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
- listening to the voice of children
- development and ongoing review of policies and procedures to protect children from abuse
- a commitment to take all allegations of abuse 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.
The seven Standards are as follows:
- strategies to embed a culture of child safety through effective leadership arrangements
- a child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
- a code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
- screening, supervision, training, and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing staff
- processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
- strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
- strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.
If you have any concerns about child safety whilst 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.