23April2024

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Working with Children Adverse Notice Procedure

Members would recall, earlier in the year CFA engaged in consultation with VFBV over proposed changes to its working with children business rule and policies.

Following member feedback, VFBV provided comprehensive feedback to CFA that while supporting the majority of the proposed changes in principle – we did not support CFA’s proposed procedure to deal with adverse notices.

It was VFBV’s view (informed by your feedback) that the proposed procedure did not afford sufficient procedural fairness, did not provide robust privacy to members, and there was a lack of structure in the arrangements to ensure a consistent and robust approach across the State. It was our view the procedure could not be cured by just tweaking it and instead requested that CFA form a working party to allow us to work with CFA to co-design a more suitable process.

CFA agreed to that request, and a small working party was formed consisting of 6 VFBV nominees and 3 CFA nominees. This working party has worked diligently since April to co-design a robust procedure that they believe provides for the safety of children and young people, ensures privacy and confidentiality throughout the process and affords procedural fairness.

CFA is now requesting formal consultation on the revised procedure.

You will note that the attached policy only deals with volunteers. A very similar staff procedure is also currently being developed and consulted on, and we are advised the intent will be to ensure both operate effectively the same, but with subtle differences to account for the slightly different procedures required for each cohort. (For example, staff suspension or dismissal involves a different process etc.)

VFBV is now seeking members review the updated procedure (available below), and provide any further comment/feedback to Christine Fryer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Monday 14th February 2022. When providing feedback - we would also be keen to gauge support for the revised procedure, so please feel free to indicate support and/or concerns.

We thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to your feedback.

Read 4634 times Last modified on Friday, 07 January 2022 12:01
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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