Central Shule Child Protection Policy
The Central Community Centre Inc (CCCInc) and Central Shule Chabad (CSC) Committees (collectively referred to as “Central”) and congregation are committed to creating a warm, family friendly environment in which the protection of children (all those under 18 years of age) is paramount, in which equality and rights are upheld and diverse needs are respected. There is zero tolerance of child abuse, exploitation or grooming. At Central, services, educational programs and life cycle events are delivered in a mutually respectful child-safe environment that is positive, nurturing and supportive. The Central Committees have appointed a Child Safety Officer and a Child Protection Advisory Group to support the implementation of this policy.
Scope: This policy applies to all Central personnel (Committee members, Rabbis, the Rebbetzin, our Chazzan, other employees, permanent contractors & volunteers) including members and visitors. The application of this policy is not limited to the Central premises or to times of services. It extends to all services, programs and events on Central premises and conducted elsewhere by Central. Central recognises and acknowledges that all relevant legislation, regulations and laws are taken to be applicable to Central.
Expectations: We will provide clear guidelines to all personnel, members and visitors regarding the conduct expected of them whilst on the Central premises and while attending any services, programs or events conducted by Central, wherever those might take place. Personnel, members and visitors are expected to respect and comply with this Child Protection Policy and adhere to the Code of Conduct at all Central events, programs and services. Failure to comply may result in suspension or termination of employment, suspension or termination of membership, or suspension or termination of access to the services, programs and events of Central.
Screening: It is a requirement of Central that all personnel and volunteers have a current Working With Children Check (WWCC). Any external contractors including caterers will be made aware of this requirement and required to enforce with their staff. The appointment of all employees is subject to a police check, reference checks and is dependent upon an appropriate WWCC. The consequences of not having a WWCC may be temporary suspension from, or permanent termination of, one’s role. Admission to Central services, programs & events whether conducted at the Central premises or elsewhere is at the discretion of the Central Committees. From time to time, information may be received regarding a registered sex offender, a person facing charges of sexual offences or about whom an allegation of sexual misconduct has been made. The Central Committees reserve the right to undertake an appropriate investigation and to determine the suitability of any person seeking admission. External advisors might be employed to conduct such investigations.
Training: Regular child protection training is provided to all Central personnel and information is made available to all Central members regarding measures that are being taken to maintain the safety of children engaged in Central services, programs and events.
Vigilance: Protecting our children from harm is everyone’s job. This policy, in conjunction with the information and training offered by Central, promotes the capacity of every member of the community to be the eyes and ears of the community regarding the safety of children. Central will strive, to the best of its ability, to ensure that all members are aware of the potential risks to children and will seek to educate and raise the awareness of parents and all members regarding the importance of being vigilant and reporting concerns, allegations and/or incidents. That notwithstanding, Central is not responsible for the conduct of all of its members or visitors at all times. Parents retain responsibility for the effective supervision of their own children at Central premises as well as any services, programs or events conducted by Central elsewhere.
Risk analysis: A risk analysis will be conducted prior to any special services, programs and events. In considering external venues, risks associated with the venue will be considered. Prior to special programs such as bar / bat mitzvah programs, consent forms with appropriate guidelines will be sent to parents who will be asked to register their children’s attendance online. This requirement only applies to these special programs that may be conducted on or offsite for an extended period of time.
Supervision: Central will strive to ensure that supervision of children will always be overseen by a person with a current WWCC. Central strives to ensure that children participating in Central programs, services and events are aware of the acceptable limits of their behaviour so that a positive experience is created for all. Central personnel are required to use strategies that are fair, respectful and appropriate to the developmental stage of the children involved and to give clear directions to redirect behaviour in a positive manner.
Interactions & physical contact: Interactions with children are required to be mutually respectful and to avoid shaming or humiliating the child through words spoken or through any actions taken. Some limited physical contact such as handshakes, high fives, or similar hand to hand contact may be acceptable if they are carried out in traditional settings and circumstances. Beyond those limited circumstances, physical contact between Central personnel and children (other than between close family members) is to be avoided.
Photography and photographic images: While it is likely that photographs of children and young people will be taken at Central events, the expectation is that these are limited to group photographs or photographs of individual children taken in a public area, and that whether photographed individually or in a group that subjects are all clothed and posed in a manner acceptable to the custom and standard of the community.
Use, possession or supply of drugs & alcohol: Central will ensure as far as is possible that the supply of alcohol or drugs (including tobacco) to children participating in Central services, programs or events does not occur. No-one should be providing children with alcohol or drugs, except in the limited circumstance legally allowed to parents in regard to their own child/ren.
Confidentiality & Reporting: Central will ensure that following every allegation or incident involving alleged inappropriate, improper and/or abusive behaviour involving any child(ren) that is brought to the attention of the Child Safety Officer, the President, Rabbi or any member of the Committee, a report form will be completed (Central Suspected Abuse & Incident Report), an investigation will be carried out and if appropriate, a report submitted to the appropriate authorities, eg. Victoria Police or DHHS Child Protection. Central is committed to maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of all concerned (including the alleged perpetrator), except if doing so would compromise the welfare of the child(ren) and/or investigation of the allegation and/or Central’s reporting obligations and responsibilities. Mandatory Reporting procedures apply to Rabbis, the Rebbetzin, the Chazzan, teachers, and members of the medical profession in regard to services, programs and events at Central or conducted by Central.
Monitoring and Review: The Central Committees maintain confidential records of allegations and reports of abuse of children. These records are monitored to ensure that reports are responded to effectively, in accordance with the Central Child Protection Policy and that requirements for reporting to external authorities are met. Such records will inform regular reviews of the Policy conducted annually or after a report of an incident, a change in legislation or a change in the Central organisational structure. This policy will be implemented reviewed annually and/or after any report, and updated pursuant to relevant legislation.
If a child is at imminent risk of harm or in immediate danger, Central personnel are required to report the situation directly to Victoria Police on 000.
Reviewed 14 June 2023