Protection of Children - Failure to Protect 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 their care and to ensure that all forms of abusive behaviours towards children are prevented.

The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic.) and the Crimes Amendment (Protection of Children) Bill 2014 (Vic.) includes an offence for failure by a person with power, authority and responsibility within an organisation, to protect a child under the age of 16 years, who is under the care or supervision of the organisation.

As soon as a DOSCEL employee becomes aware of a risk of child sexual abuse, he/she will be under a duty of care to remove or reduce that risk.

A criminal offence applies where the person in authority:

  • knows that there is a substantial risk of a sexual offence being committed against a child by a person over 18 years associated with the organisation and

  • negligently fails to reduce or remove that risk.

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