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Children and families

Child Safety in Mitchell Shire

Statement of Commitment

At Mitchell Shire Council we are committed to ensuring all children and young people reach their full potential as we strive to achieve our mission of working with our communities to build a great quality of life.

We have zero tolerance for all forms of abuse and neglect towards children and young people. We will work actively to provide a safe environment in all our programs and services. We will ensure that any incidents of suspected child abuse will be acted upon appropriately and in accordance with our policy and legal obligations.

We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children and young people. Child protection is a shared responsibility by all councillors, employees, workers, contractors, volunteers, associates, and members of the community.

How does Council manage child safety?

Mitchell Shire Council has implemented various policies and procedures to ensure we operate according to the Child Safe Standards set our by the Victorian Government. This includes:

  • ensuring all relevant employees have valid Working With Children and Police Checks
  • having rigorous reporting systems in place
  • providing comprehensive employee and volunteer Child Safe training
  • following appropriate risk management processes
  • active promotion of child friendly practices within Council.

View our Child Safe Policy for more information.

Child abuse

What is child abuse?

There are five types of child abuse outlined in the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005. These are:

  • sexual offences (against, with or in the presence of, a child)
  • sexual misconduct (against, with or in the presence of, a child)
  • physical violence (against, with or in the presence of, a child)
  • behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm
  • significant neglect.

Who is responsible for reporting

Anyone that witnesses a harmful act against a child or young person should report it.

How to report

Immediate risk

Call police immediately on 000 if:

  • you feel a child is in immediate danger
  • you receive disclosure or observe and have a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by another adult against a child
  • something is disclosed to you or you observe anything that could be potentially harmful to a child.

When reporting, ensure that you record as much information as possible including:

  • time of incident
  • location
  • description of person/s
  • witnesses/others present
  • surroundings
  • contact details of those involved (where possible/applicable).

You can contact Child Protection if a child needs protection due to child abuse, or you believe a child's safety and wellbeing may be in serious danger.

  • after hours Child Protection Emergency Services: 131 278
  • DHHS Child Protection — Hume region: 1800 650 227

Low-to-moderate risk

If there is a low-to-moderate risk for a child and their immediate safety is not compromised, contact:

  • Child First Local Catchment Area — Mitchell: 1800 663 107
  • Department of Education and Early Childhood Development — Hume region: 5761 2100
  • where the incident has occurred on Council property, or where the child or young person is in the care of the Council this must be reported to the Risk and OHS Unit on 57346200 or via our incident report page.
Victorian Child Safe Standards

View the Victorian Child Safe Standards outlined by the Commission for Children & Young People.

Children Services

We offer services for children and families from birth to school age and beyond. These services help increase childrens' involvement in community activities, which encourages them to pursue their interests and create new networks.

For more information on children services and activities, visit children and families.

Kindergarten Enrolment

Our kindergartens provide children with opportunities for social interaction, creative activities and physical development. All centres are licensed with the Department of Education and Training. We employ only qualified Early Childhood teachers and educators.

Visit kindergartens to find out how to enrol your child.

Youth Services

Mitchell Youth Services work with young people aged 12 to 24 years. Our main purpose is to promote, develop and encourage the wellbeing of young people in the area.

Visit youth services for more information about what programs are available.

Leisure Services

Council runs two leisure and aquatic centres — located in Kilmore and Seymour.

For more information on swimming lessons for your child, visit Learn To Swim programs.

Library Services

Our libraries host a range of free activities for all ages, including weekly children's programs and school holiday programs.

Visit libraries to see what events and programs are coming up.

Reporting an incident to Council

If you would like to report an incident to Council, please submit the details via our Incident Report page.

This page was last updated on 1 August 2022.