Edmund Rice Education Australia Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

All children and young people have a right to feel safe and be safe.

Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) is committed to embedding a culture where the safety, wellbeing and participation of all children and young people under our care are paramount. Particular attention is given to the needs of vulnerable children and young people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, those with disabilities or mental health issues, those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who are unable to live at home, and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. We are committed to at all times acting in the best interests of children and young people.

We have zero tolerance of child abuse and all allegations and safety concerns are treated very seriously and consistent with our robust safeguarding policies and procedures. EREA is committed to nurturing the wellbeing of all children and young people, respecting their dignity, ensuring their safety and protecting them from abuse and other harm. EREA, its schools and its staff, contractors and volunteers, have legal and moral obligations which we follow rigorously, to respond quickly, including contacting authorities when necessary and when we are concerned about a child’s safety.

EREA and its schools demonstrate commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people by:

  • taking into consideration the views of children and young people about decisions that affect their safety and wellbeing;
  • empowering children and young people by taking their views seriously, and addressing any concerns they may have;
  • acknowledging the cultural diversity of families and being sensitive to how this may have an impact on child safety;
  • taking proactive steps to prevent child abuse and identifying risks early so that such risks can be removed or reduced;
  • involving families, carers and relevant communities in decision making processes that support the development of a child safe culture;
  • continuously reviewing and improving our systems and practices to protect children and young people from abuse;
  • providing children and young people with the knowledge and skills to understand and maintain their own personal safety;
  • ensuring that EREA and its schools have in place strategies to embed and enhance a culture of child safety and wellbeing through the leadership, governance and culture of the organisation;
  • applying robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff, contractors and volunteers;
  • providing regular training and education to recognise the nature and indicators of child abuse and other harm, to respond to safeguarding risks and to build culturally safe environments for children and young people;
  • implementing specific policies, procedures, training and a National Code of Conduct and a set of Child Safeguarding Standards to support the achievement of a child safe culture;
  • listening to concerns about the safety of children and to suggestions to improve the child safety processes in place;
  • responding swiftly to any child safety concerns and implementing clear procedures for managing and reporting child safety concerns, and
  • ensuring that every person involved in EREA and its schools understands the important and specific role they play, both  individually and collectively, to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

 

Statement endorsed by the EREA Board 1 June 2020