Child Safety Code of Conduct

St Fidelis Child Safety Code of Conduct for employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy of St Fidelis Parish

1. All employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy are responsible for supporting the safety of children by:

  • Adhering to St Fidelis Parish Child Safety Policy and upholding the Commitment Statement to Child Safety at all times
  • Taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse and harm
  • Treating everyone in the organisation with respect (modelling positive and respectful relationships and acting in a manner that sustains a safe pastoral environment)
  • Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    child’s self-identification)
  • Promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/ or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance policy towards
    discrimination)
  • Promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, by ensuring reasonable care is taken to cater for any additional needs as required)
  • Ensuring as far as practicable that an adult is not alone with a child but if unavoidable, then ensuring an open and supervised environment can be maintained
  • Listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child have been abused or that they are worried about their safety/the safety of another child
  • Reporting any allegations of child abuse to the police
  • Understanding and complying with all reporting obligations as they relate to mandatory reporting and reporting under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.)
  • Reporting any child safety concerns to the Parish Priest or the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne
  • If an allegation of child abuse is made, ensuring as quickly as possible that no child is at any further risk.

2. Unacceptable behaviours

Employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy must not:

  • Ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
  • Develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be perceived as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children) or too dependent (for
    example by attempting to act as a surrogate parent)
  • Exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as sexual or unnecessarily physical
  • Put children at risk of abuse (for example, by locking doors or being alone with a child with no good cause)
  • Initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes
  • Manage disruptive or unsafe behaviour by degrading or isolating a child; corporal punishment is never acceptable. Physical restraint should only be used as a last resort or in an emergency
  • Engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal details or social activities)
  • Use inappropriate language in the presence of children
  • Express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children
  • Discriminate against any child because of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality, ethnicity or disability
  • Have contact with a child or their family who is not socially related outside of the pastoral duties reasonably associated with your role at St Fidelis Parish (other than accidental contact,
    such as seeing people in the street)
  • Have any online contact (including by social media, email, instant messaging etc.) with a child or their family who is not socially related outside of the pastoral duties reasonably associated with your role at St Fidelis Parish
  • Use any personal communication channels/device such as a personal email account to conduct St Fidelis Parish communications
  • Exchange personal contact details such as phone number, social networking sites or email addresses with a child or their family who is not socially related without notifying the Parish
    Priest
  • Photograph or video a child without the consent of the parent or guardians
  • Work with children while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Consume illicit drugs on St Fidelis Parish premises or at St Fidelis Parish events.