Child Protection Update 1.The context Legal Obligations Community Expectations 2.Ensuring a Child Safe School – prevention and going beyond compliance 3.Managing allegations and incidents 4.Support for Schools 5.Questions Association of Independent Schools of SA
Legal obligations Children’s Protection Act School Registration Enrolment contracts Duty of care Association of Independent Schools of SA
The Context Association of Independent Schools of SA School registration requirement: “the school provides adequate protection for the safety, health and welfare of its students”
Legal Obligations Association of Independent Schools of SA Children’s Protection Act 1993 Schools are required to: develop policies and procedures to establish and maintain child safe environments conduct criminal history assessments for employees, contractors and volunteers in prescribed positions who are working with children (unless an exemption applies) lodge a Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement with the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD)
Update: Legal Obligations Association of Independent Schools of SA Policies and procedures must comply with Standards and Principles issued from time to time by the Chief Executive, DECD. In particular: Child Safe Environments: Principles of Good Practice 20Good%20Practice%20-%20July% pdf Child Safe Environments: Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children %20Standards%20for%20dealing%20with%20criminal%20history%20of%20employees%20and %20volunteers%20-%20July% pdf
Child Safe Environments: Principles of Good Practice Association of Independent Schools of SA Principle 1: Identify and analyse risk of harm Principle 2: Develop a clear and accessible child safe policy Principle 3: Develop codes of conduct for adults and children Principle 4: Choose suitable employees and volunteers Principle 5: Support, train, supervise and enhance performance Principle 6: Empower and promote the participation of children in decision-making and service development Principle 7: Report and respond appropriately to suspected abuse and neglect
Criminal History Assessment Association of Independent Schools of SA Criminal history assessment required before appointment and at least every three years for a person who has: regular contact with children or working in close proximity to children on a regular basis, unless the contact or work is directly supervised at all times; or supervises or manages persons in positions requiring or involving regular contact with children or working in close proximity to children on a regular basis; or accesses records relating to children.
Standards: Criminal History Information Association of Independent Schools of SA Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children Standard 1: Identifying prescribed functions and prescribed positions Standard 2: Developing understandable and accessible procedures to obtain criminal history reports Standard 3: Conducting criminal history assessments in a timely and regular manner Standard 4: Accepting other evidence Standard 5: Assessing criminal history reports Standard 6: Ensuring procedural fairness throughout the assessment and decision-making processes Standard 7: Ensuring good practices when dealing with criminal history information
Criminal History Assessment: Exemptions Association of Independent Schools of SA Registered teachers Police officers A person who undertakes work on a voluntary basis to provide a service in his or her capacity as a parent or guardian of a child who is ordinarily provided with the service; A person who undertakes work on a voluntary basis to provide a service and who is under 18 years of age; A person who undertakes work in the course of, or for the purposes of, an event or activity that takes place over a period of not more than 10 consecutive days or not more than 1 day in any month;
Legal Obligations Criminal Screening Teachers non-teachers student teachers volunteers billeting families DCSI, National Police Certificate, CrimTrac Notification of incidents Exchange of Information Association of Independent Schools of SA
Beyond Compliance Association of Independent Schools of SA - a moral obligation Child safe organisations take a proactive and preventative stance on child protection issues and foster a child safe environment as the main consideration in all its activities and management practices. Child protection is embedded in the organisation’s culture and is understood at all levels of the organisation. A Child-Focused Community: Keeps actions relevant to the child’s needs not the needs of others.
Prevention: being proactive Association of Independent Schools of SA The best ‘response’ to adult sexual misconduct in education and care settings is to prevent it occurring in the first place. The best way to limit adults’ opportunity to harm children and young people is to establish an environment where it is extremely hard for any inappropriate adult behaviours to go unnoticed and unchecked. The leader’s role 1.Establishing a safe-aware environment where everyone will recognise inappropriate behaviour and speak up about their concerns, and 2.Taking the right action when those concerns are raised with you
Beyond Compliance: a proactive approach Association of Independent Schools of SA Nature of offenders: Criminal intent Opportunity and situational based child offending Clear articulation to school community and beyond of your: Child Protection Policy Code of Conduct and Professional Boundaries Consequences for breaches Website, recruitment documentation, etc..
Beyond Compliance: a proactive approach Physical Environment: all sites People: all employees, volunteers, visitors, contractors, students, parents Culture: Values, beliefs, perceptions and attitudes Relationships and interactions Awareness and action Identify risks and vulnerable children Recognise inappropriate behaviour Speak up about concerns Taking the right action when these concerns are raised
Beyond Compliance: The RIGHT People Choosing and developing the right people: The right people working in your organisation contribute to creating a positive, child safe environment. Whether you are choosing staff or volunteers, or supporting existing staff or volunteers, developing the right team is an important and ongoing process. Recruit : To attract the right people include a statement about your commitment to being a child safe environment in your recruitment materials and on your school website. Assess : Inquire about the applicant’s motivation to work with children, their competency and their values; verify their past experience; follow up their references – more than a criminal history check.
Training: Child-Safe Environments Association of Independent Schools of SA All teaching and non-teaching staff: compulsory Responding to Abuse & Neglect (RAN)Training 7 Hour Module then online update 3 yearly 2015 update year: keep everyone up to date and on the same page by doing 2015 training in the same term it is released Tertiary Students (responsibility of the university) Promoting Safety and Wellbeing: Induction for tertiary students working with children and young people in education and care sites
Training: Child-Safe Environments Association of Independent Schools of SA Volunteers: Responding to Abuse and Neglect Education and Care Induction for Volunteers Online Module (20 minutes) In-school o PowerPoint presentation, handbook and certificate
26 Responding to abuse and neglect Education and care induction session for volunteers
‘The more vigilant and transparent an education or care community is in complying with the Protective Practices document the more likely it will be that sexual misconduct can be prevented.’ Managing Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Guideline, p 7.
Is your Child Protection Policy and ‘Code of Conduct’ understood by all staff, parents, students and volunteers? Do staff understand the Protective Practices Guidelines and how they protect them? Are professional boundaries and how they apply at your school discussed, made explicit and scrupulously abided by all staff ? Are there regular discussions around ‘grey areas’? Are the consequences of breaches clearly understood? Would early intervention occur to prevent any boundary crossing escalating?
Beyond Compliance: Students Do all your students… 1.Know how to recognise abuse and to tell a trusted adult about it? 2.Understand what is appropriate and what is inappropriate? adult to child/child to child? 3.Have the skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe? 4.Have a voice that is listened to, responded to and respected within the school? Association of Independent Schools of SA
Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum (updated 2014) Early Years: Ages 3-5+ Disability & additional needs Early Years: Years R-2+ Culturally & linguistically diverse Primary Years: Years 3-5backgrounds Middle Years: Years 6-9 Senior Years: Years Focus Areas 1. Right to be safe2. Relationships 3. Recognising & Reporting Abuse4. Protective Strategies KS: CPC
Association of Independent Schools of SA Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum Training for teachers is now run by Principals Australia 1 full day ($100) On-site training is available for schools ($1600) For teachers who have completed the full day course an online update (approx. 1 hour) is now available Resources available only to those who have completed the full day course and the update
Managing Allegations and Incidents
Managing allegations and incidents AISSA notified by SAPOL and Families SA Not just school incidents Debelle recommendations Communications – staff, parents, media Managing allegations of sexual misconduct Association of Independent Schools of SA
Managing Allegations and Incidents /Managing%20allegations%20of%20sexual %20misconduct%20in%20SA%20education %20and%20care%20settings.pdf Revised 2013
Responding to problem sexual behaviour in children and young people: Guidelines for staff in education and care settings. 371/Responding%20to%20problem%20 sexual%20behaviour%20in%20children %20and%20young%20people.pdf Revised 2013
Reporting Child Abuse Report Line Online Records Mandated notifiers: change to defence Reporting to Principal o Counsellors confidentiality Association of Independent Schools of SA
Resources & Support AISSA - call or contact by AISSA website Handout: support agencies Association of Independent Schools of SA
Reflection 1.What’s working well at your school? 2.What do you need to audit or rethink? Staff understanding of their responsibilities to report concerns Provision of the Child Protection Curriculum Screening compliance/background checks Documenting practice/record keeping Staff understanding of professional boundaries and protective practices; discussions around ‘grey areas’ Association of Independent Schools of SA
Reflection 2. What do you need to audit or rethink? Knowledge of the Responding Problem Sexual Behaviours Guidelines for sexual incidents between children and young people Yard duty/Boarding House duties One to one work involving mentors, boarding tutors, private providers, youth workers, coaches. Governing council/parent community understanding of professional boundaries Social Media Guidelines What else? Association of Independent Schools of SA
QUESTIONS Association of Independent Schools of SA
Introduction for site leaders The following slides have been adapted from: Managing allegations of sexual misconduct ppt
What is the right action? Scenario 1: A parent rings you to say she is grateful for the support a teacher is providing to her daughter with her Yr12 studies. However she’s concerned the support is sometimes given by text message from their personal mobile phone on the weekends. Scenario 2: A staff member shares a concern with you that a co- class teacher appears to be regularly counselling one of the students at the end of the day and sometimes at lunchtime, always in the classroom after other students have left and sometimes with the classroom door closed. Association of Independent Schools of SA
What is the right action? Scenario 3: A parent tells the OSHC director that his son says he doesn’t like one of the OSHC staff because they ‘hang onto my waist sometimes when we play touch footy.’ Scenario 4: A child complains to the preschool director that one of the preschool staff stays in the toilet even though she doesn’t want any help. Association of Independent Schools of SA
In all cases… The matter must be raised with the adult concerned The direction and expectation about future behaviour must be made explicit: Engage in play with students that does not involve inappropriate touch Follow the centre’s toilet policy Only use site approved IT systems for student support Refer children with counselling needs to appropriate personnel Do not spend time with students alone The direction/expectation must be recorded, signed and dated by both the adult and the leader and stored in a confidential file with a copy provided to the adult Association of Independent Schools of SA
In all cases… If the concern is found to be unjustified it is very important this is still recorded, signed, dated and a copy provided to the adult. The parents and, where appropriate, the child or young adult must be informed of how the matter has been responded to and this action must be outlined on the same record. If it is considered unsafe to speak with parents the reason for this must be included on a record of concern document Association of Independent Schools of SA
In some cases… Following up on a concern – looking at communication between an adult and a student, speaking with the adult concerned, other staff, parents or students – might reveal further information that raises the original concern to a more serious level, or This may be the second occasion on which you have had concerns raised with you about an adult’s conduct and you may have already given clear direction to them regarding conduct expectations of the same or similar nature. In cases where you are unsure about the seriousness of the matter, it would be advisable to discuss the facts confidentially (leadership team members, AISSA or seeking legal advice) before determining your next steps. Association of Independent Schools of SA
The challenges of addressing concerns What if … the adult has made an innocent mistake? the concern is found to be unjustified? the adult is angry/devastated/offended that the matter has been raised? the adult refuses to sign the report? my working relationship with the adult is compromised? the child/young person or parent isn’t happy with my action? Association of Independent Schools of SA
Having these conversations protects… Children and young people Adults who have not understood appropriate boundaries and have no intent to harm children and young people The parent community’s confidence in the school The school’s compliance with policies such as Protective Practices The leader’s integrity and authority They also deter adults from exploiting their positions in working or volunteering with children and young adults Association of Independent Schools of SA
Establishing an ‘aware’ community Each of the four scenarios involved a concern that was raised with the leader because either a parent student or other adult knew what to speak up about and felt ‘safe’ to do so. Of these three groups at your school – which are you most and least confident about in terms of their knowledge and comfort to speak up? Association of Independent Schools of SA
Incidents of extreme seriousness Death of a child/young person Attempted or completed suicide on site Serious physical harm of a child/young person (assault or accident) Serious incident involving a child/young person under the Guardianship of the Minister Serious allegations of sexual abuse between children and young people occurring at the site or when a duty of care applies (e.g. camp or excursion) Serious threats to safety of site (e.g. fire, serious infectious disease, weapons or firearms) Allegation of child sex related crime against an employee/volunteer/service provider Serious neglect of duty of care by employee (e.g. child lost on excursion) Serious criminal charges against an employee/volunteer Association of Independent Schools of SA
Incidents of extreme seriousness 1.A groundsman finds a school-based apprentice masturbating in the student toilet block. It is after hours and no children are at the school. 2.A Yr5 student tells her class teacher that a volunteer has been kissing her and feeling her bottom and has said they will hurt her if she tells anyone 3.A male Yr12 student grabs a female Yr8 student’s breasts, picks her up and hugs her on the oval at lunchtime. The girl reports the matter as she is afraid of the boy. The boy is suspended. 4.You are advised by a staff member that a contract teacher has a large quantity of videos of children taken at your school’s swimming carnival on their personal camera. The contract teacher did not have responsibility for filming the day and they did not seek your permission to film. Their contract has concluded and they no longer work at your site. Association of Independent Schools of SA
Talking through the checklist p.20 The site leader’s starting point depends on how the allegation has been raised: Either with you, by someone at your site or in your community’ or You are advised by the police Key responsibilities Support for the child/young person and their family (Appendix 6) Record keeping (Appendices 1 and 2) Communication with others – advice to staff, letters to your parent community, meetings with individual parents, groups of parents, governing council members Association of Independent Schools of SA
Reminders 1.Always seek advice if unsure about the seriousness of any matter raised with you 2.Your responsibility to act in response to allegations applies: to any adult connected to the site whether the connection to the site is current or the adult has resigned, is on leave or is deceased no matter where or when the incident is alleged to have occurred 3.When an allegation relates to electronic material do not delete – quarantine it for SA Police investigation 4.Document everything as soon as possible in a factual manner using the templates provided Association of Independent Schools of SA
Reflection and questions 1.What’s working well at your school? 2.What do you need to audit or rethink? Staff understanding of their responsibilities to report concerns The provision of the Child Protection Curriculum Knowledge of the Responding Problem Sexual Behaviours Guidelines for sexual incidents between children and young people Screening compliance/background checks Yard duty practice (classroom security during recess and lunch, toilet policies) One to one work involving mentors, private providers, youth workers, home visits Governing council/parent community understanding of professional boundaries Documenting practice Association of Independent Schools of SA