Child protection policy | Adelaide Theatre Academy

Child Protection Policy

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 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.

In addition:

  • 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.

Rationale

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 

Support agencies

  • 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

Children

  • 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.

Families

  • 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.

Educators

  • Staff/carers are obligated to notify their superior of any issues that might relate to harm of a child in care.

Policy review

  • 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.

Procedures

Below are some examples of what educators should do if presented with a case of harm.

Examples:

  • 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