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					       DUTY OF CARE

A basic guideline for exercising a Duty of Care is that you have taken such care, as is
reasonable, to see that a person under your care will not suffer any injury or damage
during the course of your duties.

Harm or injury is an essential part of proving a claim in negligence. Damages that can be
claimed include physical injury, property damage and psychological trauma. For negligence
to be proved the plaintiff, (the person suing the worker) must demonstrate all four of the

1.     Duty of Care: Establish that the worker/agency owed a Duty of Care.
2.     Breach of a Duty of Care: Establish that the worker/agency failed to do what is
       reasonable or did something that is unreasonable.
3.     Damages: Establish that the physical harm, economic loss and/or psychological
       injury directly attributed to a breach of a Duty of Care.
4.     Causation: Establish that the damage must have been directly caused by or
       contributed to, by the breach and must also have been a foreseeable consequence
       of the breach.

Duty of Care necessitates Youth Workers being responsible for the supervision of young
people’s behaviour and wellbeing within a safe environment.
Staff are expected to take steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable risks of injury. They
should be mindful of the age of young people in their care and seek management and/or
professional advice if in any doubt of their responsibilities.

Standard of Care & Risk Assessment.
Assuming a Duty of Care is established, it must be shown that there was a minimum
standard of care that had to be met in order to fulfil that duty and what standard of
care should have been met.

This is established by assessing the risks of harm, the sort of injuries that could occur and
the precautions that should be taken. A Risk Assessment is required by most insurance
companies before insuring a program or venue and is useful in assessing risks.

It is advisable for Youth Workers to hold a current Federal Police Clearance (obtainable
at any Police Station) as well as a current First Aid Certificate (obtainable at St Johns
Ambulance Centres).

Parental Consent.
A young person under the age of 18 years is considered a minor or designated to be a
juvenile. Over 18 years the young person is considered an adult.

Youth Workers when dealing with young people under the age of 16 years may require a
consent form signed by a parent or guardian. For example, excursions or when incurring
expenses they or a parent would be required to meet, such as being referred to counselling
or health services.


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