The United Jewish Education Board (UJEB) is an organisation with a strong commitment to child safety.
While we lament the testimony of victims and are shocked by others’ statements at the Royal Commission over recent weeks, we believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant and hope that our community will be stronger, and more importantly- our children safer, for the pain we have endured.
We welcome the leadership changes and see these as a harbinger of lasting systemic change that will result in stronger governance for all community organisations.
UJEB engages with about 1,500 students every week and have proper and comprehensive systems, procedures and policies in place to protect all our children.
To be clear: should any of our students or their families have concerns for their safety, or if they have suffered any form of attack, UJEB urges them to approach Victoria Police directly.
We offer unconditional support and assistance to any UJEB student or family who are victims of child-sexual abuse.
To ensure this happens, we operate transparently on these matters and work within a formal governance structure. Specifically, we have a number of measures in place to protect the safety of our students:
- Every paid and volunteer member of our organisation, from the president to the classroom teacher to the accountant, is required to hold a valid Working With Children check.
- We are required to report suspected abuse cases to both the police and the Principals of any school in which we operate, as part of our formal agreement with the Department of Education and Training. We are also bound by our contract to stringent Duty of Care obligations, with which we are happy to comply.
- Our Child Protection policy is available to all families online via our website. It is signed off annually by all teachers as part of their Training Manual, and they receive dedicated training hours on the policy and its operation.
- We participated in the JCCV sessions in 2014 on Child Safety, led by Dr Kate Levi, as part of our ongoing commitment to children.
- We have a formal grievance procedure for both parents and staff. In addition, private or anonymous communications will reach me by writing to email@example.com. (However, grievances concerning alleged or actual incidents of abuse should be referred directly to the police).
We are confident that our framework ensures best-practice on these matters. We strive for continuous improvement, and welcome constructive suggestions in that regard.
In closing UJEB also pays tribute to Mr Manny Waks, his family and the many other survivors of child abuse who have come forward courageously to tell their story. Their testimonies and evidence have opened the eyes of our community, and while we may not like what we see, it is immensely preferable to silence.