Child Safety & Wellbeing Policy

This Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy was approved by the Committee of Management (COM) on 24th June 2023. It demonstrates the strong commitment of the COM, members and volunteers to child safety and wellbeing, and how our organisation keeps children safe from harm, including child abuse.

Commitment to child safety

All children who come to KCGS have a right to feel and be safe. The welfare of the children attending KCGS always be our first priority and we have a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse and harm. We aim to create a child safe and child-friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun while participating in gardening activities with their families or carers or visiting as part of an education program.


This Policy outlines how KCGS prioritises the safety and wellbeing of children and what steps we will take to do this.


This policy applies to all members of the COM, members, and associate members children and other individuals involved in our organisation including contractors and visitors. This policy applies to all activities conducted by KCGS


Committee of Management means the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and elected general members.

Child abuse means:

  • a sexual offence committed against a child.
  • an offence committed against a child under section 49M(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), such as grooming
  • physical violence against a child
  • causing serious emotional or psychological harm to a child
  • serious neglect of a child.

Harm is damage to the health, safety or wellbeing of a child or young person, including as a result of child abuse by adults or the conduct of other children. It includes physical, emotional, sexual and psychological harm. Harm can arise from a single act or event and can also be cumulative, that is, arising as a result of a series of acts or events over a period of time.

Child/Children means a person who is under the age of 18 years.

Concerns and complaints

A concern refers to any potential issue that could impact negatively on the safety and wellbeing of children.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction to KCGS related to one or more of the following:

  • our services or dealings with individuals
  • allegations of abuse or misconduct by a member, a volunteer or another individual associated with KCGS.
  • disclosures of abuse or harm made by a child or young person
  • the conduct of a child or young person at KCGS
  • the inadequate handling of a prior concern
  • general concerns about the safety of a group of children or activity.

Role of the Committee of Management

The COM has the role of making sure KCGS prioritises children’s safety and that action is taken when anyone raises concerns about children’s safety.

The COM will champion and model a child safe culture at KCGS We encourage anyone involved with the organisation to report a child safety concern. The COM will work to create a positive culture around reporting so that people feel comfortable to raise concerns.

Everyone at KCGS has a role in identifying and managing risks of child abuse and harm. The COM will make sure that members and volunteers are conducting risk assessments and taking action to manage risks in accordance with this policy. They will also ensure that appropriate child safety training for staff and volunteers is identified and completed.

The COM will conduct an annual review of how effectively KCGS is delivering child safety and wellbeing. The input of people involved with KCGS will be sought as part of this review. 

Children’s empowerment and participation

We actively seek to include children’s views and ideas in our organisational planning, delivery of services and management of facilities.

We want children to develop new friends and encourage children to be supportive of each other. We do not tolerate bullying or abusive behaviour between children and take action if this occurs.

We respect the rights of children and provide them with information about their rights including the right to be safe at KCGS. We actively seek to understand what makes children feel safe in our organisation. We regularly communicate with children about what they can do if they feel unsafe.

KCGS values the voices of children and will act on safety concerns raised by children or their families.

Families and communities

KCGS recognises the important role of families and involves parents and carers when making significant decisions that may affect their child. Parents, families and communities are welcome to provide feedback at any time through our contact email address and are encouraged to raise any concerns they have with us.

At the annual general meeting each year, we elect the COM and all community members are invited to share their thoughts on the direction of KCGS for the next year.

KCGS provides information to families and community about our child safe policies and practices including through:

  • publishing this Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy and Code of Conduct on our website
  • including information about our child safety approach, our operations and COM structure, in KCGS members handbook
  • including articles and information on child safety and wellbeing, and reminders about our policies and procedures, in our newsletter.

Creating culturally safe environments for all Aboriginal children and their families

KCGS is committed to creating environments where Aboriginal culture is celebrated and Aboriginal children, families and community members are welcomed and included. Strategies to embed cultural safety for Aboriginal children include:

  • an Acknowledgement of Country at all official meetings
  • consulting with families and members of the Aboriginal community to identify opportunities to promote Aboriginal culture and practices at KCGS
  • providing opportunities for children to share their cultural identity and express their culture, including through gardening, performance and during KCGS community activities
  • supporting children who wish to explore their culture, including consulting with their family and relevant Aboriginal organisations
  • providing training for members and volunteers on the strengths of Aboriginal culture and its importance to the wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal children
  • celebrating NAIDOC Week and acknowledging significant events including National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week
  • seeking feedback from Aboriginal children, families and communities on their experience at KCGS, particularly how safe they feel expressing their identity including their culture.

Valuing diversity

We value diversity and equity for all children. To achieve this, we:

  • provide training for all COM members and volunteers on understanding diversity and how to support inclusion and cultural safety
  • welcome and support participation of all children, including children with disability, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who are unable to live at home, LGBTIQ children and Aboriginal children and their families
  • have zero tolerance of racism and other forms of discrimination and take action when discrimination or exclusion is identified
  • deliver opportunities that reflect the diversity of our members and their interests and cultures
  • strive to reflect the diversity of our community through representation in our COM and members
  • acknowledge and celebrate important cultural dates.
  • have a physical and online environment that actively celebrates diversity
  • commit to ensuring our facilities and activities promote inclusion of children of all abilities.

Code of Conduct

KCGS has a Child Safe Code of Conduct. COM, members, volunteers, contractors and visitors must comply with the Code of Conduct at all times. Breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action including termination of a person’s involvement with the organisation.

All third-party contractors are also expected to abide by the Child Safe Code of Conduct

We require a Working with Children Check, who have a role with children or have access to children’s personal information. Members of the COM and volunteers involved in education programs must hold a valid Working with Children Check or VIT registration

Supporting staff and volunteers

All KCGS COM members and volunteers involved in education programs are required to complete annual child safety training. Training will be recorded in the Child Safety Training Action Plan.

Issues or concerns about behaviour with children will be raised immediately and addressed in line with our Code of Conduct, complaint handling policy and disciplinary policy.

Complaints and reporting

All reports of child abuse and child safety concerns will be treated seriously, whether they are made by an adult or a child and whether they are about the conduct of an adult or a child. All complaints and child safety concerns will be responded to promptly and thoroughly.

KCGS has a complaint handling policy that includes information for members and volunteers about how a complaint or child safety concern will be responded to. An easy-to-understand complaints information sheet will be provided in the clubrooms.

If a complaint includes an allegation or incident of child abuse or harm, then members and volunteers at KCGS must report it in accordance with the complaint handling policy and the reporting requirement of the Child Safe Standards. KCGS members and volunteers are required to prioritise children’s safety in any response and to report all potentially criminal conduct to Victoria Police. having their duties altered so they do not engage with children at KCGS.

Complaints can be emailed to k[email protected]

If there is concern for the immediate safety of a child, immediately call 000.

If a person does not feel comfortable making a report to a child safety person, they may report their concern to the Chair of the Management Committee.

Record keeping

KCGS is committed to making and keeping full and accurate records about all child-related complaints or safety concerns.

All child safety complaints, concerns, incidents and near misses will be recorded in the incident reporting system.

Records which may assist with the investigation of a complaint or safety concern will be identified and kept as part of the record of an investigation. Records will be kept even if an investigation does not substantiate a complaint.

We will record and keep the outcome of any investigations, and the resolution of any complaints. This includes findings made, reasons for decisions and actions taken.

Records will be stored securely and kept by KCGS for at least 45 years.

Information sharing

KCGS may share relevant information to promote the safety and wellbeing of children, where it is appropriate and in their best interests.  KCGS will keep information about complaints confidential, except where it is necessary to share information to respond properly to a complaint or to prioritise child safety. We may also need to share information about incidents or complaints with external authorities to comply with the law or to prioritise safety. More information is available in our complaint handling policy.

Non-compliance with this policy and the Code of Conduct

KCGS will enforce this policy, the Code of Conduct and any other child safety and wellbeing policies (see list below). Potential breaches by anyone will be investigated and may result in suspension or termination of membership.


KCGS will review all child safe practices and policies at least every two years. We also review relevant practices and policies in response to a child safety incident or ‘near miss’. Findings from reviews will be reported to the people involved in our organisation and also inform our approach to continuous improvement of our child safety practices. Reviews are overseen by the COM and will be informed by consultation with children, families and members.

Supporting legislation

  • Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic) (including Child Safe Standards)
  • Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) (including reporting to Child Protection)
  • Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) (including Failure to Protect and Failure to Disclose offences)

Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) (including Part XIII – Organisational liability