Child and Young Person Protection Policy

Fact box

Purpose

Alphacrucis College (AC) strives for an inclusive approach that is committed to providing opportunities for all people to have caring relationships. This policy outlines guidelines which aim to protect children and young people from harm.

Scope

Whole college.

Policy

AC will endeavour to safeguard children and young people by:

  • adopting child and young person protection procedures and an AC Code of Conduct for all who work on behalf of AC;
  • providing effective management for AC representatives through support and training; and
  • reporting concerns to police and relevant state authority.

Definitions

AC representative: all full-time, part-time and casual employees, contractors, volunteers, researchers and students.

Carer: an AC representative who is responsible for the care of a child or young person.

Child / young person: a person under the age of eighteen years.

Child abuse: includes but is not limited to:

  • any sexual offence or sexual misconduct, assault, ill treatment or neglect, exposing a child to behaviour that psychologically and/or physically harms a child; and/or
  • accessing and downloading child pornography; and/or
  • making inappropriate contact with people under the age of eighteen via the Internet.

Relevant state authority: the state or territory department responsible for child protection. Refer to: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/reporting-abuse-and-neglect

Obligations

AC is required to:

  • protect any person under the age of eighteen associated with a College-related activity, including but not limited to, employment, internship, practicum, traineeship, care, research or study;
  • provide induction and training on child related issues for all staff and volunteers working at AC;
  • ensure that all volunteers, bona fide visitors and prospective students are supervised by an AC staff member;
  • provide details of child abuse allegations against staff members to the relevant state authority except where the allegation has been proven to be vexatious or false, as verified through the AC Complaints and Grievances Resolution Policy;
  • notify the relevant state authority and/or the police of any allegations of child abuse or if there is concern that a child is at risk of significant harm.

AC representatives are required to:

  • adhere to the AC Code of Conduct;
  • develop awareness of issues which can cause children and young people harm;
  • provide for and promote the care, protection and wellbeing of children and young people in a way that recognises their right to be protected from harm;
  • provide for and promote a safe culture that is understood, endorsed and put into action by all the individuals who work for, volunteer or access an AC program, service or managed facility;
  • accept responsibility for the welfare of children and young people who come in contact with AC in connection with its tasks and functions;
  • report reasonable suspicions or concerns of abuse, including the grounds for concerns following the procedures outlined below.

Any AC representative who is working directly with children must undergo a “working with children” (or equivalent) check if they are involved in any child-related work, including but not limited to: care for, teaching, providing services to; or conducting research involving children or young people.

The AC Safer College Officer is required to:

  • ensure accurate protection information and advice is available at all times;
  • liaise with local social services and other agencies, as appropriate;
  • ensure that AC representatives who will be working with children have completed the required legislative working with children documentation;
  • ensure that WHS training includes familiarity with this policy;
  • advise AC senior leadership of child protection training needs;
  • receive reports regarding concerns and implement procedures;
  • keep accurate records permanently and securely in accordance with privacy legislation.

Responsible for implementation

Human Resources Officer

Key stakeholders

All staff, students, workers and volunteers. It is of particular relevance to staff who work with children.

Related legislation

All Australian national and state legislation regarding care and protection of children and young people.


Procedures

Child and Young Person Protection Procedures

AC representatives must obtain permission from the relevant supervisor or Safer College Officer before bringing children into AC teaching or office spaces. Supervisors are required to give due consideration to requests for permission to bring children or young people onto an AC campus.

A carer is required to:

  • accompany and supervise children and young people on campus at all times;
  • take all reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of the children or young people in their care while on campus.

A carer is not permitted to bring children or young people to work on a regular basis in lieu of childcare. Children and young people on campus must not disrupt other people or any AC activity. If a child or young person becomes unreasonably disruptive, the carer and child or young person may be asked to leave the campus.

Children will not be permitted to enter some areas of the College that are hazardous or inappropriate for children. AC representatives are not expected or required to supervise a child or young person of a carer.

Reporting Concerns

AC representatives shall report concerns when:

  • a child or young person discloses they have been or are at risk of being abused;
  • someone else (regardless of age) discloses that they know of a child or young person who has been/is at risk of being abused;
  • there are concerns that the child or young person may have been or is at risk of being abused based on their physical appearance or behaviour.

Flowchart for Reporting Concerns

 Note: If the Safer College Officer (or equivalent) is not available and the abuse is currently occurring, or there is reason to believe that a child or young person is at risk, a report should be made immediately to the police and relevant state authority.

If a matter is reported to the police and relevant state authority and it will interfere with the investigation/action to continue to deal with the matter under AC procedures, the College will suspend action. If there is no risk of interference, the matter may be dealt with under the College’s grievance procedures.