FINDING THE PROVIDER WHO WILL PROVIDE A SAFE AND POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR CHILD

Overview

You need to contact a service provider to determine what care they can provide your child.

This is a big thing you are considering particularly in these times of the service landscape changing.

The providers/organisations you will come into contact with will vary. Some will be specialist disability services; some will be mainstream and provide services for a range of children. Some will be registered with the NDIS, some may not. Some will be organisations, some will be sole traders.

However there are common principles to keep in mind that will apply regardless of what type of service the provider works for or offers.

All children have the right to feel and be safe where ever they are. Keeping children safe is everyone’s business.

 

A united and integrated community approach keeps children protected and safe.

Children’s safety is enhanced and maintained by a team of empowered champions and you are a vital member of the supporting team.

Children’s safety is also supported by the presence of safeguards. There are many different forms of safeguards that have been developed to ensure that all children have the right to feel and be safe wherever they are. This may be a new term. Safeguards provide safety and protection.

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Safeguards include laws, policies, and programs, practices and activities that have been developed to protect children from feeling unsafe, physically, emotionally and sexually. Examples of safeguards are legal requirements such as Working with Children Checks and policies developed within an organisation such as a Code of Conduct.

The presence of safeguards do not provide a complete guarantee that children will be protected from harm, there is evidence that the more safeguards that are present, the stronger the protection will be.)

There are legislation, policies and frameworks that have been developed that applies to all organisations and all providers to ensure that they provide a safe environment for all children:

These operate at the international level, the National or Commonwealth level and at the Victorian State level.  The Victorian Government has introduced a number of new legislation and policies to ensure children’s safety. The Child Safe Standards aim to prevent physical violence, sexual abuse, serious emotional or psychological abuse and serious neglect.

Further information about the Child Safe Standards can be found on the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website.

In addition the Commission for Children and Young People and the Principal Commissioner, the Disability Services Commissioner and organisations such as Child Wise are amongst a number of champions who operate to ensure that all organisations know how to promote a safe environment and how to respond to situations where that safety has been threatened. The Commission for Children and Young People’s web site is http://www.ccyp.vic.gov.au/. They have developed a number of excellent child safety tip sheets for parents and organisations including ‘what do look for in a child safe organisation, Safety of Children with a Disability
(http://www.ccyp.vic.gov.au/downloads/tipsheets/tipsheet-safety-children-disability.pdf).

The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a Federal Government initiative which is a new way to help people with disability receive care and support. There is a NDIS website which explains who is included in the NDIS: http://ww.ndis.gov.au/ndis-access-checklist. For more information: www.ndis.gov.au, http://www.disabilityloop.org.au or call 1800 800 110.