Child Safe Standards Commitment

Child Safe Policy

Policy Declaration

Bellarine Living and Learning Centre is committed to empowering children as vital and active members of our community and our organisation. We involve them when making decisions about matters which affect them. We are committed to children’s safety and our legal and moral obligations to act in their best interest. This policy identifies the importance of children and their safety in our organisation, and guides our staff, Committee of Management, Members and centre users on how to behave with children in our organisation.

Policy Description


This policy applies to staff, Committee of Management, Members, and all centre users.


Embedding a culture of empowering children and upholding child safety within our organisation is integral to our ability to meet the needs of and serve our community. Organisational leadership is essential to instilling a child safe culture.


Bellarine Living and Learning Centre recognises that children are vital members of our community and have a fundamental right to be safe, happy, and empowered. Children are valued participants in our organisation who bringing insight and innovation.

Bellarine Living and Learning Centre is committed to the following strategies to protect children in our organisation:

  • Recognition of the valuable contribution children make and our responsibilities towards them in our Code of Conduct.
  • Clear statements about our commitment to child safety in key locations in our organisation, including in our media, recruitment materials, and in our facilities.
  • Bellarine Living and Learning Centre provides information and processes which enable staff and community members to recognise and respond to child abuse. We have zero tolerance towards child abuse and will respond to all allegations and safety concerns seriously.
  • Include risk to children in our risk mitigation strategies.

We conduct regular reviews of our child safety and inclusion strategies to ensure

  • Bellarine Living and Learning Centre continuously improves in our practice of involving, supporting, and protecting children in our community and our organisation.
  • We support safety for all children, and are committed to the cultural safety of aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with disabilities,
  • Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult (e.g. parent guardian or teacher), unless appropriate risk management strategies have been documented and implemented.

Legislative responsibilities

Our organisation takes our legal responsibilities seriously, including:

  • Failure to disclose: Reporting child sexual abuse is a community-wide responsibility. All adults in Victoria who have a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child under 16 have an obligation to report that information to the police.
  • Failure to protect: Manager of authority in our organisation will commit an offence if they know of a substantial risk of child sexual abuse and have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently fail to do so.

If an adult has a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred, then they must report the incident to the Manager. Factors contributing to reasonable belief may be:

  • a child states they or some person they know has been abused (noting that sometimes the child may in fact be referring to themselves).
  • behaviour consistent with that of an abuse victim is observed.
  • Someone else has raised a suspicion of abuse but is unwilling to report it.
  • observing suspicious behaviour.