Child safety

Deakin University is a child-safe organisation. We support and respect the participation and empowerment of all children, and want children to feel safe and valued.

Statement of commitment

Deakin acknowledges that children are part of the University community – as students, dependents of staff, campus visitors, and through the University’s research projects, community engagement and school outreach activities.

Every person connected to the University has a duty of care to children. It is a shared and collective responsibility of all University staff, students, volunteers and contractors to foster child safety and prevent child abuse.

Deakin provides a child-safe environment, and our organisational structures, policies, procedures and processes promote child safety and wellbeing. This includes a commitment to the cultural safety of First Nations children and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and the safety of children with a disability.

Legislative compliance

We are committed to the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations outlined in the Commonwealth Child Safety Framework and the Victorian Child Safe Standards governed by the Commission of Children and Young People.
We adopt a continuous improvement mindset regarding child safety at Deakin. Our Child Safety Action Plan enables us to further improve compliance and alignment with the framework.

Deakin’s compliance is ensured by our:

  • Child Safety Policy
  • Risk Management Framework
  • staff recruitment, selection and training
  • engagement with children and families to develop resources.

The University is regularly reviewed to ensure ongoing compliance with the Commonwealth Child Safety Framework and the Victorian Child Safe Standards.

Policies and procedures

Policies and procedures relating to child safety are available in the Deakin Policy Library and include our:

Recruitment, screening and capacity building

The University is committed to recruitment and employment practices that protect children and promote their safety and wellbeing through appropriate screening processes and staff training. All staff must complete online child safety training. Further training is offered to student-facing staff and those who work with children, with specialist training provided to the Deakin Child Safety Officer and nominees..

Deakin Child Safety Officer

The Child Safety Officer, or nominee, is trained to provide an initial contact and referral point for those who have child safety concerns, as outlined in the Child Safety and Child Abuse Response and Reporting Procedure.

Students, staff or associates who are aged under 18 years and are concerned about their own safety are encouraged to seek help and support by contacting the Child Safety Officer via email.

New staff

All new staff (including casual, fixed term and continuing positions) and associates must obtain and maintain a Working with Children Check. The University’s Working with Children Check Guidelines has information on obtaining, maintaining and recording information on Working with Children Checks.

The University also uses reference and police checks as a means of screening staff in accordance with the Recruitment of Staff Procedure and Casual Staff Employment Procedure.

Protecting children in the Deakin community

Deakin University does not tolerate child abuse. We aim to prevent child abuse through a range of measures including:

  • providing regular education, training and communication
  • implementing risk assessment, management and mitigation strategies
  • reviewing risks and improving child safety practices through our Child Safety Working Group
  • performing relevant staff background checks.

All children who disclose child abuse or who feel unsafe will be heard, taken seriously and treated with sensitivity and compassion by the University. The Child Safety and Child Abuse Response and Reporting Procedure sets out the process for responding to and reporting child abuse concerns and complaints.

How to report child abuse concerns

In a situation of grave and immediate life-threatening risk to a child, staff, students and associates must notify police immediately by telephone on 000.

If there is a risk to the immediate safety of a child (non-life-threatening), staff, students or associates should immediately telephone Child Protection in their local government area during business hours or the Child Protection Crisis Line after hours on 13 12 78.

If a life-threatening or other immediate risk is occurring on campus, they should also telephone Deakin Security on 1800 062 579. Child Protection will only investigate if the abuse is by an adult against a child aged under 16 years.

If the incident relates to a student, staff member or associate or arises in the course of employment, study or other connection to the University contact the Deakin Child Safety Officer via email. The Child Safety Officer (or nominee) will confirm details of the child safety concern.

Key contacts and support

If you have any concerns about child safety at Deakin, please contact the following.

For life-threatening risks 

Victoria police
Deakin Security (if on campus)
1800 062 579

Child Protection crisis line (24 hours, toll-free in Victoria)
13 12 78

For all concerns

Victorian Child Protection

Deakin Child Safety Officer