with the Victorian Child Safe Standards and related child protection laws. Broader child safety issues arising from our common law duty of care are dealt with through our Student Duty of Care Program.

On July 1 2021 the Government announced 11 new Child Safe Standards in Victoria to bring about greater national consistency in relation to child safety. Ministerial Order No. 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – managing the risk of child abuse in schools and school boarding premises (MO 1359) was released in February 2022.
The Child Safe Standards outlined in MO 1359 come into effect on July 1 2022 in all Victorian schools.

The new Child Safe Standards as set out in MO 1359 are as follows:

  1. Culturally safe environments – 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.
  2. Leadership, governance and culture – Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
  3. Child and student empowerment – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
  4. Family engagement – Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
  5. Diversity and equity – Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
  6. Suitable staff and volunteers – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
  7. Complaints processes – Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
  8. Child safety knowledge, skills and awareness – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
  9. Child safety in physical and online environments – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
  10. Review of child safety practices – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
  11. Implementation of child safety practices – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.

Child Safety Commitment Documents