Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. Show School Industry Partnership’s commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
  2. Clearly express the strategies for maintaining a child safe environment and preventing harm to children and young people
  3. To make sure that all staff, paid and unpaid, including Board members, management, volunteers and workers know and are aware of their responsibilities as they relate to child safety and wellbeing in our organisation

This is done by letting all staff, volunteers and contractors know of their obligations to engage ethically with children and young people and their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.  Everyone must ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in every way as it relates to activities online and onsite.

Scope

Who this policy applies to:

  • all people who conduct work for the organisation in a paid or unpaid capacity. This may include, for example, board members, executive leadership, staff, volunteers, interns, trainees, contractors and consultants.

What this policy applies to:

  • all activities in the organisation which involve, result in or relate to contact with children and young people.

Definitions

“Child/ Children and young people” means a child or children or a young person/s below the age of 18.

Children’s Participation

A requirement to create and maintain a child safe organisation is the participation of children and young people. School Industry Partnership recognises the importance of active participation by children and young people to achieve this.

  • Children and young people are actively encouraged to express their opinions and views.
  • Children and young people are listened to with respect
  • Asked for their feedback
  • Children and young people are at the centre of our work and what we do.
  • Children and young people are assisted in finding new ways on how to express themselves.

Recruitment, Supervision and Training

  • SIP has rigorous recruitment practices for Board Members, staff, contractors and volunteers. Through these rigorous recruitment practices SIP is able to select the most suitable people who share in SIP’s values.
  • Staff are selected using panel interviews and rigorous referee checks are conducted prior to making offers of employment.
  • All Board members, staff, contractors and volunteers must hold and maintain a current Working With Children Check during their engagement with SIP.
Supervision
  • Staff performance is monitored regularly by supervisors who are more senior members of the organisation. Performance reviews are conducted annually.
  • At regular intervals throughout the year SIP encourages that children and young people provide feedback on staff.
Training
  • All new staff members , contractors and volunteers who will have direct contact with children and young people during the course of their employment at SIP receive a copy of our Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy, Code of Conduct (to be signed and dated by each person) and related procedures. Their direct manager will set up a meeting to discuss the policies and allow the new worker to ask questions and clarify their understanding.
  • All staff members who have direct contact with children and young people during the course of their employment at SIP are required to complete the Child Safe eLearning modules on the Office of the Children’s Guardian website.
  • Child safety is a standing agenda item at staff meetings and staff are encouraged to ask questions

Risk Management

Risk assessments are conducted and documented for the activities of the organisation which are associated with the direct delivery of services to children and young people and control measures are implemented.

Complaints Handling and Reporting
Complaints Handling Process

Positive and negative feedback is a major indicator of customer satisfaction and outlines the extent of any problem or issue. SIP will deal with all complaints it receives in an expedient manner and at an appropriate level of management.

Anyone, including children and young people and their families, can make a complaint about a staff member, contractor or volunteer

All complaints or incidents of customer dissatisfaction must be reported to your manager.

All complaints written, verbal or 3rd hand, must be reported to the CEO.

Please refer to our Complaints Handling Policy for more information.

Reporting of Child Abuse
  • Staff, contractors and volunteers who work with SIP have a responsibility to be aware of indicators of child abuse and to report any concerns they may have for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people involved in our workshops, projects and events.
  • If a staff member, contractor or volunteer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm they should report this to their direct manager immediately.
  • Any person within or outside of the organisation may report their concerns for the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person to the Department of Family and Community Services (Child Protection Helpline 132 111).
Relevant legislation and standards
  1. The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) (the Care and Protection Act);
  2. The Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012 (NSW) (the WWC Act); and
  3. The Ombudsman Act 1974 (NSW) (the Ombudsman Act),
  4. Child Safe Standards – Office of the Children’s Guardian NSW
  5. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  6. The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
Communication
Communication with Staff, Contractors and Volunteers
  • Our policy will be discussed with all staff, contractors and volunteers during induction sessions.
  • Child Safety will be discussed regularly at staff meetings and ongoing professional development. Mentoring and supervision will be provided to staff to help them comply with and understand the policy.
Communication with Children and Young People, Parents and Guardians
  • We will display key information from our policy and Code of Conduct in our offices and workshop spaces to ensure children and young people understand their rights and how to speak up if something makes them feel unsafe.
  • Our policy will be publicly accessible on our website.