Child Protection Policy

LEL is committed to child protection and child safe environments. Children are the most vulnerable members of our community. They do not have the power to stop abuse. They rely on others to help them.

The responsibility for making sure that children are safe and that their needs are met is shared between the family, the general community, community agencies, and professionals working with children, police and the government. We all have a significant role to play to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and to help prevent harm from occurring.

Inevitably child care staff will come in contact with children who are suffering from abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual). Knowing how to deal with alleged child abuse effectively is essential.

LEL has a duty of care to ensure all persons are provided with a high level of safety and protection during the hours of operation.

In meeting the centre’s duty of care and legislative requirements outlined in Victoria all management and staff/carers must implement and adhere to the Service’s Child Protection Policy and ensure a level of safety and protection to all children who access our centre.

When staff suspect that children are being subjected to any form of abuse, the Director must be informed. Accurate observational records and documentation need to be recorded:

➢ If a child discloses information about abuse remain calm and indicate support to the child.
➢ Only use open questions to indicate support to the child. Take care not to ‘lead’ the child, by asking closed questions which only have a YES/NO answer.
➢ Any verbal disclosure that the child has made to staff must be recorded (try to record the actual words that the child used and record the conversation or actions as they happened without trying to interpret them – be objective).
➢ Any physical markings on the child such as bruising should be recorded in detail. The size and exact position of any marks needs to be recorded – include a diagram as well as a description.
➢ Record any behavioural trends that are consistent with abuse.
➢ Professional ethics and duty of care means that management will report suspected abuse so that the child and the family involved will receive the appropriate level of help they need. Suspected child abuse is to be reported to the Department of Human Services.
➢ Staff are not to directly discuss any suspected abuse the child may have mentioned with the parents. This may make further action by the relevant authorities more difficult.

All staff are expected to respect the child and family’s right to confidentiality and treat any disclosures and suspicions regarding suspected child abuse with the utmost professional confidentiality. Details of the suspected abuse or suspicions are not to be discussed with any person not directly associated with the reporting expectations.

Sourced: Department of Human Services- Responding to Child Abuse
Education and child care services National Regulation 2012
Code of Ethics
Policy reviewed August 2017