Child Safe Policy of the Catholic Parishes of Wangaratta
This Child Safe Policy has been endorsed by the Parish Pastoral Council and was approved by Rev Fr Mike Pullar, PP on March 1 2017.
Our Parish is committed to child safety. All children who come to St. Patrick’s Parish have a right to feel and be safe. The welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority and we have a zero tolerance to child abuse. We aim to create a child safe and child friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun. This policy was developed in collaboration with our staff, volunteers, children who come to our parish and their parents. It applies to all staff, volunteers, children and individuals involved in our parish.
St. Patrick’s Parish staff and volunteers encourage children to express their views. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all children who sue our services to ‘have a say’ about things that are important to them. We teach children about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, or their parents, raise with us.
We value diversity and do not tolerate discriminatory practices in our Parish. To achieve this we:
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families
- welcome children with a disability and their families to promote their participation
- seek appropriate staff from diverse cultural backgrounds
St. Patrick’s Parish applies the best practice standards in the recruitment and screening of staff and volunteers. We interview and conduct referee checks on all staff and volunteers and require Working with Children Checks for relevant positions. Our commitment to Child Safety and our screening requirements are included in all advertisements.
Code of Conduct
St. Patrick’s Parish seeks to attract and retain the best staff and volunteers. We provide support and supervision so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated. We have developed a Code of Conduct to provide guidance to our staff and volunteers, all of whom receive training on the requirements of the Code.
Our Parish takes all allegations seriously and have appointed Carole O’Sullivan and Bob Shaw to be the Child Safety Persons with specific responsibility for responding to any complains made by staff, volunteers parents or children. They can be contacted through the Parish office or (03) 5722 1970.
We recognise the importance of a risk management approach to minimising the potential for child abuse or harm to occur and use this to inform our policy, procedures and activity planning. In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children.
This policy will be reviewed every two years and following significant incidents if they occur. We undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from children, parents, carers, staff and volunteers.
This next review of this policy is due on March 1, 2018.