On 1 January 2016, Victoria introduced compulsory minimum standards applying to organisations that provide services for children, in order to help protect children from all forms of abuse. As described by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Child Safe Standards are part of the government’s response to the recommendations arising from the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry.
Mercy Health is committed to ensuring the safety of all children accessing our services and we are also committed to meeting our compliance obligations. Our policy means Mercy Health will be better able to prevent child abuse, require reporting of any abuse that has occurred, and improve responses to any allegations of child abuse.
The Mercy Health Child Safe Standards Policy applies to all Mercy Health employees, contractors and volunteers.
Our commitment to child safety
Mercy Health holds a strong commitment to child safety, based on the following organisational principles:
- zero tolerance of child abuse and neglect
- listening to the voice of children
- development and ongoing review of policies and procedures to protect children from abuse and neglect
- a commitment to take all allegations of abuse and neglect against children seriously and to respond to them consistently and in line with Mercy Health’s child safe policies and procedures.
- a recognition of the need to continually promote cultural safety and provide a safe environment for children of Aboriginal and culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with a disability.
Child Safe Standards
By law, all Victorian organisations that provide services or facilities to children are required to comply with the Child Safe Standards.
Mercy Health is morally and legally committed to meeting its compliance obligations under the Child Safe Standards. From the 1 July 2022 the 11 standards are as follows:
The 11 Standards are as follows:
- 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.
- Implemented of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
- Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
If you have any concerns about child safety while accessing our services, please contact the unit or department manager or learn more about providing feedback online.
We also welcome feedback from children who have accessed our services.
Last reviewed March 2, 2020.