Protecting children from sexual abuse

February 26, 2014 by David Marlow
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Over 60 people representing 20 Jewish community organisations attended the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) Child Protection training program.

Katherine Levi

Katherine Levi

This is the first of five training days over four months to help the community better understand the risks and establish effective processes, policies and practices to help protect children from the risk of child sexual abuse. Unexpected number necessitated two sessions.

The training is being delivered by child protection expert Katherine Levi, who has 20 years of experience working with youth at risk.  Katherine was CEO of the Australian Council for Children and Youth Organisations (ACCYO) for four years and CEO of Big Brothers-Big Sisters for six years.  With a Masters in Social Work, Katherine also developed the concept and content of the Safeguarding Children Program.

The content of the JCCV course includes:

–       Child sexual abuse in organisations

–       Identifying risks to children and young people in an organisation context

–       Recruitment, screening and induction strategies to minimise risks to children and young people

–       Child sexual abuse allegations, policies and practices workshop

Nina Bassat AM, President of the JCCV said, “The community response has been overwhelming, requiring the JCCV to extend the training to two workshops, instead of the one we had planned.”

“To have the participation of so many organisations, from every spectrum of our community, including schools and synagogues, is a clear indication that we have achieved a cultural change, with an understanding among all sections of our community that we must commit to achieving best practice in protecting our children.”

“There are so many good people working in community organisations, but there are also people who work the system with malicious intent, and we need to tighten the gaps to stop perpetrators getting to our children.”

Andrew Blode, Chairman of the JCCV Child Protection Reference Group said, “This is a world’s first to see a whole community come together like this.”

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