PROTECT Children

Information and advice on how to protect children, create a child safe environment, identify and report signs of abuse and what your mandatory reporting requirements are.


​​This section includes information for school staff. For early childhood settings, see: PROTECT: Early Childhood Guidance

As a school staff member you play a critical role in protecting children in your care. The information on the following pages applies to all employees, contractors, and service providers and includes specific advice on how to create a child safe environment, identify and report signs of abuse and what your mandatory reporting requirements are.

The Child Safe Standards

Protecting children and young people from abuse is our responsibility.

The Victorian Government is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. As part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust report, which found that more must be done to prevent and respond to child abuse in our community, there is a new regulatory landscape surrounding child safety, underpinned by the new Child Safe Standards.

The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian early childhood services and schools, to ensure they are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect. To find out more, see: Child Safe Standards: Creating a safe environment

These web pages have been developed from the Protect guidance which has been developed to assist schools to fulfil their obligations under Clause 11 of Ministerial Order 870. For more information, see:

The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse



The Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final report on 15 December 2017. The final report contains 409 recommendations.



As part of a coordinated effort, the Victorian Government will consider each recommendation in full. We will be looking in detail at the report's findings to ensure it is able to respond effectively to ensure the safety and protection of all children in its care.

For more information on the Royal Commission and its findings, see: Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse


Read video transcript

Willa: Hi, and welcome to “Protect.” My name is Willa.

Dane: And I’m Dane.

Willa: We’re here to help you understand how to best Identify and Respond to All Forms of Child abuse within Victorian Schools.

Dane: As a community we all have to work together to keep children safe and protect them from abuse.

Willa: And as school staff members we all play an especially critical role in protecting the children in our care.

We’re often best placed to identify signs and behaviours that may indicate that a child has been abused, or even that a school staff or community member is perpetrating abuse.

Dane: We must act whenever we suspect that a child has been abused, or is at risk of abuse. In fact every school staff member, not just teachers, must act. That’s right Willa?

Willa: Yes, even Principals, allied health staff and contractors. The Identifying and Responding to All Forms of Abuse policy resource has been developed to help all staff fulfil their moral and legal obligations.

It includes details on:

  • Understanding our obligations
  • Signs of Abuse
  • Four Critical Actions- Responding to Suspected Abuse
  • Reporting Concerns About the Wellbeing of a Child, and
  • Sharing Information and Managing Privacy

Dane: There is a lot to remember, but we’re here to help. You’ll see us at the start of the first five sections of this resource.

Willa: We’ll run through the key points in that section of the resource and then look at how the information might apply in our school.

Dane: So, see you soon and remember that every staff member and contractor has legal and moral obligations to identify and respond to child abuse, and we all must follow the Four Critical Actions whenever you suspect that a child has been, or is at risk of being abused.

Online learning module for schools

For the Department's Mandatory Reporting and Other Obligations eLearning module for Government and non-Government schools, see: Mandatory Reporting eLearning module

Please note, a username and password are no longer required.​

Download Protect guidance

The web pages in this section have been developed from the Protect guidance. Downloadable versions of the guidance are available below.

For guidance on identifying and responding to all forms of see:

​For guidance on sexual offending by students, see:

​The​ content in the Protect guidance is for all school staff in all Victorian schools (including non-government schools). It has been developed by:

  • ​Department of Education and Training
  • Catholic​​ Education Commission of Victoria
  • Independent Schools Victoria