Child Safety Policy
Written By: Vanja Evtimov- Vice President
Approved By: HYC Executive Committee
Endorsed By: HYC Committee of Management, March 2023
Date for Review: March 2025
This policy is applicable to all Highett Youth Club (HYC or the Club) members, employees, committee
members and affiliates. This policy will continue to apply retrospectively to a person or Member following
the cessation of their association or employment with HYC.
1.1. HYC is committed to ensuring that children and young people who participate in its activities have a safe and happy experience. HYC supports and respects children, young people, staff, volunteers and participants.
1.2. The aim of HYC Child Safe Policy (the Policy) is to protect the safety of children in our care and prevent abuse occurring, and in the event that allegations are raised in relation to child abuse, to ensure that the allegations are properly addressed. All complaints will be treated seriously and fully investigated and handled with maximum confidentiality and discretion.
1.3. If a person is uncertain as to whether they should make a report to an external authority in relation
to the safety of a child, they may speak to the HYC Centre Manager or HYC MPIO for guidance and
information. If in doubt, ask for assistance.
Child, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)
Child Wellbeing and Safety Amendment (Child Safe Standards) Act 2015 (Vic)
Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)
Working with Children Act 2005 (Vic)
HYC, Gymnastics Victoria and Calisthenics Victoria policies relating to:
Codes of Behaviour
Grievance and Discipline
2. POLICY STATEMENT
2.1. HYC is committed to providing the highest level of safety for all involved with the Club. This includes
protecting members’ privacy, promoting positive behaviours and attitudes, protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of members, particularly children and delivering the HYC activities while acting in the best interests of the children in our sports.
2.2. Specifically, HYC considers that the health, safety and well-being of children take priority over all other competing considerations. HYC considers that this is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all members and protect the image and reputation of our sports, HYC and its members.
2.3. HYC has a zero tolerance approach to child abuse and is committed to the promoting and protecting
children from abuse and neglect to the greatest extent possible. All children have equal rights to protection from child abuse, regardless of their gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or sex characteristics etc.
2.4. Everyone that participates in HYC’s activities is responsible for the care and protection of children, and
reporting information about child abuse.
2.5. HYC supports the active participation of all children. It listens to their views, respects their views and
involves them when making decisions, where appropriate, especially about matters that will directly affect them (including their safety).
2.6. HYC is also committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, and those from culturally and/or
linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children living with a disability.
2.7. HYC promotes fairness and consideration for all staff, volunteers and participants. For further details please refer to the HYC Member Protection Policy.
“Child” means a person involved in the activities of HYC (including athletes) and under the age of 18 years
unless otherwise stated under the law applicable to the child.
“Child abuse” means physical abuse (where a child suffers or is likely to suffer significant harm from a
physical injury); sexual abuse (where a child suffers or is likely to suffer significant harm from sexual
behaviours); emotional and psychological abuse (where a child suffers or is likely to suffer emotional or
psychological harm such that a child’s emotional and intellectual development is or is likely to be
significantly damaged); neglect (where a child’s physical development or health has been, or is likely to be significantly damaged such as such as depriving a child of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene,
intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, or medical
care.) Child abuse includes any actions that results in actual or potential harm to a child, in circumstances
where the child’s parents have not protected, or are unlikely to protect, the child.
“Child protection” means any responsibility, measure or activity undertaken to safeguard children from
“Sexual offence” means any act which exposes a child to, or involves a child in, sexual processes beyond his or her understanding or contrary to accepted community standards.
“Mandatory reporter” means a person who is legally required to make a report to the Department of
Human Services or the Police if they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of
protection. This includes teachers, principals, registered psychologists, nurses, doctors and midwives.
4. RECOGNISING AND REPORTING CHILD ABUSE:
4.1. A person may, in the course of participating the activities of HYC, form a belief on reasonable groups that a child is in need of protection from child abuse.
4.2. If a person is concerned about an immediate risk to a child’s safety, the person must phone “000” as
soon as practicable.
4.3. Select classes of people in the community (including teachers, nurses and doctors)are required by
law to report to the Child Protection Unit of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
where they have formed a belief, on reasonable grounds, that a child is in need of protection because they have suffered (or are likely to suffer) significant harm due to physical or sexual abuse. This report must be made as soon as practicable, and after each occasion where he or she becomes aware of a further reasonable grounds for the belief.
4.4. In addition to mandatory reporting obligations, any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child is need to protection from any form of child abuse may disclose that information to Police or DHHS.
4.5. A reasonable grounds for belief is formed when:
The child is in need of protection; and
The child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of physical or sexual abuse; and
The child’s parents are unwilling or unable to protect the child.
4.6. To form a reasonable belief, you should consider and objectively assess all the relevant facts, such
as the source of the allegation and how it was communicated, the nature of and details of the
allegation, and whether there are any other related matters known regarding the alleged perpetrator.
4.7. A reasonable belief or belief on reasonable grounds is not the same as having proof, but is more than mere speculation.
4.8. Examples of situations where you will have reasonable grounds to notify include:
A child states they have been physically or sexually abused
A child states they know someone who has been physically or sexually abused
Someone who knows a child states that a child has been physically or sexually abused
Professional observations of the child’s behaviour or development leads to a professional form of a belief that the child has been physically or sexually abused
Signs of abuse lead to a belief that the child has been physically or sexually abused
4.9. If a person is uncertain as to whether they should make a report to an external authority in relation to the safety of the a child, they may speak to the HYC Operations Manager or the HYC MPIO for guidance and information. If in doubt, ask for assistance.
5. REPORTING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
5.1. If a person receives information that leads them to form a reasonable belief that a sexual offence
has been committed in Victoria against a child (under the age of 16 years) by another person (of or over
the age of 18 years), the person has a legal obligation to disclose that information to the Police as
soon as it is practicable. Individuals who fail to comply with this obligation under the Crimes Act
1958 (Vic) may be subject to a penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
5.2. If a person is uncertain as to whether they should make a report to an external authority in relation to the safety of a child, they may speak to the HYC Operations Manager or HYC’s MPIO for guidance and
information. If in doubt, ask for assistance.
6. ALLEGATIONS OF A MEMBER OF HYC STAFF OR A HYC VOLUNTEER
6.1. If an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer, HYC will follow the reporting procedure
and take all steps to ensure that the safety of the child is paramount.
6.2. An initial step will involve the withdrawal of the accused person from active duty, which could entail
standing down, reassignment to a role without direct contact with children, working under closer
supervision during an investigation, working from home, or any other measures deemed appropriate
depending on the seriousness of the allegation.
6.3. HYC will investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct against a child in accordance with procedural
fairness and will handle the allegations in a confidential manner to the greatest extent possible.
6.4. HYC will cooperate with the directions of the Police and/or DHHS in relation to any investigation conducted
by these authorities.
6.5. HYC will keep a register of any allegations regarding inappropriate conduct.
6.6. Adults under investigation in relation to a matter involving child abuse, or any matter which has the
potential to render their Working With Children Check (WWCC) (or if based in another State the
equivalent requirement), assessment notice withdrawn or a detention order imposed, may be
prohibited, by the HYC Committee of Management, from participating in HYC activities.
7. CHILD SAFE AND CHILD FRIENDLY GUIDELINES
7.1. Change rooms: Adult officials, regardless of gender, should only enter change rooms if accompanied
by another adult. Prior to entering change rooms, officials should notify the people in the change
room of their intended entrance. For the avoidance doubt this requirement does not apply to
parents/legal guardians when in a room with their child.
7.2. Hotel rooms or other accommodation: No official should be alone in the room of an athlete without the
presence of another adult. The doors should always be open. Should itbe necessary for an official to be
alone in the room of an athlete, the Team Manager or other responsible official must be informed. For
the avoidance doubt this requirement does not apply to parents/legal guardians when in a room
with their child
7.3. Travel: All team members over 18 years of age retain an overriding responsibility for the welfare of all
athletes they accompany during team travel activities. They must maintain a 'duty of care' towards the
athletes and they must avoid unaccompanied and unobserved activities with persons less than 18 years
of age wherever possible. For the avoidance doubt this requirement does not apply to parents/legal
guardians when in a room with their child.
7.4. Sexual relationships during team travel activities: During all team travel activities officials must not,
under any circumstances engage in conduct of a sexual nature with an athlete. Improper conduct of a
sexual nature by an official towards an athlete includes any form of child sexual abuse as well as but
not limited to the following:
Inappropriate conversations of a sexual nature
Obscene language of a sexual nature
Suggestive remarks or actions
Jokes of a sexual nature
Unwanted and inappropriate touching
Any other action that could lead to an athlete being physically, emotionally or psychologically harmed.
7.5. Spotting: Spotting is a necessary part of HYC sports and is required for the safety and wellbeing of
participants. All coaches must ensure that all physical contact with the athletes which occurs when
'spotting' is appropriate for the situation and necessary for the athlete's safety. It is strongly recommended that coaches ensure that there are other adults present whenever coaching and take care
to explain the spotting procedure to the child.
8. HIRING NEW STAFF:
8.1. The minimum standard for background checks of employees and volunteers of HYC and its members is the law as it applies in Victoria.
8.2. HYC undertakes a comprehensive recruitment and screening process for all staff and volunteers which aims to:
promote and protect the safety of all who participate in the activities of HYC;
dentify and recruit the safest and most suitable candidates who share HYC’s values and commitment to protect children; and
prevent a person from working at GV if they pose an unacceptable risk to children.
8.3. HYC requires staff and volunteers to pass the recruitment and screening process prior to commencing engagement with HYC. As part of this process, an applicant must provide appropriate evidence (WWCC and/or Police check) to show that they are suitable to work with children and young people in a recreational
8.4. The following people must have a WWCC:
Those paid by HYC for their services;
Volunteers who have contact with children;
Relevant contractors who may have unsupervised access to children.
8.5. Once engaged, HYC will provide staff and volunteers with access to this and training relating
child is in need of protection from child abuse.