Child Protection Policy Child Protection Policy Policy Number Link to CCQA by lindayy

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									                                           <Service name>


                                       Child Protection Policy


Policy Number                     <number>


Link to CCQA Principles           Family Day Care Quality Assurance (FDCQA)
                                  Quality Practices Guide (2004) – Principle 4.6 /
                                  Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance (OSHCQA)
                                  Quality Practices Guide (2003) – Principle 7.1 /
                                  Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS)
                                  Quality Practices Guide (2005) – Principle 5.1


Policy statement

This service is committed to child protection and child safe environments.

A child is any persons aged from birth to eighteen years (UNICEF).

The Child Protection Policy:
    • reflects the service’s philosophy, which can include values, ethics or code of
      conduct for management, staff, carers, children, families, students, volunteers
      and the community;
    • establishes the procedures for child protection matters including identifying,
      documenting, reporting and managing concerns or incidents;
    • maintains procedural fairness and natural justice concepts in all
      circumstances;
    • identifies safe protective behaviours for all persons1 who access the service’s
      premises, facilities and/or programs;
    • abides by federal and <state/territory> legislation;
    • defines the appropriate direct or indirect physical contact between children
      and adults in the service;
    • identifies and details the procedures when an adult harms a child; a child
      harms another child; or an adult harms another adult in the service;
    • details complaints, grievances and disciplinary procedures;
    • demonstrates a commitment to ongoing professional development for
      staff/carers;
    • identifies support and counselling services or agencies for all stakeholders,
      including strategies to deal with the media; and
    • reflects relevant licensing requirements, for example staff/child ratios.


1 For the purpose of this policy, 'persons' include <children, families, staff, carers, carers' family,
management, coordination unit staff, ancillary staff (administrative staff, kitchen staff, cleaners,
maintenance personnel, students, volunteers, visitors, local community, school community, licensee,
sponsor and/or service owner>.



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In addition:
    • <Service name> has a duty of care to ensure that all persons are provided
       with a high level of safety and protection during the hours of the service’s
       operation.
       Services may also indicate how children are protected when the service is not
       operating. For example, the service may have closed for the day but parents
       and children are still using the car park.

    •   It is understood by staff/carers, children and families that there is a shared
        responsibility between the service and all stakeholders that the Child
        Protection Policy and procedures are accepted as a high priority.

    •   In meeting the service’s duty of care, and legislative requirements outlined in
        <title of the relevant state or territory legislation> that the
        management/coordination unit staff and staff/carers implement and adhere
        to the service’s Child Protection Policy, and ensure a level of safety and
        protection to all children who access the service’s facilities and/or programs.

    •   Services may be required, in some states or territories, to report suspect
        incidences of child abuse or neglect to an authority as outlined in mandatory
        reporting regulations.


Rationale

The rationale represents a statement of reasons that detail why the policy and/or
procedures have been developed and are important to the service.

Please refer to:
    • Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference (2005). Creating safe
       environments for children: organisations, employees and volunteers: national
       framework. Retrieved January 18, 2007, from
       http://www.ocsc.vic.gov.au/downloads/childsafe_framework.pdf


Strategies and practices

These are examples. Services are encouraged to develop and adapt the following
strategies and practices as required to meet their individual circumstances and daily
practices.

Risk management plans
    • Identifies, evaluates and plans strategies to minimise the risk of children
      coming into harm2, being abused or neglected by a parent, employee,
      volunteer or another child.



2 For the purpose of this policy, harm is defined as any physical, sexual, emotional or psychological

abuse or neglect of children (UNICEF).



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A code of conduct
   • Communicates the values and attitudes of the service’s stakeholders on the
     issue of child protection and child safe environments.
   • Establishes informed and best practice expectations.
   • Identifies appropriate and inappropriate behaviours and language.
   • Guides the service and its stakeholders’ expectations regarding attitudes,
     responsibilities, behaviours and partnerships.

Privacy and data protection
    • Identifies the service’s obligations to comply with confidentiality and privacy
       legislation.

Participation and empowerment of children
   • All forms of abuse are a symbolic representation of ‘power’ and of the
       offender’s need to control. The promotion of children’s participation in the
       development of child safe strategies and policies is a beneficial step in
       creating child safe environments.
   • The service may decide to identify children’s peer group leaders who can
       assist in policy development and be considered in decision making processes.

Inclusive and empowering language
   • The policy and procedures language should reflect an understanding of
       diversity and inclusion. In some cases, it may include child friendly and/or
       appropriate terminology that encourages school age children to actively
       take part in policy development and review.
   • The service may define and describe the ‘common’ or colloquial language
       children use in everyday speech which may assist staff/carers when
       developing inclusive strategies with children. In particular, school age children
       often use words out of context which may confuse the adult listening to
       children’s conversations. For example, ‘sexing’ can be used by some school
       age children to mean ‘kissing’: the sentence ‘he was sexing me’ could be
       interpreted by a staff/carer as a sexual act when the intent of the sentence
       may mean ‘he was kissing me’.

Child protection awareness programs and plans
   • Illustrates the service’s commitment to implementing best practice plans and
       learning strategies for children through individual and group experiences.
   • For example, empowering children to speak out or disclose information
       through awareness programs that encourage children and adults to discuss
       what is ‘safe’ and who may be a ‘safe’ person to talk to.

Employee recruitment and selection
  • Identifies the procedures for selecting and recruiting staff/carers and
     volunteers that are either in direct or indirect contact with children.
  • Identifies the selection criteria that maximises the protection of children from
     potential harm, abuse or neglect.
  • Identifies the need for a criminal history, national police or ‘working with
     children’ check.
  • Details the protocols and procedures for a recruitment interview.
  • Reflects natural justice, procedural fairness and equal opportunity obligations.


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Job descriptions or duty statements
   • Provides a clear, professional understanding of the expectations and
      accountability of staff/carers, students and volunteers.
   • Describes daily tasks and responsibilities.
   • Identifies supervisory roles and responsibilities in the service and who has
      contact with children.

Staff/Carer support, supervision, performance review and professional development
    • Provides an opportunity to identify individuals’ attitudes, expectations and
       values in the workplace.
    • It is a legitimate avenue to address the professional and personal partnerships
       between staff/carers, volunteers, families and children.
    • Displays the service’s commitment to professional development and ongoing
       training in child protection issues.

Grievances and complaints management (including disciplinary proceedings)
   • Grievances and complaints procedures reflect fairness and natural justice
      concepts.
   • There are clear definitions that identify the differences between complaints
      handling and disciplinary procedures.
   • This can be linked to the service’s Grievances and Complaints Management
      Policy.

Support agencies
   • The service can identify the support, guidance and education opportunities
      for stakeholders when developing child protection policies and practices.
   • It is important to remember that support agencies can provide training
      opportunities to services dealing with child protection issues.

Protective behaviours and practices
Staff, carers, students and volunteers as role models
   • Children learn through example and role modelling is an important strategy in
        teaching children about protective behaviours.
   • Staff/carers, students and volunteers comply with the Child Protection Policy
        and additional legislative or regulatory requirements: <identify the relevant
        state or territory legislation and licensing regulations>.


Communication with different stakeholders

Children
   • Brief and concise detail of the service’s strategy.

Families
   • Brief and concise detail of the service’s strategy.
   • Child protection behaviours and practices and child safe environments are
       outlined in the Family Handbook, enrolment forms, newsletters and excursion
       permission forms.
   • Child protection and safety information will be displayed on noticeboards.


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   •   Families will be encouraged to implement the service’s child protection
       behaviours and practices when engaged in service experiences and
       excursions.
       For example, parents who are volunteers may need to have a ‘working with
       children’ check as outlined in relevant state or territory licensing regulations, or
       professional best practice standards.

Staff/Carers
    • Brief and concise detail of the service’s strategy.

Carer's family
In family day care schemes, coordination unit staff and carers need to consider the
role of the carer's family in ensuring that children are protected from harm or abuse.
The family day care scheme has a responsibility to ensure that, prior to placing
children in care, all adults who reside in the carer’s home have undertaken a
‘working with children’ check from the relevant state or territory. The coordination
unit staff and carers also have a duty of care to communicate regularly with families
about the:
    • scheme's commitment to the protection of children, which is detailed in the
        scheme’s Child Protection Policy and procedures;
    • carer's family's responsibilities in relation to the scheme’s procedure; and
    • scheme’s expectations of carer’s family members in a positive home
        environment.

The scheme can describe its procedures in relation to when a child witnesses abuse,
harm, violence or inappropriate behaviours in a carer’s home. For example, a child
witnessing a domestic violence scenario between a carer and their partner is being
confronted not only with a violent act but is being placed emotionally and mentally
(and possibly physically) at risk. It is important to remember that inappropriate
behaviours can include when children are exposed to television programs, computer
games, print media, music or language that promotes violence, intolerance or harm
of a person in a sexual, physical or emotional nature.

This subheading can be linked to the Overnight Care section in the service’s Rest
and Sleep Policy.

Management/Coordination unit staff
  • Brief and concise detail of the service’s strategy.


Experiences

   •   Brief and concise detail of the service’s strategy.

Excursions
   • Brief and concise detail of the service’s strategy.

Community
  • Brief and concise detail of the service’s strategy.



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Policy review

   •   The service will review the Child Protection Policy and procedures, and
       related documents, including behaviours and practices every <timeframe>.
   •   Children and families are encouraged to collaborate with the service to
       review the policy and procedures.
   •   Staff/carers are essential stakeholders in the policy review process and will be
       encouraged to be actively involved.


Procedures

The following are examples of procedures that a service may employ as part of its
practices.
Examples:
   • Documenting and reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, including the
        procedures for reporting to a regulatory authority or external agency.
   • Employee induction procedure.
   • Planning, implementing and evaluating an effective child protection and safe
        environment awareness program for children and families.
   • Policy development and review procedure.
   • Procedure for handling complaints against a staff, carer, student, volunteer
        and/or visitor.
   • Procedure for non-compliance of the Child Protection Policy and procedures
        by a:
            o child;
            o staff/carer;
            o parent or family member;
            o student/volunteer; or
            o visitor.
   • Procedures for supporting an individual returning to work after a false
        allegation.
   • Procedure and support mechanisms for children, families and staff/carers
        when an allegation is made.
   • Student and volunteer induction procedure.


Measuring tools

The service may further specify tools that assist in measuring the effectiveness of the
policy.


Links to other policies

The following are a list of examples:
   • Confidentiality and privacy
   • Employment of child care professionals
   • Enrolment of new children and families to the service
   • Grievance and complaints management
   • Hygiene and infection control

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   •   Illness
   •   Occupational health and safety
   •   Staff/carers as role models
   •   Supervision
   •   Supporting children’s individual health needs


Sources and further reading

   •   Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference (2005). Creating safe
       environments for children: Organisations, employees and volunteers: National
       framework. Retrieved January 18, 2007, from
       http://www.ocsc.vic.gov.au/downloads/childsafe_framework.pdf
   •   Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference (2005). Schedule:
       Guidelines for building the capacity of child-safe organisations. Creating safe
       environments for children: Organisations, employees and volunteers: National
       framework. Retrieved January 18, 2007, from
       http://www.ocsc.vic.gov.au/downloads/childsafe_sched01.pdf
   •   UNICEF (n.d.). Fact sheet: A summary of the rights under the Convention on
       the Rights of the Child. Retrieved January 18, 2007, from
       http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf


Policy created date        <date>

Policy review date         <date>

Signatures                 <signatures>




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