Child Safe Environment Policy
Mandatory – Quality Area 2
This policy provides a clear set of guidelines and procedures for Jacaranda Preschool to:
This policy applies to the Approved Provider, Persons with Management or Control, Nominated Supervisor, Persons in day-to-day Charge, staff, contractors, volunteers, students on placement, parents/guardians, children and others attending the programs and activities of Jacaranda Preschool, including during offsite excursions and activities.
Contactors, volunteers and students, while at the service, are responsible for following this policy and its procedures.
To assess whether the values and purposes of the policy have been achieved, the Approved Provider or Persons with Management or Control will:
This policy was adopted by the Approved Provider of Jacaranda Preschool on 19 March 2020.
Attachment 1: Background, definitions, sources and service policies
BACKGROUND AND LEGISLATION
A key requirement of the National Law is to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children attending education and care services (section 51). Every reasonable precaution must be taken to protect children being educated and cared for by the service from harm and from any hazard likely to cause injury (section 167).
Under the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011, the approved provider of an education and care service must ensure that the nominated supervisors and staff members at the service who work with children are advised of:
Reportable allegation: any allegation that an employee, volunteer or student has committed child abuse (refer to Definitions)
Serious incident: A serious incident (regulation 12) is defined as any of the following:
Guidelines for incorporation of child safety into the recruitment and management of staff
The following guidelines and processes for the incorporation of child safety into the recruitment and management of staff demonstrate Jacaranda Preschool’s commitment to maximising the safety of children and deterring unsuitable and inappropriate persons from attempting to work at our service.
Guidelines for incorporation of child safety into the recruitment and management of contractors, volunteers and students
The following guidelines and processes for the recruitment and management of contractors (refer to Definitions), volunteers (refer to Definitions) and students demonstrates Jacaranda Preschool’s commitment to maximising the safety of children and deterring unsuitable and inappropriate persons from attempting to work, volunteer or be on student placement at our service.
Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
It is very important to validate a child’s disclosure, by listening to the child, taking them seriously and responding and acting on the disclosure by implementing the Jacaranda Preschool’s reporting procedures.
A referral to Child FIRST or Orange Door (refer to Definitions) should be made if the Approved Provider/staff member has significant concerns for a child’s wellbeing and the child is not in immediate need of protection. This may include circumstances when there are:
Child FIRST/Orange Door ensures that vulnerable children, young people and their families are linked effectively into relevant services, and this may be the best way to connect children, young people and their families with the services they need.
A report to Child Protection should be made if, after taking into account the available information, the staff member forms a view that the child is in need of protection because:
Upon receipt of a credible report, Child Protection will seek further information, often from professionals who may already be involved with the child or family, to determine whether further action is required. In determining what steps to take, Child Protection will also consider any concerns previously reported with regard to the child or young person. In most circumstances, Child Protection will inform the notifier of the outcome of investigations.
When reporting concerns of child abuse and/or neglect, it is important to remember that:
Parents/guardians should only be advised that a notification has been made after discussion with DHHS Child Protection or Victoria Police to determine what information can be shared.
The Reportable Conduct Scheme
The Approved Provider must initially notify the Commission for Children and Young People of a reportable allegation (refer to Definitions) within three business days and update the Commission of progress within 30 calendar days. ‘
The Approved Provider must also investigate the reportable allegation and provide the findings of the investigation to the Commission. The service must also respond to the Commission when contacted for information.
Support when making a report
Making the decision to report can be a challenging and it is important to make use of available supports to guide your practice. Support is available from: