Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
Mansfield A&P Society:
Mansfield A&P Society Code of Conduct for Members, Volunteers, Contractors and Associates working with children and young people
Members, volunteers, contractors and associates at Mansfield A&P Society are required to abide by this Code. Under the President and Executive, the Committee will:
No person shall:
What happens if someone breaches this Code of Conduct
If anyone breaches this Code of Conduct they will face disciplinary action in accordance with Mansfield A&P Society’s Constitution and Rules of Association, including and up to cessation of engagement with the Society.
Child Protection Policy
Mansfield A&P Society is committed to promoting and protecting the interests and safety of children. We have zero tolerance for child abuse. Everyone participating at Mansfield A&P Society is responsible for the care and protection of children and reporting information about child abuse.
The purpose of this policy is to:
Mansfield A&P Society is committed to promoting and protecting at all times the best interests of children involved in its programs.
All children, regardless of their gender, race, religious beliefs, age, disability, sexual orientation, or family or social background, have equal rights to protection from abuse. Mansfield A&P Society has zero tolerance for child abuse. Everyone participating at Mansfield A&P Society is responsible for the care and protection of the children within our care and reporting information about suspected child abuse.
Child protection is a shared responsibility between Mansfield A&P Society members, volunteers, contractors, and associates of the Mansfield A&P Society community. Mansfield A&P Society will consider the opinions of children and use their opinions to develop child protection policies. Mansfield A&P Society supports and respects all children, members, volunteers, contractors and associates. Mansfield A&P Society is committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, and those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children living with a disability. If any person believes a child is in immediate risk of abuse, telephone 000.
The Committee of Mansfield A&P Society has ultimate responsibility for the detection and prevention of child abuse and is responsible for ensuring that appropriate and effective internal control systems are in place. The Committee is also responsible for ensuring that appropriate policies and procedures and a Child Protection Code of Conduct are in place.
The President and Executive of Mansfield A&P Society is responsible for:
All Committee members must ensure that they:
All members/volunteers/contractors/associates share in the responsibility for the prevention and detection of child abuse, and must:
Child means a person below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
Child protection means any responsibility, measure or activity undertaken to safeguard children from harm.
Child abuse means all forms of physical abuse, emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse and exploitation, neglect or negligent treatment, commercial (e.g. for financial gain) or other exploitation of a child and includes any actions that results in actual or potential harm to a child.
Child sexual assault is any act which exposes a child to, or involves a child in, sexual processes beyond his or her understanding or contrary to accepted community standards. Sexually abusive behaviours can include the fondling of genitals, masturbation, oral sex, vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, finger or any other object, fondling of breasts, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and exposing the child to or involving the child in pornography. It includes child grooming, which refers to actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child to lower the child’s inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity with the child.
Reasonable grounds for belief is a belief based on reasonable grounds that child abuse has occurred when all known considerations or facts relevant to the formation of a belief are taken into account and these are objectively assessed. Circumstances or considerations may include the source of the allegation and how it was communicated, the nature of and details of the allegation, and whether there are any other related matters known regarding the alleged perpetrator. A reasonable belief is formed if a reasonable person believes that:
A ‘reasonable belief’ is formed if a reasonable person in the same position would have formed the belief on the same grounds. For example, a ‘reasonable belief’ might be formed if:
Induction of New Personnel
Mansfield A&P Society undertakes a comprehensive recruitment and screening process for all members, volunteers, contractors and associates which aims to:
Mansfield A&P Society will ensure that child safety is a part of its overall risk management approach. The President and Executive of Mansfield A&P Society will be the risk and compliance sub-committee committed to identifying and managing risks at Mansfield A&P Society. Risk and compliance sub-committee members will receive regular training in relation to child safety.
Any member/volunteer/contractor/associate who has grounds to suspect abusive activity must immediately notify the appropriate child protection service or the police. They should also advise a Committee member about their concern. In situations where the Committee member is suspected of involvement in the activity, or if the person having the suspicion does not believe that the matter is being appropriately addressed or dealt with, the matter should be reported to the President. Committee members must report complaints of suspected abusive behaviour or misconduct to the President and also to any external regulatory body such as the police. According to the Crimes Act 1958 (Victoria), a mandated reporter (18 years or older) must make a report if they form a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria against a child (a person under 16 years old) by another person of or over the age of 18 years. Exceptions may apply. According to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Victoria), a voluntary reporter (any person) may make a report if the person has a significant concern for the wellbeing of a child under 17 years old. If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone Police 000 or Department of Human Services 1800 806 292 - Rural free call For concerns about the immediate safety of a child after hours or on weekends or public holidays, call the After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service on 131 278 - toll free for all Victoria
If the appropriate child protection service or the police decide to conduct an investigation of this report, all
members/volunteers/contractors/associates must co-operate fully with the investigation. Whether or not the authorities decide to conduct an investigation, the President will consult with the authorities to determine whether an internal investigation is appropriate. If it is decided that such an investigation will not conflict with any proceeding of the authorities, the President may decide to conduct such an investigation. All members/volunteers/contractors/associates must co-operate fully with the investigation. Any such investigation will be conducted according to the rules of natural justice. The President will make every effort to keep any such investigation confidential; however, from time to time other members/volunteers/contractors/associates may need to be consulted in conjunction with the investigation. After an initial review and a determination that the suspected abuse warrants additional investigation, the President shall coordinate the investigation with the appropriate investigators and/or law enforcement officials. Internal or external legal representatives will be involved in the process, as deemed appropriate.
If it is alleged that a member, volunteer, contractor or associate may have committed an offence or have breached the organisation’s policies or its Code of Conduct the person concerned may be stood down while an investigation is conducted. If the investigation concludes that on the balance of probabilities an offence (or a breach of the organisation’s policies or Code of Conduct) has occurred then disciplinary action may follow, up to and including cessation of involvement with the organisation. The findings of the investigation will also be reported to any external body as required.
All personal information considered or recorded will respect the privacy of the individuals involved unless there is a risk to someone’s safety. Mansfield A&P Society will have safeguards and practices in place to ensure any personal information is protected. Everyone is entitled to know how the personal information is recorded, what will be done with it, and who will be able to access it.
Every year at the meeting after the AGM, and following every reportable incident, a review shall be conducted to assess whether the organisation’s child protection policies or procedures require modification to better protect the children under the organisation’s care.
This policy must be read in conjunction with: