- 06 July 2017
- Duration: 3:27
Hi everyone, I want to talk to you today about child safety.
From 1 July, certain hospitals and health services that exercise care, supervision and authority over children will be subject to the reportable conduct scheme.
The scheme is designed to improve how organisations respond to allegations of child abuse and child-related misconduct.
This is a really important issue and this reform has been introduced across Victoria to help protect children from abuse and organisational harm.
Please take the time to understand your organisation’s responsibilities under the scheme.;
The scheme is being rolled out in several phases.
From 1 July this year, the scheme will apply to certain hospitals and health services that provide bed-based mental health services or alcohol and treatment services.From 1 January 2018, the reportable conduct scheme will apply to other public health services, as well as public, denominational and private hospitals.
If you are unsure about when the scheme applies to your organisation you can contact the Commission for Children and Young People.
The scheme relates to everyone within the organisation, including staff, contractors and volunteers.
It’s not just a scheme for people working directly with children, such as paediatric staff.
The scheme will work in conjunction with the Child Safe Standards and other existing child safety measures to help organisations reduce the risks of and respond to allegations of child abuse or child-related misconduct.
Under the scheme, the head of an organisation must report any allegation that an employee of their organisation has engaged in reportable conduct.
Reportable conduct includes: A sexual offence, even prior to criminal proceedings commencing, sexual misconduct or physical violence committed against, with or in the presence of a child; Behaviour causing significant emotional or psychological harm; or Significant neglect of a child.
Once an allegation has been made, organisations need to have clear processes in place to investigate the matter and report the findings.
While this will be a matter largely for paediatric units, we are currently working with hospitals to resolve how reporting will work for 17 and 18 year olds.
The reportable conduct scheme has been designed to work with existing safeguards.
This means all allegations of criminal conduct must still be reported to Victoria Police and any investigation by Victoria Police will take priority.
Any mandatory reporting requirements to Child Protection will continue to apply Any requirement to report client incidents to the department or a regulatory agency will also apply.
And, any existing reporting obligations for professional registration will also continue to apply.
The reportable conduct scheme forms part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Betrayal of Trust report – an inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations.
If you have any other questions about the scheme, please contact the Commission for Children and Young People.
I also encourage you to read more about the reportable conduct scheme on the websites of both the Commission for Children and Young People and the Department of Health and Human Services.
An introductory video on the reportable conduct scheme and implications for health services organisations from the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Reviewed 06 July 2017