Child Protection

​Protecting children from significant harm caused by abuse or neglect is a responsibility parents share with early childhood services and the wider community, including government organisations, police and community agencies.

Resources for parents and carers

'Wise Up' to child sexual abuse is a booklet that helps you learn about child sexual abuse; how to identify signs and indicators of abuse, how to talk to children if they disclose, how to recognise the strategies of offenders and importantly how to report your concerns. The booklet has been developed by Child Wise, a child protection charity working in Australia, Asia and the Pacific to prevent child abuse.To access the booklet and other child protection resources, see:

Reporting protocol for early childhood staff

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, has been produced by the Department together with the Department of Human Services Child Protection, licensed children’s services and Victorian schools.

This is a code of behaviour that makes sure there is a shared and consistent approach to protect all children and defines the roles and responsibilities of all early childhood staff.

Key information in the code of behaviour includes:

  • updated mandatory reporting policies and procedures to align with the Children Youth and Families Act (2005)
  • legal responsibilities and the Department’s requirements in responding to allegations in relation to children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect
  • procedural and policy information in relation to Child FIRST, a family services community-based intake and referral service
  • information sharing obligations in relation to providing information to Child Protection and family service agencies
  • a comprehensive list of relevant state contacts including access to advice and support.

To read Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, see:

Reporting child sexual abuse to police

Additional to DHS Child Protection mandatory reporting obligations, any adult who forms a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed against a child under 16 by an adult must report that information to police. Failure to report the information to do so is a criminal offence. In limited circumstances failure to report is not an offence, for example if the information has been reported to DHS Child Protection.

For more information about this offence, see: Department of Justice – Failure to disclose fact sheet