Media Centre
JCCV and Organisational Child Abuse

JCCV and Organisational Child Abuse

22 April 2013

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the roof body of Victoria’s 60,000 Jews will give evidence at the Victorian Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government organisations.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has taken the leadership in Victoria to protect Jewish children from organisational abuse. As the peak body organization, with 60 affiliates, representing 60,000 Jewish people in Victoria, it is incumbent upon JCCV leadership to ensure that community organisations, have good policies and practices in place and those that work with children become accredited under the Australian Foundation for Children, Safeguarding Children Program.

Children are inherently vulnerable. Parents expect - and the law requires - that children will be safe from harm or abuse be it at school, camp, youth group, sporting clubs or any other community setting.

Nina Bassat AM, President of the JCCV said in many instances, community organisations already have effective policies and procedures for ensuring that abuse in any of its forms is, to the greatest possible extent prevented. However, Presidents have the responsibility, and authorization to ensure that their organisations are as safe as they can be.

Ms Bassat stated, “The JCCV has convened a Child Protection Reference Group to: act as an additional resource to assist community organisations to strengthen their child protection policies and procedures; promote resources to educate and empower parents regarding child protection; and assist with referrals to professional support services, where required.

The JCCV is not alone. There are many programs being actioned in the community such as Rabbinical training and community education by the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence; victim support groups through the Australian Jewish Psychologists; and victim advocate groups ousting perpetrators and misinformation. Indeed, the Zionist Youth Council is to be commended for their extensive accreditation of all Jewish youth groups through the Australian Childhood Foundation. Chabad Youth and Jewish Aid are also to be commended for starting this process.

Andrew Blode, Chair of the Reference Group, said, “child abuse within Jewish organisations is not systemic. There are a very small minority of people who work as staff or volunteers within the Jewish and wider communities, who have an unhealthy interest in obtaining access to children and young people.” Andrew continued, “given the specific challenges of child protection, policies can vary between organisations and in the absence of good risk management, organisations can unwittingly make themselves vulnerable.

For support and advice, contact the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence on 9523 2100; SECASA on 1800 806 292; or Gatehouse Centre on 1800 806 292

Subscribe

  • Connect/Share

  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook