Child Safety at CGGS
Each year as part of our commitment to child safety we update our community on the Child Safe Standards and how we implement them. This is in addition to our Junior School and Senior School pastoral care and wellbeing programs.
One of our School Counsellors, Paula Kolivas, has prepared an overview of our implementation of the Child Safe Standards at CGGS for your information.
With best wishes,
Child Safe Standards
In 2016, the Victorian Government introduced Ministerial Order 870 – ChildSafe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools.
The Order requires schools to embed a culture of ‘no tolerance’ for child abuse and they must comply with the seven minimum CSS listed below:
> Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
> A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
> A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
> Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
> Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
> Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
> Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.
The Order also requires that the CSS are inclusive of all students with particular focus on students who are more vulnerable due to their abilities, indigenous, cultural or linguistic background.
CGGS provides biannual training to all our Senior, Junior and ELC staff to increase their awareness of the indicators of neglect and child physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Grooming and the expectations of staff conduct is also an important element addressed. This training is mandatory for all CGGS teaching staff, professional service staff and maintenance staff to ensure that they develop their knowledge and confidence to identify and appropriately respond to matters regarding suspicion or allegation of abuse. Staff failure to do so is a serious breach of their moral and legal requirements.
The School Counsellors also present every year, age appropriate training, to all students across our Junior and Senior campuses. One of the most powerful tools to reduce the risk of abuse is to educate students regarding what is abuse, how to identify inappropriate behaviour and most significantly where to seek help and support. Students are encouraged to identify the trusted adults in their private lives and at school, including the CGGS Child Safety Officers.
The responsibilities of the Child Safety Officers include consultation with the Principal staff, offering support to the child, parents/carers and person who reported. Clarifying the allegations and suspicions of abuse and when required, reporting the concerns to the relevant authorities – Child Protection Services, the Police and/or the Commission for Children and Young People. Our 2019 Child Safety Officers are:
> Debbie Dunwoody – Principal
> Cathy Poyser – Deputy Principal / Head of Senior School
> Paul Donohue – Head of Junior School
> Kate Manners – Deputy Head of Senior School
> Shane Maycock – Deputy Head of Senior School
> Nareen Robinson – Deputy Head of Senior School
> Nirvana Watkins – Deputy Head of Senior School
> Craig Goodwin – Deputy Head of Junior School
> Emma Hinchliffe – Deputy Head of Junior School
> Rev Helen Creed – School Chaplain
> Paula Kolivas – School Counsellor
> Beth Sarlos – School Counsellor
Apart from the active staff and student training, CGGS has developed clear procedures for responding to allegations or suspected abuse and we regularly update our school policies and audit our physical environment to ensure that our organisational culture reflects our commitment to zero tolerance of abuse.
Relevant policies that parents may access via our school website include the:
> Child Safety Policy
> Mandatory Reporting Policy
> Grooming Policy
> Code of Conduct Policies – staff and students
> Working With Children Check Policy
> Reportable Conduct Scheme Policy
> Whistle Blower Policy
All our students have a right to feel safe on and off campus. We want our students and parents/carers to feel confident that CGGS is an organisation committed to the physical, emotional and sexual safety of all students.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s safety or the safety of any other child in our community, we strongly encourage you to contact the Principal, Heads of School, or the Counsellors to discuss the matter. We promise to deal with your concerns and act to protect the child in a sensitive, confidential and respectful manner