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Victorian law firm Moores and not-for-profit hub Our Community have released a Child Protection Toolkit to help not-for-profit organisations and schools to promote child safety and prevent institutionalised child abuse.

The Child Protection Toolkit has been released in the wake of new Victorian legislation that came into effect for most not-for-profits, including education, disability, religious bodies, sport and maternal and health care service providers, on January 1 this year.

The changes, introduced under the Crimes, Child Wellbeing and Education Acts, impose on organisations a range of new child protection obligations.

The Child Protection Toolkit explains the Victorian changes as well as the wider social and legislative context, and sets out practical advice to help organisations across Australia meet their compliance obligations and ensure their environment is a safe place for children. It also takes into account the ongoing Royal Commission Parliamentary inquiry, which is expected to be finalised in 2017.

The toolkit has been written by Moores, drawing on its extensive experience working with not-for-profit organisations on these issues, and is edited, published and distributed by Our Community.

Lead author Catherine Brooks, a Principal at Moores, says she is passionate about helping to prevent institutional child abuse. She says that by making the toolkit available at no cost to Australian organisations, Moores aims to help preserve every child’s right to a safe childhood.

“By downloading this toolkit and putting in place the strategies, policies and procedures it recommends, organisations will be taking the first invaluable step toward preventing child abuse,” Ms Brooks said. “We at Moores are committed to making a positive social impact and we’re proud to be helping society’s most vulnerable people (our children) in this way.

“With a rise in the number of Australian children receiving child protection services each year*, it is vital these new laws are understood and taken seriously so we as a community can work together to reduce this number year-on-year. We’d like to see these figures reduced to zero.” According to Ms Brooks, the pro bono value of the toolkit is $75,000.

Our Community released the Child Protection Toolkit to its database of 80,000 members today. It is also be available on the Our Community website – visit www.ourcommunity.com.au/childprotectiontoolkit.

For more information on Moores please visit: www.moores.com.au.

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