Child Safety Commitment

Mornington Peninsula Shire is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. We have zero tolerance of child abuse and robust training, policies and procedures in place to protect children from abuse and respond to any risks, allegations or safety concerns.

We want all children and young people to be and feel safe, welcome and included in our services and empowered to achieve their dreams, goals and aspirations for a bright future.

We take steps to ensure the voices of our children, young people and families are heard and we are proud to celebrate the diversity of our community.

We are unapologetically proactive in closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and supporting them to express their culture and enjoy their cultural rights.

We welcome and value the participation of all children and young people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disabilities, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those that are unable to live at home and our LGBTIQA+ community.

We are proud to be a Child Safe Organisation.

If you have a concern about the safety of a child or would like to report a child safety issue, please contact the Child Safe Coordinator.

How to report a concern

We are all responsible for keeping children and young people safe from child abuse and harm. Any concerns about a Mornington Peninsula Shire Council employee, Councillor, volunteer or contractor's behaviour or conduct towards a child or young person will be treated seriously.

The Shire will report to the relevant authorities any incident, disclosure or reasonable belief of child abuse or harm that has occurred, is occurring, or is at risk of occurring to any child or young person under the age of 18 years in their home, community or a Shire service.

You can also contact the Commission for Children and Young People directly at contact@ccyp.vic.gov.au or call 03 8601 5884 (Monday to Friday).

Your Role in reporting

Reporting child abuse is the important first step in helping children who are experiencing abuse and neglect. Abuse can have a devastating impact on the lives of children. Failure to report means that the child may continue to experience abuse.

Taking action ensures that children and families get the help and support they need.

When working directly with children and young people or in a role with only incidental or minimal contact, we all have ethical and legal obligations to protect children and young people and report all forms of child abuse.

You should report any incident, disclosure or reasonable belief that child abuse or harm has occurred, is occurring, or is at risk of occurring to any child or young person under the age of 18 years. Failure to disclose physical or sexual abuse may result in a criminal offence.

The Shire is committed to protecting an individual’s right to privacy. All personal information considered or recorded during the process of a report or investigation will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy. The identity of reporters and the information they provide will be handled sensitively and confidentially.

Reporting immediate danger

The safety of children and young people is everyone’s responsibility. If a child is in immediate danger call the Police on 000 (triple zero) and/or Child Protection Southern Division Intake on 1300 655 795 or 13 12 78 after hours. 

What to report

Any concern or complaint, in regard to:

  • the conduct of a child or young person at a Mornington Peninsula Shire service, program or event
  • general concerns about the safety of a group of children or young people at Mornington Peninsula Shire service, program or event
  • a Mornington Peninsula Shire service, program or event
  • any allegation of abuse, harm or neglect of a child or young person by an employee, Councillor, contractor or volunteer
  • disclosures of abuse, harm or neglect made by a child/young person who attends a Shire’s service, program or event.

Before making a report in regard to abuse, harm or neglect, it is important you have formed a reasonable belief. A person forms a ‘reasonable belief’ that a child is in need of protection, or their safety or wellbeing is at risk when:

  • a reasonable person in the same position would have formed the belief on the same grounds. It does not require proof
  • the belief is formed through disclosures, observations or other information of which you have become aware.

To find out more about what Mornington Peninsula Shire is doing about Child Safety and to report a Child Safety Concern, you can watch this short video.

If you have any concerns about the conduct of a Mornington Peninsula Shire Council employee, administrator, volunteer or contractor toward a child or young person, your concerns will be taken seriously. To notify the Shire please email Child Safe Coordinator or call 1300 850 600 and ask to be put through to the Child Safety Coordinator.

View our Child Safe Reporting Chart here(PDF, 175KB)

For any other concerns not relating to a child or young person please see our complaints page. 

Child Safety 'Drops ins'

Second Semester Child Safety Community Drop ins will be determined soon.

Child Safety key achievements for 2023

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council developed the first Child Safety Action Plan(DOCX, 1MB) in 2023. This provided a strategic framework for coordinating and implementing actions and initiatives that maintained and progressed child safety both within the Shire and the community. 

Top 5 Child Safety Questions

What are the Child Safe Standards?

The Victorian Child Safe Standards are a compulsory framework that supports organisations to promote the safety of children.  Organisations that provide services and facilities for children and young people or engage children and young people as employees, trainees or volunteers must comply with the Standards. The Standards help to prioritise the rights, safety and wellbeing of all children and young people, by driving changes in organisational culture and embedding child safety in everyday thinking and practice. 

Why do we have the standards?

The Child Safe Standards aim to protect children and young people, by requiring organisations to put policies, procedures and processes in place to prevent and respond to abuse. When organisations apply the Standards they build a culture where abuse of children is prevented, responded to and reported.

What is the Reportable Conduct Scheme?

The Reportable Conduct Scheme requires a head of an organisation to report to the Commission for Children and Young People if they become aware of an allegation of child abuse made against a member of staff. The Shire will respond promptly to any allegations of child abuse made against Shire Workers, either inside or outside of work, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will notify relevant authorities.

How does Mornington Peninsula Shire ensure we meet the Child Safe Standards?

Mornington Peninsula Shire is committed to Child Safety. Our Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy(PDF, 424KB) outlines our commitment to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children and young people. This includes

  • our zero tolerance of child abuse
  • the steps we take to achieve a child safe environment
  • expectations, roles and responsibilities of our staff
  • our policies and procedures.

 

How can I work in partnership with Mornington Peninsula Shire to keep Children and young people safe in the community?

If you see something, say something. A confidential report can be made when there is a disclosure of abuse or harm or a reasonable belief is formed that a child and/or young person (up to 18 years) is at risk or in need of protection.

If you witness an incident or believe a child is in immediate danger, please contact 000 for urgent police assistance. Mornington Peninsula Shire has a designated Child Safety Coordinator. If the child is not at immediate risk and you have a concern about the safety of a child or would like to report a child safety issue, please contact the Child Safety Coordinator or contact our customer service centre on 1300 850 600.

 

Related information

Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy