Guide to protect Victorian children

June 3, 2013 by Jo Silver
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) Child Protection Reference Group has compiled a Child Protection Directory offering constituent presidents confidential assistance with child protection policies, practices and risk assessments.

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat

The Child Protection Directory is online at www.jccv.org.au and provides a summary of services available to parents, victims, carers and community workers. The Reference Group identified a need to provide a brief directory of services from both Jewish and non-Jewish providers as well as providing support to JCCV affiliate organisations.

The Reference Group is well placed to provide organisational support. Andrew Blode, Chair, is former Chairman of the Australian Council for Children & Youth Organisations (ACCYO – safeguarding children from abuse in organisational settings) and former Director of the Australian Childhood Foundation and Jewish Care. Katherine Levi and Anton Hermann (the instigator for Working with Children Checks), are former CEO’s of ACCYO and sit on the Child Protection Reference Group, alongside professionals from Australian Jewish Psychologists, Jewish Care and the Taskforce Against Family Violence.

Andrew Blode stated: “organisations need to ingrain a culture of child protection which combined with Working with Children Checks and mandatory reporting will assist in protecting our children. Blode acknowledged the role of the parent in sharing this responsibility by requesting child protection policy and practice from the organisations to which their children are entrusted.

Nina Bassat AM, President JCCV, said, “for many years, stranger danger was thought to be the biggest issue faced. Now we know, the risk is often from people in a position of trust and as victims rarely come forward, abuse can continue for years”. Bassat cautioned parents and carers that perpetrators can cover a range of people, sometimes from familiar surroundings, and can include older children or peers in the school or synagogue playground, teachers and ancillary staff. Unfortunately, those few individuals who have an unhealthy interest in children tend to seek out professions and opportunities that allow them time alone with children.

The Reference Group commends the Australian Zionist Youth Council who is fully accredited through the Australian Childhood Foundation and the other Jewish groups who have come forward seeking support.

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