Dear St Michael’s College Community,
There is little more important in our society than the safety and well being of our children, young people and the vulnerable. Whilst it appears unfathomable to most of us, there are still times when individuals do take advantage of others for their own purposes, with the media recently reporting on several instances where child exploitation charges have been laid, both in South Australia and across the country.
As outlined in the St Michael’s College Child Safeguarding Commitment Statement below, we are committed to fostering and ensuring a culture of safeguarding that recognises and upholds the dignity and rights of all, particularly children, young people and the vulnerable. The partnership of staff, students and families is core to creating and sustaining this culture and it is the responsibility of each of us to be aware, informed and active in relation to child safeguarding.
I actively encourage all St Michael’s community members to read the Child Safeguarding Commitment Statement, be equally committed to upholding it, and to contact the College if you would like to discuss, ask questions, or raise concerns at any time.
CHILD SAFEGUARDING COMMITMENT STATEMENT
St Michael’s College is “an inclusive and respectful community where each individual is known, valued and cared for” (St Michael’s College, Mission and Vision) and is actively committed to fostering and ensuring a culture of safeguarding that recognises and upholds the dignity and rights of all, particularly children, young people and the vulnerable.
The St Michael’s College school community has a zero tolerance of child abuse. Allegations or concerns relating to the abuse or safety of a child or young person are responded to seriously and reported in line with agreed policies, practices and legislation. Anyone who brings forward a suspicion, concern, knowledge or allegation of current or past abuse of a child to the College will be responded to sensitively, respectfully, actively and in a timely manner.
The Board and leadership teams of St Michael’s College are committed to implementing and continually reviewing strategies, policies, practices and systems that support the achievement of a child safe culture. All staff, volunteers and visitors have a personal and collective responsibility to follow and uphold these approaches and act in the best interests of our children and young people to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
The College applies robust human resources, recruitment and induction practices for all staff, volunteers and contractors. Regular training and education are provided on recognising the nature and indicators of child abuse and other harm, responding to safeguarding risks and how to build culturally safe environments for children and young people. We are proactive in the prevention of child abuse and look to identify risks early so that such risks may be removed or reduced. Everyone is encouraged to communicate and identify opportunities for improving the child safety processes we have in place.
St Michael’s is committed to empowering children and young people to have a voice, and to listening to their views, concerns and considerations on matters that affect their safety and wellbeing. Importantly, we also provide the opportunity for them to develop the knowledge and skills to understand and maintain their own personal safety. Open communication with families and the wider St Michael’s community is encouraged such that they are informed of relevant issues and participate in decisions about the safety of children.
Our commitment to ensure a child safe environment and culture at St Michael’s College will continue to remain at the forefront of what we do and what decisions we make. Our aspiration is for each child and young person entrusted to our care to “flourish and fully realise their potential” (St Michael’s College, Mission and Vision) and we understand the essential role that safety and wellbeing play in achieving this vision.
For more information or to raise a concern, please contact the Principal’s Assistant on (08) 8356 5966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org