Child Safety

All students at St Francis Catholic College have the right to feel safe and be safe. 

The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our priority, and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse. We continue to embed a culture that provides a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety. 

There is particular attention paid to the most vulnerable children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and children with a disability.

Our commitment to our students:

  • We commit to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people enrolled in our school.
  • We commit to providing children and young people with positive and nurturing experiences.
  • We commit to encouraging and actively supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to express their culture and enjoy their cultural rights.
  • We commit to paying particular attention to the needs of students with disability, students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, students who are unable to live at home, international students, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) students.
  • We commit to listening to children and young people, and empowering them by ensuring that they understand their rights (including to safety, information and participation), and by taking their views seriously and addressing any concerns that they raise with us.
  • We commit to taking action to ensure that children and young people are protected from abuse or harm.
  • We commit to ensuring that the needs of all children and young people enrolled in our school are met, including those who are most vulnerable.
  • We commit to recognising the importance of friendships and to encouraging support from peers, to help children and students feel safe and less isolated.
  • We commit to developing a culture that facilitates and provides opportunities for student participation, and that strengthens the confidence and engagement of children and students by being responsive to their input.
  • We commit to teaching children and young people the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and maintain their personal safety and wellbeing.
  • We commit to seeking input and feedback from students regarding the creation of a safe school environment.

Our commitment to our parents and guardians and carers:

  • We recognise that families are the first and ongoing educators of their children.
  • We commit to communicating honestly and openly with parents, guardians and carers about the wellbeing and safety of their children.
  • We commit to engaging with, and listening to, the views of parents, guardians and carers about our child safety and wellbeing practice, policies and procedures and include them in decision-making practices where applicable.
  • We commit to transparency in our decision-making with parents, guardians and carers where it will not compromise the safety of children or young people.
  • We commit to open engagement and communication with parents, guardians and carers about our child safe approach and our operations and governance related to child safety and wellbeing.
  • We commit to ensuring that relevant information relating to child safety and wellbeing is accessible to parents, guardians and carers.
  • We commit to acknowledging the cultural diversity of students and families, and being sensitive to how this may impact on student safety issues.
  • We commit to continuously reviewing and improving our systems to protect children from abuse.

    Our commitment to our school staff (school employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy):

    • We commit to providing all St Francis Catholic College staff with the necessary support to enable them to fulfil their roles, and to ensure that staff are attuned to signs of harm and are able to facilitate child friendly ways for children and students to express their views, participate in decision-making and raise their concerns. This will include regular and appropriate learning opportunities.
    • We commit to providing regular opportunities to clarify and confirm policy and procedures in relation to child safety and wellbeing, and young people’s protection and wellbeing. This will include annual training in the principles and intent of the Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct, and staff responsibilities to report concerns.
    • We commit to listening to all concerns voiced by St Francis Catholic College staff, clergy, volunteers and contractors about keeping children and young people safe from harm.
    • We commit to providing opportunities for St Francis Catholic College school employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy to receive formal debriefing and counselling arising from incidents of the abuse of a child or young person.
    • We commit to providing access for St Francis Catholic College school employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy to the Employee Assistance Program, Access EAP, and are encouraged to use this confidential service.

    For information on child safety from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) follow this link.

    CECV Commitment Statement to Child Safety

    For all our child safety policies click here.

    To learn more about the procedures the College follows in response to concerns of child abuse, neglect or harm, click on the links below from the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

    A step-by-step guide to making a report to Child Protection or Child FIRST

    Protect Feeling Safe Secondary School Students