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:

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
  • maintaining a network of trained Child Safe Advisors
  • 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.

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 Child Safe Advisers.

Child Safe Advisers

Child Safe Advisers are 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.

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.

Key contacts and support

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

For life-threatening risks (24 hours)

  • Call the Police on 000
  • If on campus, call Deakin Security on 1800 062 579

For other immediate concerns (after hours)

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

For all concerns (business hours)