Policies and Procedures: Child-protection

Allegations against Employees in the Area of Child Protection

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Type: Policy
PD Number: PD20050263
Status: TAFE POLICY UNDER REVIEW

1.Objectives – Policy statement

1.1

As an employer, DET has a responsibility to:

Respond to allegations of a child protection nature specifically related to the actions of an employee and ensure appropriate action is taken in relation to the finding, including disciplinary action;

Report to the Ombudsman certain allegations or convictions of a child protection nature made against an employee; and

Report to the Commission for Children and Young People the names of employees for whom it has completed relevant employment proceedings.

2. Audience and Applicability

2.1

This policy applies to all employees including volunteer workers of DET, Technical and Further Education NSW (TAFE) and Community and Migrant Education (CAME).

3. Context

3.1

The safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people in educational settings are paramount. When responding to allegations against employees, DET also has a responsibility to ensure its employees are treated fairly and the rights of each individual are respected during an investigation and any applicable disciplinary process.

  • This policy:reflects the legislative requirements of DET to respond to allegations of a child protection nature against employees (including volunteers and contractors), report to the Department of Community Services, the NSW Ombudsman, the Commission for Children and Young People and the Independent Commission Against Corruption; and
  • supports the New South Wales Interagency Guidelines for Child Protection Intervention , 2000 edition, revised 2005, including participation in joint actions with the Department of Community Services, NSW Health Department and Joint Investigation Response Teams (JIRTs).

3.2 Document History and Details

Implementation date – 01/12/2005

Web publication date – 08/07/2010

Reference Number – PD/2005/0263/V02

Approval date – 01/12/2005

Approving officer – Jane Thorpe, Director, Employee Performance and Conduct

Superseded documents – None

Document history – 

Main changes since previous version –

Policy contact

Executive Officer, Employee Performance and Conduct

Telephone 9266 8070

NSW TAFE Commission reference numbers – N/A

SCIS Number – enter SCIS Number or enter N/A

Publication data

Publicly-available – Yes

Storage location – wwwpolicies: central

Primary location – Corporate | Personnel | Complaints & conduct | Complaints – making

Alt. location (I) – Schools | Wellbeing | Child protection

Alt. location (II) – TAFE | Wellbeing | Child protection Leading and Managing
the School categories – Student welfare | Staff welfare, development & management

Subject keywords – child protection, allegation, child, young person, workplace manager, local management,

4. Responsibilities and Delegations

4.1

All workplace managers must ensure these procedures are readily accessible to all employees and are incorporated into the initial child protection training provided at induction and annual child protection updates for all employees.

Workplace managers must be aware of the reporting requirements associated with allegations of a child protection nature and concerns about risk of harm to children.

5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Requirements

5.1

The Ombudsman regularly audits DET’s compliance with the Ombudsman Act 1974 and the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998.

Monthly reports are generated indicating:

  • Number of matters subject to investigation
  • Number of matters completed to date
  • Number of employees placed on alternative duties.

6. Contact

Executive Officer, Employee Performance and Conduct

Telephone 9266 8070

Last Modified: 2016-10-20 14:43:15

Child protection, procedures for the Local Management of Less Serious Allegations against DET Employees (PDF)

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Type: Procedure
PD Number: PD20050263
Status: TAFE POLICY UNDER REVIEW

Implementation Document Summary

Implementation Document

Child protection, procedures for the Local Management of Less Serious Allegations against DET Employees (pdf)

Description

Procedures and forms to be used when EPAC determines that a less serious allegation can be locally managed by EPAC oversight rather than investigation by EPAC

Document type

Procedure

Associated policy

Allegations against Employees in the Area of Child Protection

Applicability

All employees including volunteer workers of DET, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and Community & Migrant Education (CAME)

Document contact

Employee Performance & Conduct Unit on 9266 8070

Last updated

11 October 2009

Last Modified: 2016-08-04 11:08:00

Collection of Students by the Department of Community Services, Procedures (PDF)

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Type: Procedure
PD Number: PD20020067
Status: TAFE POLICY UNDER REVIEW

Implementation Document Summary

Implementation Document

Collection of Students by the Department of Community Services, Procedures (PDF 299kB)

Description

Provides guidance for schools on collection of a student by community services.

Document type

Procedure

Associated policy

Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People Policy

Applicability

All schools

Document contact

Leader, Child Protection, Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships

Telephone (02) 9244 5129

Last Modified: 2016-08-04 11:14:13

Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People – Procedures

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Type: Procedure
PD Number: PD20020067
Status: TAFE POLICY UNDER REVIEW

Implementation Document Summary

Implementation Document

Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People – Procedures (pdf 341 kb)

Description

Provides details on procedures when there are concerns about the safety, welfare or wellbeing of children and young people.

Document type

Procedure

Associated policy

Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People Policy

Applicability

All staff including principals, workplace managers, TAFE and AMES counsellors.

Document contact

Leader, Child Protection, Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships

Telephone (02) 9244 5129

Last updated

2014-03-14

Last Modified: 2016-08-04 11:20:57

Protecting and Supporting Children and Young People Policy

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Type: Policy
PD Number: PD20020067
Status: TAFE POLICY UNDER REVIEW

1.Objectives – Policy Statement

1.1

Education has an important role to support children and young people and to identify where problems arise that may put their safety, welfare or wellbeing at risk.

1.2

All staff have a responsibility to report risk of harm concerns about children and young people, within their roles, and to provide support to children and young people.

1.3

Child protection reforms introduce an obligation for government and non-government agencies to coordinate decision making and delivery of services.

2. Audience and Applicability

2.1

All departmental employees, including those in state offices, schools, TAFE NSW, Adult Migrant English Service, Adult and Community Education and State Training Services.

3.Context

3.1

The NSW Government recognises that care and protection for children and young people is a shared responsibility. It begins with parents, but when government support becomes necessary, it is not the sole responsibility of community services but a collective responsibility.

Keep Them Safe: A shared approach to child wellbeing provides the framework for parents, communities, government and non-government agencies to work together to support children and families.

3.2 Legislation

3.2.1

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998; Crimes Act 1900, Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998

Other relevant legislation:

Privacy And Personal Information Protection Act 1998; Health Records And Information Privacy Act 2002; Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998; Ombudsman Act 1974, Education Act 1990

3.3 Document History and Details

Implementation date – 05/03/2010

Web publication date – 12/02/2015

Reference Number – PD/2002/0067/V02

Approval date – 5/3/2010

Approving officer

Director-General of Education and Communities and Managing Director of TAFE NSW

Superseded documents

Policy for Protecting Children and Young People PD20020067/V01

Document history

Main changes since previous version

  • The Policy released on 5/3/2010 reflects revisions to Child Protection Legislation under Keep Them Safe: A shared approach to child wellbeing
  • From the beginning of the 2014 school year the requirement for Principals to provide a copy of Child Protection Form A reports to their Director, Public Schools NSW was removed. This requirement was deleted from the policy and procedures on 14/3/2014
  • Terminology was updated to reflect the new model of support to schools on 14/3/2014.

Policy contact

Leader, Child Protection ph (02) 9244 5129

NSW TAFE Commission reference numbers None

SCIS Number

N/A

Publication data

Publicly-available – Yes

Storage location – wwwpolicies – central

Primary location – Schools | Wellbeing | Child protection

Alt. location (I) – Schools | Wellbeing | Supervision

Alt. location (II) – TAFE | Wellbeing | Child protection

Leading and Managing the School categories – Educational programs | Student welfare Subject keywords – protecting, supporting, risk of harm, abuse, support, prohibited, child protection, employment declaration, working with children check, safety

4. Responsibilities and Delegations

4.1 Principals and Workplace Managers

4.1.1 Training

  • Ensure all staff have participated in an initial child protection induction and an update during the past year
  • Ensure all staff are aware of the indicators of abuse and neglect of children and young people
  • Ensure all staff are aware of their obligation to advise the principal or workplace manager of concerns about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people that arise during the course of their work
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of their mandatory obligation to report suspected risk of significant harm and of the procedures for doing so

4.1.2 Reporting

  • Use appropriate tools to inform decision making, such as the online Mandatory Reporter Guide, professional judgment or specialist advice, where there are concerns about risk of harm
  • Determine whether concerns about the safety, welfare or wellbeing of children or young people constitute risk of significant harm and, if they do, report these to Family and Community Services
  • Seek advice from the Child Wellbeing Unit where there is uncertainty about whether concerns amount to risk of significant harm
  • Contact the Child Wellbeing Unit about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people where:
    1. There are concerns about risk of harm, that do not meet the threshold of significant harm but are not trivial
    2. The Mandatory Reporter Guide indicates this should be done
    3. A case has been reported to Family and Community Services and did not meet the risk of significant harm threshold
    4. There is an observable pattern of cumulative harm that does not meet the threshold of significant harm.

4.1.3

Supporting children and young people

  • establish effective systems in their workplace for:
  1. Child protection concerns to be identified in the course of the work of staff, reported and action taken, where appropriate, so vulnerable children and young people are supported
  2. Reasonable steps to be taken to coordinate decision making and coordinate services to children and young people and their families with other local service providers, if required
  3. Collaborative work with other agencies for the care and protection of children and young people in ways that strengthen and support the family and in a manner that respects the functions and expertise of each service provider
  • Exchange relevant information to progress assessments, investigations and case management as permitted by law
  • Use best endeavours in responding to a request for a service from Family and Community Services provided that the request is consistent with departmental responsibilities and policies.

4.2 Employees

4.2.1 Training

  • Participate in a child protection induction and in annual updates. This includes all staff – principals, workplace managers, teaching and non-teaching staff, part-time, temporary and casual staff and those who join during the year

4.2.2 Reporting

  • Adhere to mandatory procedures for conveying risk of harm concerns to the principal or workplace manager
  • Adhere to mandatory procedures for reporting risk of significant harm to Family and Community Services
  • Ensure, where they have reported any risk of significant harm concerns to the principal or workplace manager, that the principal or workplace manager has reported those concerns to Family and Community Services
  • Report directly to Family and Community Services if they believe the principal or workplace manager has not reported risk of significant harm concerns to Family and Community Services, and they still have concerns about risk of significant harm
  • Ensure that any relevant information that they become aware of, subsequent to a report being made to Family and Community Services or following contact with the Child Wellbeing Unit, is provided to Family and Community Services or the Child Wellbeing Unit respectively. If the additional information forms concerns about risk of significant harm a report must be made to Family and Community Services

4.2.3 Supporting Children and Young People

  • Cooperate with reasonable steps to coordinate service delivery and decision-making with other relevant service providers
  • Avoid undertaking any investigation of the circumstances giving rise to a report where risk of significant harm has been reported, without the express prior approval of the relevant Family and Community Services case officer
  • Inform students, including apprentices or trainees, of their right to be protected from abuse and of avenues of support if they have concerns about abuse.

5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Requirements

5.1

Principals and workplace managers must maintain a workplace register of staff participation in annual updates and of inductions of new staff, or they must sight individual records of staff inductions. This applies to all staff including non-teaching staff, part-time, temporary and casual staff.

5.2

A record is to be kept of reports to Family and Community Services as confirmation that mandatory reporting requirements have been met. The report reference number should be recorded.

5.3

The record and related papers are to be retained by principals or workplace managers in secure storage and kept confidential. These records are to be provided to any successor.

5.4

Where a reference number has been provided by the Child Wellbeing Unit it must be recorded and kept.

5.5

If serious safety issues remain after a report has been made to, and accepted by, Family and Community Services, principals or workplace managers will refer the matter to the departmental regional officer responsible for student services so the case can be taken up at a senior level within Family and Community Services.

6.Contact

Leader, Child Protection ph (02) 9244 5129

Last Modified: 2016-10-20 14:39:51