This means that:
This policy informs ABCN board, management, staff and volunteer mentors on how to behave with children who have contact with the organisation. The policy also serves as a guide as to how these children will be safe, protected, heard and respected.
ABCN believes that child safety is everyone’s responsibility and we support this by providing child safety information to all employees.
We take all reasonable steps to employ highly skilled people who will be safe with children and have a strong commitment to children’s wellbeing. Our selection criteria and advertisements clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety, and awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities.
All people employed or contracted to facilitate programs are required to hold a Working with Children Check (WWCC). The WWCC must be current at all times.
We use employment reference checks to check that the applicants past employment history is consistent with our commitment to child safety.
ABCN takes all allegations and complaints seriously and has practices and procedures in place to investigate these thoroughly and quickly. We record all allegations of abuse, complaints and safety concerns using our Child Protection Incident Report, and we record investigation updates.
We ensure that all staff, contract facilitators and volunteer mentors know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour.
We recognise that we all have a responsibility, moral and legislated, to report an allegation of abuse if we have a reasonable belief that an incident took place. In the case of children the mandated reporter is the teacher or school representative.
The safety and wellbeing of children is our primary concern. We are also fair and just to our personnel. The decisions we make when recruiting, assessing incidents, and undertaking disciplinary action will always be thorough, transparent and evidence based.
We will protect children when a risk is identified. In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, and organisational risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children. We have risk management strategies in place to minimise child abuse risks.
All personal information considered or recorded will respect the privacy of the individuals involved, whether they be staff, volunteers, parents or children, unless there is a risk to someone’s safety. We have policies and practices in place to ensure any personal information is protected. We are transparent in how any information is recorded, what is done with the information and who will have access to it.
This policy will be regularly reviewed, particularly following significant events should they occur. During reviews of this policy we will seek the input of staff, children and their families. Where possible we will do our best to consult and seek the view of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
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