Our commitment to child safety
Little Ballet Stars is committed to child safety.
We want children to be safe, happy and empowered.
We support and respect all children, as well as our staff.
We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children.
We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures.
We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.
Little Ballet Stars is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
Little Ballet Stars has robust human resources and recruitment practices to reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing staff and volunteers.
Little Ballet Stars is committed to regularly training and educating staff on child abuse risks.
We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.
We have specific policies and procedures in place that support staff to achieve these commitments.
If you believe a child is at immediate risk, phone 000.
This policy is intended to empower children, who are vital and active participants at Little Ballet Stars. We involve them when making decisions, especially about matters that directly affect them. We listen to their views and respect what they have to say.
We promote diversity and acceptance at Little Ballet Stars and people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are welcome. In particular, we:
Our staff and volunteers
This policy guides our staff and volunteers on how to behave with children at Little Ballet Stars.
All of our staff and volunteers must agree to abide by our code of conduct which specifies the standards of conduct required when working with children. All staff and volunteers, as well as children and their families, are given the opportunity to contribute to the development of the code of conduct.
Training and supervision
Training and education is important to ensure that everyone at Little Ballet Stars understands that child safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Our organisational culture aims for staff, volunteers, families and children to feel confident and comfortable in discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns. We train our staff and volunteers to identify, assess, and minimise risks of child abuse and to detect potential signs of child abuse.
We also support our board members, staff and volunteers through ongoing supervision to develop their skills to protect children from abuse and promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from linguistically and/or diverse backgrounds, and the safety of children with a disability.
New board members, staff and volunteers will be supervised regularly to ensure they understand Little Ballet Stars commitment to child safety and that everyone has a role to play in protecting children from abuse. This will include checking that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate (please refer to Little Ballet Stars code of conduct for information about appropriate behaviour). Any inappropriate behaviour will be reported through appropriate channels, including the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Police, depending on the severity and urgency of the matter.
We take all reasonable steps to employ skilled people to work with children. We develop selection criteria and advertisements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety and an awareness of our social and legal responsibilities. Little Ballet Stars understands that when recruiting board members, staff and volunteers, we have ethical as well as legislative obligations.
We actively encourage applications from Aboriginal people, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.
All people who are engaged in child-related work and who are not exempt, including volunteers, are required to hold a Working with Children Check and to provide evidence of this check. For more information, please refer to the Working with Children website <http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/home/>.
We carry out reference checks and police record checks to ensure that we are recruiting the right people. If during the recruitment process a person’s records indicate a criminal history then the person will be given the opportunity to provide further information and context.
Fair procedures for staff and volunteers
The safety and wellbeing of children is our primary concern. We are also fair and reasonable to all staff and volunteers. The decisions we make when recruiting, assessing incidents, and undertaking disciplinary action will always be thorough, transparent, and based on evidence.
We record all allegations of abuse and safety concerns using our incident reporting form. All records are securely stored. If an allegation of abuse or a safety concern is raised, we provide updates to children and families on progress and actions we as an organisation take.
All personal information considered or recorded will respect the privacy of the individuals involved, whether they be staff, volunteers, families or children, unless there is a risk to someone’s safety. Everyone is entitled to know how this information is recorded, what will be done with it and who will have access to it. This is intended to protect reporters and to ensure that all members of Little Ballet Stars are comfortable to disclose any allegations or concerns in relation to child safety without repercussions.
Little Ballet Stars takes its legal responsibilities seriously, including:
In Victoria, organisations are required to protect children when a risk is identified. In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children.
We have risk management strategies in place to identify, assess, and take steps to minimise child abuse risks which include risks posed by physical environments and online environments.
Allegations, concerns and complaints
Little Ballet Stars takes all allegations seriously and has practices in place to investigate thoroughly and quickly. Our board members, staff and volunteers are trained to deal with allegations appropriately.
We work to ensure all children, families, board members, staff and volunteers know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour.
We all have a responsibility to report an allegation of abuse if we have a reasonable belief that an incident took place.If an adult has a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred then they must report the incident. Factors contributing to reasonable belief may include:
This policy will be reviewed every two years and following significant incidents if they occur. We will ensure that families and children have the opportunity to contribute. Where possible we will do our best to work with local Aboriginal communities, culturally and/or linguistically diverse communities and people with a disability.
Further information about the Child Safe Standards <https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/ child-safe-standards> can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services (the department) website. This includes additional resources that have been designed for organisations that are funded and/or regulated by the department. In particular, an overview of the Victoria Child Safe Standards <https://providers.dhhs.vic.gov.au/overview-victorian-child-safe-standards-word> has information to help organisations to understand the requirements of each of the Child Safe Standards.