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Alerts

  • 'Child' means anyone under 18. The content on the following pages makes reference to child abuse, including sexual abuse, which some readers may find confronting. Support is available from Kids Helpline, Lifeline and Beyond Blue.

Speak up about child abuse and harm

Where to report child harm and abuse

Every member of the community has a role to play in keeping children and young people safe from harm and abuse. If you suspect or know a child or young person is being harmed or abused, speak up and report it.

  • If a child or young person is in immediate danger call 000 (triple zero) and ask for the police.
  • If you have immediate concerns about the safety of a child or young person contact Child Protection services
     - 1300 598 521 Monday to Friday 8:45am to 5:00pm
     - 13 12 78 Monday to Friday 5:00pm to 9:00am and 24 hours on weekends and Public Holidays

A Child Safe Complaint about Council

Council recognises a customer’s right to make a complaint. This includes children and young people being able to raise an issue or complaint.

Children or young people may want to make a complaint about:

  • a Council service.
  • the way a Council staff member, or another adult, child or young person has treated them at a Council program, event, service, or facility.
  • the way a problem was handled.

Making a complaint and raising issues is not easy, especially for children and young people. We encourage children and young people to talk to an adult they trust. This person can support them or speak up for them on their behalf.

A child safe incident/complaint can be made to Council in the following ways:

  • Talk to a Council Worker at a Council program, service, event or facility
  • Call 9240 1111 and ask to speak with a Child Safe Officer
  • Email childsafe@merri-bek.vic.gov.au
  • Text/SMS to 0447 034 922

Report here

We have Child Safe Officers that will receive and respond to all complaints. One of them will respond within one working day. All complaints will be listened to, treated seriously and responded to quickly. 

All complaints will be treated confidentially. But if a child or young person, or someone they know is hurt, or might be hurt, we will have to tell someone else to protect them. 

This poster (PDF 499kb) provides information for children and young people about how to make a complaint to Council. It includes information in العربية (Arabic), বাংলা (Bengali), नेपाली (Nepali), پښتو (Pashto), Türkçe (Turkish) and اردو (Urdu).

  • More information for children and young people about your rights and how to make a complaint in English (PDF 274kb).

  • আপনার অধিকার সম্পর্কে আরও তথ্য এবং (বাংলা) ভাষায় কীভাবে অভিযোগ করবেন সে-সম্পর্কে আরও তথ্য (Bengali PDF 231kb)

  • तपाईंको अधिकार र नेपाली भाषामा कसरी उजुरी गर्ने भन्ने बारे थप जानकारी (Nepali PDF 205kb)

  • Haklarınız ve nasıl şikâyette bulunacağınız hakkında daha fazla Türkçe bilgi için tıklayınız. (Turkish PDF 125kb)

  • مزيد من المعلومات حول حقوقك وكيفية تقديم شكوى باللغة العربية (Arabic PDF 183 kb)
  • ستاسو د حقوقواو د شکایت کولو د څرنګوالي په اړه نور مالومات په پښتو ژبه کې (Pashto PDF 188kb)
  • اردو میں اپنے حقوق اور شکایت کرنے کے طریقہ کے بارے میں مزید معلومات (Urdu PDF 190kb)

Why report child harm and abuse?

  • Reporting is the important first step in helping children and young people who are experiencing harm and abuse.
  • Child abuse can have a devastating impact on the lives of children and young people and failing to report means that the child or young person could continue to experience abuse.
  • Taking action ensures that children, young people and families get the help and support they need.
  • When concerns, disclosures or allegations are not acted upon, the perpetrator can keep abusing children and may move from organisation to organisation, community to community or continue to abuse within their own family.

Reporting obligations

The 'Failure to Disclose' offence applies to all adults in Victoria. Any adult who has a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child under 16 years of age must report that information to the police.

Resources and further information

Select the links below for further information and resources.