Protection of Children - Anti-Grooming Policy

Protecting children and young people against sexual abuse is a community wide responsibility.

DOSCEL has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure children and young people are safe in its care and to ensure that all forms of abusive behaviours towards children are prevented.

The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.) and the Crimes Amendment (Grooming) Act 2014 comprises the offence for grooming for sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16 years. The grooming offence became law in July 2014.

The offence of grooming concerns predatory conduct undertaken to prepare a child for sexual activity at a later time. The offence applies where an adult communicates, by words or conduct, with a child under the age of 16 years, where that person has care, supervision or authority for the child, with the intention of facilitating the child’s involvement in sexual conduct, either with the groomer or another adult.

Grooming does not necessarily involve any sexual activity or even discussion of sexual activity. For example, it may only involve establishing a relationship with the child, parent or carer for the purpose of facilitating sexual activity at a later time.

It is imperative to prevent, reduce and minimise child abuse and exploitation in all their forms.