Presentation on theme: "1. 2 This information session covers some sensitive and challenging issues for your and others wellbeing: We all have different backgrounds and life experiences."— Presentation transcript:
2 This information session covers some sensitive and challenging issues for your and others wellbeing: We all have different backgrounds and life experiences – look after your own wellbeing during this session. Talk about individuals anonymously - dont name children or adults or discuss your personal experience. Other avenues of opportunity for personal discussion will be provided at the end of the session. Recognise the value of hearing all points of view - and agreeing to disagree.
3 Aims Some of the circumstances that may make children and young people vulnerable to harm. What they are expected to do if they have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of children and young people. The process of making a report of child abuse and neglect by mandated and non-mandated notifiers. The boundaries of appropriate ways of relating with children and young people. This information session aims to introduce DECD employed bus drivers to:
4 Mandatory Reporting Staff and volunteers in education and care settings are mandated notifiers and therefore, required under the Childrens Protection Act 1993 to report suspected child abuse to the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) on 13 14 78. Under the Childrens Protection Act, DECD employed bus drivers are not mandated notifiers as they do not provide an education service to children and young people. However, as DECD employees bus drivers are expected to meet a duty of care to children and young people both within and beyond the education or care setting. Bus drivers have a right to make a mandatory report and a responsibility to report all concerns about childrens safety and wellbeing to the site leader.
5 You will be looking at mandatory notification processes a little later but first it is important to understand a little about the issues that can affect the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
6 Generally children and young people should be: Happy – appearing pleased to be at the site once settled, participating willingly in most activities and happy to see parents/caregivers at the end of the day. Healthy – adequately clothed for weather conditions, clean, provided with enough food for recess and lunch, and any health issues are appropriately managed by parents/caregivers. Socialising normally with adults and peers – interacting comfortably with adults in their life, and having mainly positive interactions with peers. Doing what is expected of them developmentally - similar cognitive and physical abilities to their peers, or in keeping with the level of disability which may be present. Attending regularly – Irregular attendance and unexplained absences are issues the site must respond to. What should adults expect to see in children and young peoples behaviour?
7 Children and young peoples vulnerability to harm is increased if their parents face problems such as: drug and alcohol abuse mental health problems gambling addiction physical or intellectual disability social isolation being a victim of abuse neglect or family violence extreme poverty experiencing trauma (war/persecution) being a teenage parent.
8 Children and young peoples vulnerability to harm may also be increased through: Age (the younger the more vulnerable) Disability (particularly intellectual disability) Emotional deprivation (already abused or neglected children) Isolation and disadvantage (children in care, refugees, new arrivals, non-English speaking, remote community, international exchange students).
9 When your role is significant Sometimes peoples concerns about children and young peoples situations will mean they form a suspicion on reasonable grounds that abuse or chronic neglect is occurring.
10 Duty of Care Duty of Care is a common law concept that refers to the responsibility of staff to provide children and young people with adequate level of protection against harm. Staff are required to ensure that the physical and emotional welfare of children and young people is safeguarded, and that their behaviour is guided by duty of care within and beyond the education and care setting. Staff have a duty of care to protect children and young people from physical and emotional harm and, while the ways of meeting the duty may differ for different groups, the duty itself remains unqualified. Staff are expected to meet this duty in a manner that respects the dignity of all children and young people as well as their vulnerabilities.
11 Definitions of abuse and neglect Do any aspects of the definitions surprise or confuse you? Look at the definitions of abuse and neglect on pages 4 and 5 of your handbook
12 The key message about indicators is to appreciate patterns and clusters of behaviours. The best way to appreciate clusters is to always consult with the site leader. Indicators of abuse, neglect and family violence (Pages 6 and 7)
13 A child/young person tells you that s/he has been abused Your own observation of the behaviour of a particular child/young person and/or injuries, or your knowledge of the child generally leads you to suspect that abuse is occurring A child/young person tells you s/he knows someone who has been abused (the child may be referring to her/himself) Someone tells you of the abuse who is in a position to provide reliable information (perhaps a relative, friend, neighbour or sibling of the child/young person). What is suspicion on reasonable grounds? You have suspicion on reasonable grounds and should report child abuse and neglect when:
14 How should DECD employed bus drivers respond to their concerns about children and young people? You are working within a professional community whose job it is to support you in your role. This includes giving you guidance on how to respond to your concerns. Always seek guidance from the site leader. You are not expected to act alone. Core Message
15 Situation 1 General concerns You may have observed one or more of the indicators discussed earlier or you may have heard something from the child/young person or their parent/caregiver that causes you concern. They will listen to your concerns and advise you about who will do what, next. Expected action = Talk with the site leader
16 Situation 2 You believe you should make a mandatory report about abuse or neglect Your role means you are supported by professionals at the site in making a notification. Expected action = Talk with the site leader (same as Situation 1)
17 Making a notification about abuse or neglect is a serious action that has repercussions for everyone concerned: The child/young person Their parents/caregivers The staff at the site (who must continue to support and work with the child/young person, their parents /caregivers as well as liaise with Families SA) and You, who may also continue to transport and support the child/young person and relate with their parents/caregivers. Why are you advised not to act alone?
18 Working as part of a team means: The notification will be the most accurate and detailed description of the child/young persons situation possible and therefore will be more likely to result in appropriate intervention Everyone can receive the emotional support or guidance they need, most importantly the child/young person The site can protect its community if it anticipates some kind of backlash from parents/caregivers The site can ensure that proper records are kept and shared about a child/young persons situation so that their needs continue to be met sensitively.
19 How should you respond if a child/young person approaches them and begins to talk to them directly about abuse or neglect?
20 Leading Questions can usually be answered by a yes or no they tend to offer information (put words in peoples mouths). Open Questions invite information and allow the individual to say what they wish to say keep the conversation open and are rarely able to be answered with a yes or no.
21 Dont Do respect the enormity of what is being shared with you listen with care, show care and only ask open questions be patient, dont rush them or yourself write down what youve been told speak with the principal/nominated site leadership member to help you decide the next actions look after yourself. stop the child/young person from talking; act scared or shocked doubt the child (question the validity of their story) threaten to harm or punish the perpetrator promise that everything will be fine, they will be safe, happy, better ask leading questions or interview others (investigate matters further).
22 Sometimes people want to know how to finish a discussion like this with a child or young person If the child/young person has directly disclosed abuse consider saying Thank you for talking with me, Im really pleased youve told me about whats happened. Im going to get someone to help us decide what to do next. If the child/young person hasnt disclosed anything directly consider saying Thank you for talking with me. If you ever feel worried or unhappy or afraid its important to talk with me again and if Im not here you should talk to… [ suggest a staff member you think the child/young person knows e.g. their class teacher or the school counsellor ]
23 Can anyone stop you from making a report? No. As a DECD employed bus driver you have the right to make a report to Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) Phone 13 14 78 Remember, for the reasons discussed earlier, it is recommended that you work with the site leader.
24 When it is decided that a report is to be made, the principal of the site will be informed The site leader refers to checklists that help ensure the site has all information required by Families SA Once all relevant information is gathered and noted the call is made to the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) 13 14 78. This may be done by you, on your own, or with the site leader Once a report is made it is recorded on a specific form and kept securely in the site leaders office You can also keep your own personal record of your report. What happens when a report is made?
26 How is your identity protected? Read Page 11 of your handbook It is important to understand that even though the Child Abuse Report Line will not tell the family who made a notification, parents can make very good guesses about where notifications have come from. This is why it is important to work with the site leader to prepare for these kinds of possibilities.
27 In Summary The responsibility of DECD employed bus drivers is to share their concerns about children and young people with the principal/nominated site leadership member, so that: Action can be taken at the site to support the child and family, and/or The bus driver can be supported in making a report to Families SA if abuse or neglect is suspected The site leader may make a mandatory notification based on the information the bus driver provides.
28 Protective practices for staff in their interactions with children and young people provides clear advice to adults for the establishment of positive, caring and respectful relationships with children and young people in education and care settings. It also describes the relationship boundaries expected of staff and volunteers in government and non government education and care environments and their responsibilities to report inappropriate adult behaviour.
29 Look at pages 12 and 13 of your DECD employed bus drivers RAN-EC Induction Handbook and read the information on Maintaining professional boundaries with children and young people.
30 Students tell you that their teacher has given some of them presents. These range from sweets to sets of pens and CD vouchers. They then go on to say that one of the students often cuddles the teacher and sits in their lap. They further add that the teacher has initiated a move to a different room in the school that is less visible to others. You hear two students talking about how this teacher has organised with the parent of one of the students to provide extra tutoring at home.
31 Every adult working in an education and care environment is expected to report any inappropriate behaviour involving adults and children/young people This must happen no matter what position or authority the person has at the site – teacher, deputy principal, grounds person, bus drivers, canteen manager, school support officer, volunteer adult visitor, etc.
32 One of the ways safety is maintained on education and care sites is by requiring that all staff including DECD employed bus drivers and all volunteers undertake criminal history screening If you are unaware of this requirement or the process involved you should speak with the site leader ASAP.
33 In conclusion If children or young people share concerning personal information with you, respond in a supportive way. Showing you care and taking action is most important. (You are not expected to be an expert at asking open questions!) All concerns about children, young people or adults at the site need to be referred to the site leader ASAP. Confidentiality is critical. Respect the sensitivity of the observations or information you have by not discussing them with other members of the site or the wider community.
34 Counselling support for adults Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au/ Adults Surviving Child Abuse 1300 657 380 (information and support line) http://www.asca.org.au/ Advocates for Survivors of Child Abuse PO Box 352 Goodwood Adelaide 8388 5661 Employees Assistance Program (EAP) If you are affected by a Responding to Abuse or Neglect situation you can access support in three ways: 1.Telephone counselling - 1300 360 364 (24 hours seven days per week) 2.Face to face counselling - 1300 360 364 (24 hours seven days per week) 3.Online counselling – www.decs.sa.gov.au/ohswww.decs.sa.gov.au/ohs