Working together to safeguard children and young people
The Australian Human Rights Commission defines a child safe organisation as one that creates a culture, adopts strategies, and takes actions that promote child wellbeing and prevent harm to children and young people.
We will do this by:
- creating an environment where children’s safety and wellbeing is at the centre of thought, values and actions
- placing emphasis on genuine engagement with and valuing of children and young people
- creating conditions that reduce the likelihood of harm to children and young people
- creating conditions that increase the likelihood of identifying any harm
- responding to any concerns, disclosures, allegations or suspicions of harm.
Council’s Child Safeguarding Policy provides a set of overarching practices aligned to the NSW Child Safe Standards that demonstrates Council’s commitment to child safety.
Northern Beaches Council is committed to ensuring that children and young people with whom we have contact are safe and feel safe, their rights, needs and interests are met, and they are able to actively participate in decisions that affect their lives.
Reporting child protection concerns
Who can report child safety concerns?
- Parent or carer
- Child or young person
- Community member
- Northern Beaches Council employees including volunteers, contractors and councillors
You can report any child safety concerns, including:
- disclosure of abuse or neglect
- allegation, suspicion or observation
- general safety or environmental concerns
If you believe a child or young person is in immediate danger or in a life-threatening situation, please contact the police immediately by dialling 000.
If you think a child or young person is at risk of harm from abuse or neglect, contact the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111.
Making a complaint involving a child or young person
Any complaints about a Northern Beaches Council employee, Councillor, volunteer or contractor’s behaviour or conduct towards a child or young person will be handled in accordance with Council's Complaint Management Policy.
You can make a child protection complaint directly with our Internal Audit and Complaints Resolution team:
- (02) 8495 5136 or (02) 8495 5114 from 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday
- Internal Audit and Complaints Resolution, PO Box 82 Manly, NSW 1655
Northern Beaches Council takes all allegations and concerns about potential child abuse seriously.
- NSW Child Safe Standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse provide a framework for making organisations safer for children.
- Office of Children’s Guardian
- Australian Government eSafety Commissioner - resources to support educators, parents, children and young people have safer, more positive experiences online.
- Playing IT Safe - helping parents, carers and educators teach young children how to stay safe online.
- NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian – online safety for children – tips on how to keep children and young people safe online.
- ThinkUKnow – national program providing online child safety information to equip children and young people with the knowledge and skills to take actionable steps to maintain their safety at all times.
- Bravehearts - Keeping Kids Safe Online – Quick tips for parents
- eSafety Commissioner - cyberbullying complaint - for cyberbullying targeted at a child under the age of 18
- Raising Children Network – Articles on entertainment and technology for pre-teens / for teenagers
- Technology and teenagers—ReachOut - Practical tips for parents to help young people manage technology use in a safe and balanced way.
- Child Protection Helpline If you suspect that a child or young person is at risk of harm from abuse or neglect, the helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Phone 132 111.
- NSW Communities and Justice provides safety and welfare to vulnerable children and young people.
- The Office of the Children’s Guardian regulates and oversees organisations in NSW to uphold children and young people’s right to be safe.
Confidential counselling is available for people of all ages by telephone or online. Visit our Mental Health Services page for useful contacts.
- Child and Youth Mental Health Service Northern Beaches – provides specialist mental health intervention to children and young people with severe and complex mental health problems and their families. Includes groups for young people and parents, information and referral to other services and crisis intervention for the community within business hours.
Phone: (02) 9388 5150
- Northern Beaches Youth & Family Counselling Service – free, flexible, tailored service in a safe, confidential and friendly space for people aged between 12 and 18 years and their family living on the Northern Beaches.
Phone: (02) 9976 1486 or email AFC@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au
- One Door – specialised mental health services to the northern beaches area including centre-based services, psychological and physical health services, individual support, and assistance transitioning to the NDIS.
Phone: (02) 9907 9999