School Policy

 

Child Safe Environment

 

Reference: National Law: Section 167. Regulation 168 (2)(h) National Quality Standard 2.3, 7.1

Policy Statement

 

This policy was developed to ensure that the welfare of the children in our school are protected, that the interests and welfare of families and children coming the school are protected and that any notification or investigation into suspected cases of abuse will be conducted in accordance with National Law, Regulation and each States Regulatory Authorities individual requirements.

 

 

Statement of Commitment

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne is committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people who come our school. We strive to ensure all of our teachers/staff/volunteers treat all children and students with respect and understanding. We provide a framework of policies, procedures and guidelines that assist our team members to uphold practices that promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and students.

 

Our school members will endeavour to provide a safe and supportive environment where children and students can learn and grow in a place where they can feel valued, accepted and safe.

 

We:

 

§    Believe that child protection is a community responsibility.

§    Respect the rights of children

§    Have a zero tolerance for child abuse

§    Have a legal and moral obligation to contact authorities when we are concerned about child safety, which we follow rigorously

§    Committed to promoting cultural safety for Aboriginal children, cultural safety for

children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and to promote a safe environment for children with disabilities.

§    Committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risk early and removing and

reducing these risks

§    Have a robust human resources and recruitment practices for all teachers/staff and

      volunteers

§    Committed to regular training and educating our teachers/staff and volunteers on child abuse risks

§    Have specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our leadership team, teachers, staff and volunteers to achieve this commitment.

 

 

Recruitment practices

 

 

Employing the Right Person

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne will maintain a rigorous and consistent recruitment, screening and selection process to employ skilled matured teachers/staff to teach in classes and work in School. Our selection criteria clearly demonstrates our commitment to child safety and awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities. Recruiting the right a person contributes enormously to creating a safe environment for children and students while making positive contributions to the school and community.

 

All teachers/staff and volunteers engaged in child-related work are required to hold a relevant

Working With Children Check (state specific) and to provide evidence of this check.

 

Working with Children Checks- What are the Specific requirements

 

A working with children check is a requirement for people who work or volunteer in child- related work to help protect children and students from physical and sexual harm.

 

It involves a national criminal history check and a review of findings of workplace misconduct while aiming to minimise the risk of harm to children and young people by contributing to the creation of safe and supportive environment.

 

 

We take all reasonable steps to employ skilled people to work with children. We develop selection criteria and advertisements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety and an awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities. Our organisation understands that when recruiting staff and volunteers we have ethical as well as legislative obligations.

We actively encourage applications from Aboriginal peoples, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.

All people engaged in child-related work, including volunteers, are required to hold a Working with Children Check and to provide evidence of this Check. Please see the Working with Children Check website <www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au> for further information

In recognition of its obligation to provide a safe environment for children, CLA instructors are required to have a valid Working with Children (WWC) Check in compliance with the Working with Children Act 2005. The Check is just one of responsibilities in creating and maintaining child-safe environments. child-related work is not limited to work involving direct and unsupervised contact with children. Any contact with children, unless it is only occasional and incidental, is enough to trigger the requirement to get a Check.

Child- a person under 18 years of age

 Contact- any contact between a child and an adult that involves:

  1. Physical contact; or

  2. Face to face oral communication; or

  3. Physically being within eyeshot

  4. Yard Duty

  5.  Unsupervised contact

We carry out reference checks and police record checks to ensure that we are recruiting the right people. Police record checks are used only for the purposes of recruitment and are discarded after the recruitment process is complete. We do retain our own records (but not the actual criminal record) if an applicant’s criminal history affected our decision-making process.

If during the recruitment process a person’s records indicate a criminal history, then the person will be given the opportunity to provide further information and context.

 

 

Recruitment

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne takes all reasonable steps to employ skilled people to work within our school. A comprehensive selection criteria has been developed to clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety and an awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities.

 

Each position description has a clear statement of School commitment to the protection of children and students.

 

There is a clear understanding that when recruiting teachers/staff and volunteers that there are ethical and legislative obligations on the part of the hiring personnel.

 

Reference Checks are completed to ensure that every reasonable step is undertaken in recruiting the right people.

 

The Selection Process

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne is committed to the selection and on-boarding of professional and suitable staff for every role within our school. Equal opportunity is provided to all candidates, based on merit, qualification and skills required to be successful in the role.

 

Conditions:

 

·    Recruitment and selection of School teachers/staff will be in accordance with the recruitment procedure.

·    All School employees must hold relevant qualification or have relevant experiences/skills in teaching language as required for their role, and must provide a copy of the evidence.

·   All candidates applying for school based roles must have or be eligible to obtain a relevant and current working with children clearance in accordance to their respective state requirements

·    Throughout the recruitment process applicants will not be discriminated against in any capacity

 

All candidates must provide evidence of their right to work in Australia by supplying an Australian Passport or valid visa. Candidates not able to supply the required documentation will not be eligible for employment.

 

 

 

 

Staff Induction

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne believes that a thorough induction process is essential to help staff understand that child safety is everyone’s responsibility. All staff receive document where they are provided with support and information on their new roles and expectations of their role, legislative and regulatory requirements to ensure staff are equipped with skills to sufficiently enable them to understand their legal obligations in relation to providing a safe environment for children.

 

 

Awareness of Child Protection Law

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne is committed to ensuring all teachers/staff and volunteers are aware of child protection laws and recognise the importance of keeping children safe.

 

Staff are provided with information via the comprehensive induction process and regular staff meetings.

 

In addition all teachers/staff are encouraged to participate in yearly Child Safe Environment and Risk Management policy reviews.

 

Child Safety- School Support Ambassador

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne is strongly committed to supporting teachers/staff and volunteers to understand the importance of child safety and wellbeing while enabling them to consistently follow child safety policies and procedures.

 

School Teachers/Staff and volunteers are supported through the appointment of a Child Safety Centre Support Ambassador who undertakes the role of being the designated person to hear or be informed about all allegations or concerns, and provides support to the teachers/staff and volunteers.

 

The appointment of a Child Safety Centre Support Ambassador enables the focus of child safety to remain a priority and any allegations of abuse or safety concerns are recorded and responded to consistently and in line with legal and legislative requirements specific to each state.

 

The Child Safety Centre Support Ambassador provides a single contact for children, parents, staff and employees to seek advice and support regarding the safety and wellbeing of children.

 

Responding to Risk of Harm

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne is committed to ensuring our legal and legislative responsibilities are maintained and mandatory reporting guidelines are fulfilled. This includes:

·    Failure to disclose:  All teachers/staff or volunteers who have a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child have an obligation to make a report under state specific requirements

·    Failure to protect: Persons of authority will commit an offence if they know of a substantial risk of child sexual abuse and have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently fail to do so

·    Any personnel who are mandatory reporters must comply with their duties

 

 

Recognising Child Abuse and Neglect

 

Behavioural or physical signs that assist in the recognition of a child being at significant risk are known as indicators. A professional working with children may observe a range of indicators, or a single indicator that leads them to believe that harm is occurring. One indicator can be as significant as the presence of a number of indicators.

 

 

Mandatory Reporting/Obligations

 

 

The legal requirement to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect is known as

Mandatory Reporting. All jurisdictions possess mandatory reporting requirements specific to

that state. Mandate reporters and the abuse types vary across Australian states and

Territories.

 

It is the expectation of Taiwanese School of Melbourne that all teachers/staff and volunteers are required to report all suspicions of abuse to the Nominated Supervisor (Child Safety- Centre Support Ambassador),

Responsible Person and/or School Principal even if the staff member is not mandated to report or the type of abuse is not mandated to be reported.

 

 

Reporting Procedures

 

If you become aware of or have a suspicion that abuse is occurring, make sure that you detail the conversation/ observations in writing as soon as possible.

 

If you believe that the child that is in immediate danger call 000

 

 

Confidentiality & Documentation

 

All personal information considered or recorded will respect the privacy of the individuals involved, whether they are teachers, staff, volunteers, parents or children, unless there is a risk to someone’s safety. Taiwanese School of Melbourne has safeguards and practices in place to ensure any personal information is protected.

 

 

 

Allegations against Staff

 

In relation to cases where there is an allegation of abuse or neglect by a School teacher/staff at the School

 

·     Should an allegation be made regarding an school employee or volunteers the following must occur:

 

§     The person witnessing the incident must make their concerns known to the Nominated Supervisor or School Principal or Responsible person in writing. This notification must include times, dates and names of those involved as well as specific information regarding the incident.

 

§     The Nominated Supervisor/ School Principal or Responsible person will follow the procedures as outlined in School Policy as well as report any instances to the relevant State Child Protection Authority

 

Guidance will also be taken from the relevant state Child Protection Office.

 

 

 

Risk Assessment & Control Measures

 

Strategies in place to identify, assess and take steps to minimize child abuse risks, which

include risks posed by physical environments and online environments.

 

Child Protection risks need to be assessed as part of the school standard risk management process and managed throughout the lifecycle of any activity undertaken both within the school.

 

Supporting Child Participation

 

The promotion of children’s/students’ participation in the development of child safe strategies and policies is a beneficial step in creating child safe environments.

 

Children/students are encouraged to express their views and make suggestions on matters that directly affect them. We listen to their views and respect what they say.

 

School promotes diversity and tolerance with people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds being welcomed in our school. In particular we:

 

·     Promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children/students

·     Promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children/students from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds

·     Ensure that children/students with a disability are safe and can participate equally.

 

We teach children/students strategies for when they feel unsafe and act on any concerns children/students or their parents/guardians raise with the school.

 

Strategies that are utilised to encourage children’s/students’ participation include, but are not limited to:-

 

·     Creating service limits together with all children/students of appropriate age and developmental levels

·     Provide resources that highlight child safe environment messages

·     Role model appropriate interpersonal interactions such as appropriate language, supportive encouragement and team work

·     Empower children/students by encouraging them to make decisions and problem solve solutions when conflict occurs

·     Provide incursions from recognised child/student protection authorities to present child safe practices in ways that are age and developmentally appropriate.

 

 

Training and Support

 

School provides support and supervision to all staff/teachers to ensure they understand that

child safety is everyone’s responsibility.

 

discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns while identifying risks to minimise potential signs of abuse.

 

We support our staff, teachers and volunteers through ongoing supervision and work closely with them to develop their skills to protect children from abuse and promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, children from linguistically and/or diverse backgrounds and the safety of children with a disability.

 

A thorough induction process for all new employees and causal staff/teachers is in place to ensure an understanding school’s commitment to child safety which is followed up with yearly Child Protection training.

 

How our Policies are communicated

 

School policies and guidelines are available to all stakeholders with annual reviews undertaken in accordance with updated information provided by the relevant child protection authorities.

 

 

Standards of Behaviour

 

 

School has a number of policies and guidelines which outline appropriate behaviours and those behaviours that are not acceptable of its employees, families and young people. Together these provide a framework of the standards of behaviour that school expects.

 

Other Legislation that may be relevant to Child Safety but are not limited to:-

 

Child Protection Act 1999

Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010

Victorian Child Safety Standards

Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic)

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) Children and Young People Act 2008 (ACT)

NSW Ombudsman Act 1974

Children and Community Service Act 2004 (WA) Child Protection Act 1993 (SA)

 

Policy Source Acknowledgements

 

·     Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) –  www.dhs.vic.gov.au

·     The signs of Safety- Child Protection Practice Framework. (Department of Child Safety)

·     Protective Practices for staff in their interactions with children and young people – Government of

South Australia

·     National Child Protection Clearinghouse Resource Sheet “Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect”

·     Creating Safe and Supportive Service Environments for Children and Young People –

Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian QLD. Child and Youth Risk

Management Strategy Tool Kit.

·     Government of Western Australia Department of Child Protection

·     United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child -  https://www.unicef.org.au

  ·      www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au

·     www.education.vic.gov.au

·     www.vrqa.vic.gov.au

·     www.keepthemsafe.nsw.gov.au

·     www.fpq.com.au

·     Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010

·     Education and Care Services National Regulations

§     National Law Guide and National Regulations Guide

§     National Quality Standards Guide

§     Early Years Learning Framework and the My Time, Our Place Framework for

Outside School Hours Care

§     Quality Improvement Plan Guide

·     Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania

·     For mandate reporting state legislation-  www.aifs.gov.au/cfca

·     website http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/kts/guidelines/info-exchange/provide-request

·     Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Regulation 2012 – Reg 8 (NSW)

·     Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998- Sect 245D (NSW)

 

 

Go to ACECQA website   www.acecqa.gov.au

 

 

Child Safety Code of Conduct

 

Statement

 

Taiwanese School of Melbourne strongly encourages integrity, honesty, courtesy and professionalism amongst all employees particularly in the presence of parents and children/students.

 

All staff, teachers and volunteers are required to observe child safe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the school of children/students as noted below.

 

All personnel of Taiwanese School of Melbourne are responsible for supporting the safety, participation, wellbeing and empowerment of children/students by:

 

·     Adhering to School Child & Youth Risk Management Strategy at all times

·     Having a Zero tolerance of for child abuse

·     Take reasonable steps to protect child safety at all times

·     Listening and responding to concerns of children/students, particularly if they are advising of abuse to themselves or another child/student and/or are worried about their safety or the safety of another

·     Promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of all

     children/students

·     Promotes a zero tolerance of discrimination

·     Reporting any allegations of child abuse to the Supervision of Child Safety Team and the leadership team whilst ensuring any allegations are reported to the police or child protection agency relevant to each state

·     Reporting any child safety concerns to the members of nominated supervised    

     team and the leadership team

·     If an allegation of child/student abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child(ren)/student(s) are safe

·     Encouraging children/students to “have a say” and participate in all relevant

     school activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to them

·     remain professional at all times

·     perform our roles to the best of our ability with honesty and care

·     abide by all school’s policies and procedures- both operational and staff

     related

·     treat everyone with respect and courtesy, without harassment

·     protect the privacy of children/students and young people, families and

     employees

·     abide by reasonable instructions, company policies, education regulations and all other relevant Australian laws

 

Staff and volunteers will not:

 

·    develop any “special” relationships with children/students that could be seen as

     favouritism

·     exhibit behaviours with children/students which may be considered as

     unnecessarily physical contact

·     put children at risk of abuse

·     do things of a personal nature that children/students can do for themselves

·     engage in open discussions of a mature nature or adult nature in the presence

      of children/students

·     use inappropriate language in the presence of children/students

·     express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of

      children/students

·     discriminate against any child/student

·     ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse

 

If it is believed that a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000

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