Child Protection Policy
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 persons who access the service’s premises, facilities and/or programs;
- abides by federal and state 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
- 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.
- Theatre Bugs 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.
- It is understood by educators, 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 The Child Care Act 2002 that the Management/coordination unit staff and educators 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.
At Theatre Bugs it is important for children to enjoy the experiences available at the Centre and that:
- Children have a right to feel safe at all times.
- Children are free from harm.
- Children of all backgrounds are welcomed and admired.
- Children have the opportunity to seek help from staff/carers at all times.
Strategies and practices
Risk management plans
Identifies, evaluates and plans strategies to minimise the risk of children coming into harm, being abused or neglected by a parent, employee, volunteer or another child.
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
- Employees of Theatre Bugs are not to breach confidentiality of Centre records in relation to a child, parent, staff member or any centre business.
- Employees of Theatre Bugs are required to maintain current Police Clearance Certificates and First Aid Certificates (refer to First Aid Policy).
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 development of child safe strategies and policies is a beneficial step in creating child safe environments
Employee recruitment and selection
- Potential staff need to be positive and enjoy working with children.
- Potential staff need to have a criminal history, national police or ‘working with children’ check
- Potential staff will be interviewed by Theatre Bugs Management.
- Potential staff need to have a current First Aid certificate
- Child protection training will be sought on an annual basis through Governmental agencies.
Protective behaviours and practices
- Educators, students and volunteers as role models
- Children learn through example and role modelling is an important strategy in teaching children about protective behaviours.
Communication with different stakeholders
- Educators will remain approachable at all times. Children will be encouraged to be open and honest about their activities and anything that could be bothering them.
- Child protection behaviours and practices and child safe environments are outlined on the Theatre Bugs website, enrolment forms, newsletters and permission forms.
- Child protection and safety information will be displayed on noticeboards.
- Families will be encouraged to implement the service’s child protection behaviours and practices when engaged in service experiences.
- Staff/carers are obligated to notify their superior of any issues that might relate to harm of a child in care.
- The service will review the Child Protection Policy and procedures, and related documents, including behaviours and practices every 12 to 18 months.
- Children and families are encouraged to collaborate with the service to review the policy and procedures.
- Educators are essential stakeholders in the policy review process and will be encouraged to be actively involved.
Below are some examples of what educators should do if presented with a case of harm.
- Document and report suspected child abuse or neglect, report to superior who then reports to appropriate external agencies or if a qualified mandatory reporter this person will follow the correct procedures according to their training.
- Employee’s should be made aware of the procedure of reporting child harm through the Centre’s induction procedure.
- Educators should be aware of the procedure for handling complaints against a staff, carer, student, volunteer and/or visitor through the grievance policy.
- Educators are able to access support mechanisms for children, families and staff/carers when an allegation is made through professional development.
Policy created date 26/08/2011
Policy review date 13/10/2017
Approved by Joni Combe - Founder/Patron