Child Safe Standards

Council has developed a Child Safe Standard Framework (the Framework) to ensure compliance with the eleven Victorian Child Safe Standards that came into effect 1 July 2022. A Child Safe Policy underpins the Framework and will support the implementation of the Child Safe Standards.

All Council Representatives play an important role in protecting children, providing an inclusive environment and reporting any concerns for a child’s safety. Council aims to create a culture that reduces the opportunity for harm and provides Council Representatives a clear process to follow when concerns are raised about child safety, or abuse/harm is reported.

This Child Safe Statement of Commitment applies to all Council Representatives.

Statement of Commitment to the Child Safe Standards

Loddon Shire Council has a zero tolerance for any form of child abuse and is committed to the safety, wellbeing and empowerment of children including the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, culturally and linguistically diverse children, and the safety of children with a disability.

Council will create and maintain a child safe organisation, where protecting children and preventing and responding to child abuse is embedded in everyday thinking and practices by:

  • preventing child abuse occurring within our services, programs and facilities
  • creating an organisation culture of child safety
  • setting clear expectations of Council Representatives about what is required to keep children safe
  • ensuring Council Representatives are clear about their responsibilities when they suspect abuse of a child 
  • ensuring all suspected abuse is reported and fully investigated.  

Our commitment will be enacted through the implementation and monitoring of the Child Safe Standards, as specified under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Amendment Act 2015 (Authorised Version incorporating amendments as at 1 January 2023).


Our commitment to Council Representatives

Council is committed to ensuring all Council Representatives understand that child safety is everyone’s responsibility. 

All Council Representatives will be made aware of their obligations and expectations of working in a Child Safe Organisation via:

  • Council’s Staff Code of Conduct
  • Volunteer Code of Conduct
  • Councillors Code of Conduct
  • Position Descriptions and;
  • the employee induction program.

Through regular mandatory education, awareness and training, all Council Representatives understand the organisation’s commitment to child safety and their responsibility in creating and maintaining a culturally safe and inclusive environment. 

Council Representatives have access to the appointed Child Safety Officer (CSO) who will provide advice and support to Council Representatives about what they are required to do if they need to report suspected abuse, or behaviour that is negatively impacting on Council's commitment to each of the eleven standards.



Council's commitment to ensuring a child safe organisation

The Framework outlines specific responsibilities of all Council Representatives and sets out eleven commitments in accordance with the Child Safe Standards.

The following commitments are aligned across the eleven Child Safe Standards:

  • Council is committed to establishing a culturally safe and inclusive organisation where Aboriginal children and young people, and those with unique identities are accepted, and feel empowered to express their culture and identity with no fear of discrimination. 
  • Council is committed to ensuring that a child safe culture is modelled at all levels of the organisation and has a robust governance structure in place to achieve this. Through policies and procedures, Council Representatives understand their obligations to identify and report any risk to children or young people. 
  • Council supports the participation and empowerment of children and young people and is committed to creating an environment that encourages them to express their views and feel comfortable about giving voice to the things that are important to them.
  • When delivering programs and projects, Council welcomes the involvement of the community, children, young people and their families. 
  • Council is committed to establishing a safe and welcoming environment for all children and young people regardless of their circumstances, abilities, sex, gender, cultural background or disability and will ensure they are supported, and have accessible information that is easy to understand. 
  • Council has strong recruitment and selection processes, contract management processes, policies and procedures, and regular training for all staff that ensures all reasonable steps are taken to provide a safe environment for children and young people. 
  • Through the implementation of the Child Safe Standards Framework, Council is creating an environment where child safety complaints and concerns are readily raised, and no one is discouraged from reporting an allegation of child abuse to their supervisor/manager, the Child Safety Officer or the relevant authority. 
  • Through the delivery of education and awareness programs and training, Council Representatives will have the relevant knowledge and will be confident in their own ability to abide by, and work within the standards. 
  • Council is committed to identifying, assessing and taking steps to minimise child abuse and child exploitation in the delivery of Council programs and services. 
  • Council has a governance structure which includes a register of all policies, procedures and strategic documents and includes the review schedule for each document.  
  • Upon implementation of The Framework, Council will have strategies in place that address all eleven Child Safe Standards and have policies and procedures that are accessible to all Council Representatives and the community that are easy to understand.

To view a complete list of the actions being implemented to support each commitment reference should be made to the Child Safe Standards Framework.



  • Child/children: unless it is explicitly specified in any of associated documentation for the Child Safe Standards, a child for the purposes of the Framework is considered any person from 0 to 18 years old.  
  • Child Safety Officer: refers to the appointed Council officer who staff and volunteers can seek guidance and support from when there are concerns regarding a child’s safety and who will initiate internal processes in relation to where matters need to be reported.
  • Cultural Safety: refers to where children experience their cultural identity, values and way of being, which may differ from other cultures; and their interactions with the wider community are respected, not challenged or harmed.
  • Working With Children Check (WWCC): refers to the check conducted to assist in protecting children from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for, them are subject to a screening process.  The WWCC screens a person’s criminal records and any reports about professional conduct.
  • Council: The Organisation.
  • Child or young Person: unless it is explicitly specified in any of associated documentation for the Child Safe Standards, a child for the purposes of this Framework is considered any person from 0 to 18 years old.
  • Child abuse: any act committed against a child involving: physical violence, sexual offences, serious emotional or psychological abuse and serious neglect.
  • Child related work: work within one or more occupational fields defined in the Children’s Services Act 1996 Act where the contact with children is direct, unsupervised, and part of a person’s duties, not incidental to their work.
  • Child protection: any responsible measure or activity undertaken to safeguard children from harm.
  • Child Safe Organisation: in the context of the child safe standards, a child safe organisation is one that meets the standards by proactively taking measures to protect children from abuse.
  • Complaint: A statement that something is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
  • Harm: Is damage to the health, safety or wellbeing of a child or young person, including as a result of child abuse by adults or the conduct of other children. 
  • Council Representatives: Refers to all Loddon Shire Councillors, employees, volunteers and contractors.
  • Disclosure: requires any adult who holds a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria by an adult against a child (aged under 16) to disclose that information to Victoria Police or Child Protection. Applies to everyone in the community, not just mandated professionals. Failure to disclose applies to any person who holds a position of authority within the organisation who knows of a risk of child sexual abuse by someone in the organisation and has the authority to reduce or remove the risk, BUT negligently fails to do so. The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.
  • Mandatory reporting: under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Section 182) doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers (including early childhood teachers) principals, police a person in a religious ministry, a person employed by a children’s service within the meaning of the Children’s Services Act, registered psychologist, youth and child welfare worker, youth justice officer and a youth parole officer are mandatory reporters. These professions are legally required to make a report to Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS Child Protection Unit) if they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection from being abused or is at risk of being abused. Reasonable belief A reasonable belief or a belief on reasonable grounds is not the same as having proof but it is more than mere rumour or speculation.
  • Reasonable belief: is formed if a reasonable person in the same position would have formed the belief on the same grounds.