2 For many young people , the school is the one stable human entity that can provide hope for the future and a secure and meaningful community.Sue Doran
3 CONFIDENTIALITY and PARAMETERS Maintain CONFIDENTIALITYKnow your boundaries – This session is not the setting for self help so please think about the setting before disclosing your own issues (if any).Support (Self Care) – Child abuse is a sensitive topic; you may need to have a break during the session.
5 WHY STUDENT PROTECTION? LEGISLATIONChild Protection Act 1999 (QLD)Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000 (QLD)The Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Regulation, 2001Education (QCT) Act 2005Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 and Regulation 2006(QLD)The Education and Training Amendment Act 2011The Education Legislation Amendment Act 2012Education Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014Child Protection Act 1999 (2014 Amendments)
6 AND WHY STUDENT PROTECTION? Catholic Education, Diocese of Rockhampton is committed to the implementation of student protection strategies and procedures that are intended to prevent harm to students, and to respond quickly and effectively when they suspect or are informed of any type of harm to a student caused by any person.
10 Heightened awareness because of the Royal Commission “Institutional Responses to Allegations and Incidents of Child Sexual abuse”Possibility of increased calls to Church organisations.Possibility of becoming aware of issues inside and outside work
11 If schools / colleges receive phone calls regarding allegations of abuse from the past, they should always respond pastorally.If possible obtain contact details of the person involved and let them know someone will contact them who can help and advise.Pass on the information to the Student Protection Co-ordinator (or AD:S) immediately.
12 Options (for adults) Police ( including anonymous reporting All adults should be encouraged to report to police.Towards Healing (the Church’s pastoral response)Pastoral SupportCounselling (Centacare or other)DCEO document on responding to disclosures may help
14 A volunteer whose presence in the school has been authorised; Harm to students can take many forms and may be caused by the actions of:a fellow student;A volunteer whose presence in the school has been authorised;someone at a distance from the immediate school community such as parent/caregiver, relative, neighbour friend of family or stranger;the student himself or herself;a member of the school staff (or other staff member of DCEO), religious, priest, or lay person, whether teacher, ancillary staff or connected to the school in some administrative or pastoral capacity;
15 Physical AbusePhysical abuse is commonly characterised by physical injury resulting from practices such as punching, beating, shaking, biting, burning or otherwise harming a child.
17 Emotional AbuseEmotional abuse tends to be a chronic behavioural pattern directed at the child/young person whereby their self esteem and social competence is undermined or eroded over time.A child/young person can also experience emotional abuse by being exposed to a dysfunctional environment which includes domestic violence.
19 NeglectNeglect is characterised by the failure to provide for the child/young person’s basic needs. This can occur through direct and deliberate action or by omission or deliberate inaction to care for the child/young person.
21 Definition of Sexual Abuse Sexual abuse occurs when an adult, stronger child or adolescent uses their power or authority to involve a child in sexual activity.Sexual abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional. It may involve physical contact with another person, but not necessarily so.
22 Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse More than 5,000 substantiated child sexual abuse cases makeit into Australian courts each year, but experts believe the real numberof incidents is closer to 50,000(Dr B Klettke; Deakin University Melbourne, reported in the Age, August 26th 2008)
23 Speaking Up1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused in Australia (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2004)31% of respondents in an Australian study stated they would not believe children's stories about being abused, meaning most children have to tell 3 different adults before they are believed(Australian Childhood Foundation Report 2006)Only about 3% of abused children will ever tell of their abuse (Savi Report, 2004)Only 5% of child sex offenders will have been caught and convicted for their crimes(Dr K. Gelb, Victorian Sentencing Commission)
24 Who sexually offends against children? Males90 to 95% of sex offenders are male.(Crime Statistics / Victim Reports, British Crime Survey)FemalesUp to 6% of all reported child sexual abuse in Australia is perpetrated by females.(Child Wise, 2006)AdolescentsAt least 33% of all offending against children in Australia is committed by another child or young person.(P.Tidmarsh, MAPPS, 2005)
25 Sexual abuse can include: kissing or holding a child in a sexual mannerexposing a sexual body part to a childtalking in a sexually explicit way that is not age or developmentally appropriatemaking obscene phone calls or remarks to a childsending obscene mobile text messages or s to a childfondling a child in a sexual mannerpersistently intruding on a child's privacy
26 showing pornographic films, magazines or photographs to a child penetrating the child's vagina or anus by penis, finger or any other objectoral sexrapeincestshowing pornographic films, magazines or photographs to a childhaving a child pose or perform in a sexual mannerforcing a child to watch a sexual actchild prostitutionSource: Queensland Government, Child Safety Services
27 Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse A child may say things, do things or exhibit physical signs that are clues to sexual abuse, even if they do not disclose clear information.
28 Sexual abuse – What a child might say or do Constant complaints of headaches and/or abdominal painsDifficulties at school or change in level of performance at schoolSleep disordersPersistent habits such as sucking, biting or rockingInhibition to playSerious difficulties relating to peers and/or adultsSelf-destructive behaviour
29 Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse Some indicators of child sexual abuse may include:displaying greater sexual knowledge than normally expected for their age or developmental levelinappropriate sexual play and behaviour with themselves, other children or dolls and toyshints about sexual activity through actions or comments that are inappropriate to the child’s age or developmental levelexcessive masturbation or masturbation in public after kindergarten agepersistent bedwetting, urinating or soiling in clothespersistent sexual themes in their drawings or play time
30 Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse running awaydestroying propertyhurting or mutilating animalscreating stories, poems or artwork about abusedifficulty concentrating or being withdrawn or overly obedienthaving unexpected redness, soreness or injury around the penis, vagina, mouth or anushaving torn, stained or bloody clothing, especially underwearrecurring themes of power or control in playShould any of the above be present, a child may need parents or other adults to take action to keep them safe from any further harm.
31 (Adapted from South East CASA brochure) Some possible indicators signs: “The ‘key’ is to look for bunches of these not focus on the existence of one or two” years(Adapted from South East CASA brochure)Marked unexplained (not linked to changes to the environment or developmental stages) changes in the following; Fears, nightmares, sleep difficulties, headaches, angry, daydream/withdrawn, sad, struggles at school, changes friends, wets or soils themselves, behaves younger, frequent stomach and other pains, eager to please, appears to tell ‘stories’ known not to be true, sexualized play / with self and or others.
32 GROOMING TECHNIQUES (LIKELY SEXUAL ABUSE) To get close to children, people who sexually offend use ‘grooming’ techniques which allow them to form ‘special’ or ‘power-based’ relationships with children.
33 Grooming Techniques Grooming techniques include: Buying children lollies, sporting equipment, swap cards and other things a child may like or valuePaying special attention to a child and making them feel specialAsking children to keep secrets from parents, siblings & friends – may not necessarily be sexualUsing threats, bribes and/or physical violence
34 Visible grooming…Situations where adults are involved with a child more than you would expect in their role/relationshipWhere an adult seems to be particularly interested in a child or particular activities that allow for additional intimacy i.e. overnights, swimming, time aloneSituations where a child is given gifts or taken to outings which are unexpected or unusual in any wayA child seems to have a special relationship with aspects to it that are ‘private’ and do not involve other adults or children.Where a child may be keeping secrets or have built a relationship with a secret friend
35 Groomer Profile Well-socialised extra-familial child molesters are: Too helpful Too opportunisticToo private Too superficialToo touchy with children Too attentiveToo involved with image management Too good to be trueToo aggressive when confrontedToo one-sided in relationships (always giving, never taking)Too prone to violate boundaries of personal space and privacyToo quick to drop friendships when children grow olderToo likely to disappear when contact with children is deniedAltogether too charming (Carla Van Dam, 2006)
36 Further reading and resources are available for loan from the Resource Centre at DCEO
40 DISCLOSURE OF HARM Disclosures of Harm may sound like: “I think I saw…..”“Somebody told me that….”“Just think you should know….”“I’m not sure what I want you to do, but….”
41 Responding to Disclosures DOFind a private place to talkLet them tell their experience in their own words and timeListen calmlyValidate the disclosure e.g. “I am pleased you have told me these things”Believe themContain your own feelingsAvoid defending the abuserSupport themRecord and report
42 Responding to Disclosures DON’TPanic and overreactAsk leading questions e.g. “Was it your father who did it to you?”Ask too many questionsPromise confidentialityMake little of itShow your feelings towards the abuserLeave the child alone after a disclosureForget Confidentiality
44 ACCORDING TO LEGISLATION AND POLICY SCHOOL STAFF MUST REPORT (to their Principal, Student Protection Contact, AD:S ,Diocesan Director):When they are concerned at significant changes in the behaviour of a student or behaviours that are not developmentally appropriateThe presence of new unexplained and suspicious injuriesWhen they see the harm happening or a student tells them they or someone else has been harmedWhen they suspect there are inappropriate images on a student’s technology including naked “selfies”Any other information that they believe may indicate a child is being harmed
45 THE EDUCATION ACT SAYS ALL STAFF MUST REPORT SEXUAL ABUSE AND LIKELY SEXUAL ABUSE TO THE POLICE (Mandatory reporting)The Education act requires all Queensland school staff to report to the Police (through their Principal or Diocesan Director) concerns that a student had been sexually abused or is likely to be sexually abused (suspected grooming) by any person. This includes the requirement to report Historical sexual abuse even if it is identified as “already been dealt with”.
46 What if I don’t make a report of suspected sexual abuse? It is an offence and the law establishes a penalty for failing to report a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse of a student under 18 years attending the school by any person.The offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of $2000.Failure to report a reasonable suspicion that a student under 18 years has been sexually abused constitutes an offence. There is a penalty prescribed for failing to report sexual abuse as required under the legislation. The offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of $2000.
47 What if I don’t make a report of likely sexual abuse? Although the law requires staff to report likely sexual abuse to a student, the law does not prescribe a penalty if you fail to do so.However if an employee fails to report a suspicion of sexual abuse or likely sexual abuse of a student by any person, and/or harm/ or likely harm to a student, they could also be subject to disciplinary procedures for failing to comply with the DCEO Student Protection Processes.If the staff member is a registered teacher, there may also be consequences imposed by the Queensland College of Teachers for failure to report.Although reporting likely sexual abuse is required by law, it is not an offence to fail to report likely sexual abuse and the law does not prescribe a penalty.However in all cases if an employee fails to report an incident of sexual abuse or likely sexual abuse of a student by anyone and/or harm or risk of harm to a student from any source they could still be subject to disciplinary procedures for not complying with the DCEO Student Protection Processes.If the staff member is a registered teacher, there may also be consequences imposed by the Queensland College of Teachers for failure to report.
48 Change to Education Act Schools must have a process to RESPOND to student harm e.g. self harm, student to student harm (other than sexual abuse or harm under Child Protection Act).This means that an assessment can be made as to the most appropriate response which can include school management processes, referral to CYMHS, Headspace etc..
49 CHANGES TO QUEENSLAND’S CHILD PROTECTION LEGISLATION Clarifies definition of child in need of Protection as:Has suffered SIGNIFICANT harm, is suffering SIGNIFICANT harm or is at an unacceptable risk of suffering SIGNIFICANT harmDoes NOT have a parent able and willing to protect them from harm
50 CHANGES TO QUEENSLAND’S CHILD PROTECTION LEGISLATION (Mandatory Reporting) Registered teachers are now also mandatory reporters under Child protection legislation and must report a suspicion that a child has suffered, is suffering or may suffer significant harm caused by physical or sexual abuse and may not have a parent willing and able to protect them (Section 13 E). This is a reportable suspicion under legislation. This report can be made through their Principal who must then report back to the teacher that they have acted on the report. Consequences for failing to report are through employer or QCT.
51 Under the new legislation anyone may report to Child Safety a reasonable suspicion that a child may be in need of protection when the child is experiencing or is at risk of experiencing significant harm and there is no parent able and willing to protect them e.g. reporting of emotional abuse or neglect.
52 THE CHILD PROTECTION GUIDE On-line tool to assist professionals to decide whether to report concerns about a childNot mandatory to use it but may assist decision making and identify appropriate support and intervention servicesSchool staff must inform their Principal if they have concerns that relate to a student that suggest use of the Child Protection Guide
53 FAMILY AND CHILD CONNECT A community based intake and REFERRAL service that schools may report to with concerns about a family that they do not believe will reach the threshold for Child Safety interventionHave both Domestic and Family Violence worker and an out posted Child Safety workerPreferable that families agree to referral but PRINCIPALS can refer without family consent (Section 159M of the Child Protection Act1999)Commences July 2015 in Rockhampton Diocese except Mackay which is January 2016
54 Whereas legal obligations to report sexual abuse, likely sexual abuse and physical abuse of students is limited to the staff member’s employment at the school, DCEO would strongly suggest that as responsible community members staff SHOULD report any child protection concerns they may have.It is important to note that the mandatory obligation of school staff members to report sexual abuse extends only to suspicions formed in the course of the staff member’s employment at the school.A staff member may form a suspicion as a result of information obtained from a situation not related to their employment at the school (for example, they overhear something on the bus, or as a result of something a child tells them at club football training they suspect sexual abuse of a child).If the child concerned is not a student of the school, the staff member is free to make a report directly to the police or Child Safety Services.If the child concerned is a student of the school at which the staff member works, they should respond to the information as a matter to be reported as harm or likely harm under the Student Protection Processes.However, if the child concerned is a student of the school at which the staff member works and the information was obtained in a capacity that bears some relationship to the staff member’s employment or professional status, the staff member may well decide that the information was obtained “in the course of the staff member’s employment at the school” and so make a mandatory report.
55 LEGAL PROTECTIONThe law ensures that staff members reporting a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse or likely sexual abuse of a student will not be liable under a civil, criminal or administrative process.The identity of individuals who notify Child Safety or the Police Service of their concerns about a child is confidential and they are protected from civil liabilityThe law ensures that staff members reporting sexual abuse and/or likely sexual abuse of a student under 18 years of age attending the school will not be liable, civilly, criminally or under an administrative process for giving the information contained in the report to someone else. This protection covers the following:The staff member as the first person who gives a written report about their suspicions to the principalThe staff member as the first person (not the principal) who gives a written report about their suspicions to the Director of the Governing Body (or delegate)The principal as the first person who makes a report to the police and sends a copy of the report to the Director of the Governing Body (or delegate)The principal or Director of the Governing Body (or delegate) who submits the written report to the police.
56 (s. 13H Child Protection Act) As a mandatory reporter you can confer with a colleague employed within your school or the Student Protection Coordinator or the Assistant Director : Schools at DCEO(s. 13H Child Protection Act)Principal will need to communicate to staff member who makes a report that it has been actionedExplain that Section 13H of the Act allows mandatory reporters to confer with a colleague employed within their own agency to:form a reasonable suspicion that a child may be in need of protectiontake action to respond to suspected harm or risk of harmreport to Child Safety and maintain records about a child who may be in need of protection.You can confer with colleagues but must only communicate with those who have a need to know!
57 COMMUNICATIONSchool staff can directly contact the Assistant Director: Schools, Student Protection Coordinator or the DirectorPrincipal will inform staff member who raised the concern of action taken – this is essential under mandatory reportingStaff, if not happy with the outcome of their reporting to school authorities, may directly report to statutory authorities
58 WHAT DO I DO (as a staff member)? If you suspect, have a report or disclosure of harm of any kind you must report this to:The School’s Student Protection Contact (who will refer the report to the Principal) orThe PrincipalIf the incident involves the Principal report the incident immediately to the Assistant Director: Schools or, in the case of mandatory reporting, to the Diocesan Director
59 HOW DO I DO IT? Remember confidentiality. Complete a Student Protection Reporting Form(available on Diocesan Student Protection Portal):NEW FORM FOR ALL REPORTING AVAILABLE from 2015Make an appointment as soon as possible [immediately in the case of the mandatory reporting requirements and/or if you feel the child is in immediate danger] with the Principal (or Student Protection Contact.)Remember confidentiality.
60 WHO ARE THE STUDENT PROTECTION CONTACTS AT YOUR SCHOOL???
61 REPORTING – WHAT HAPPENS THEN? Your Report is handed to the principal.Action could include:Keeping diary notes to monitor a situation.Pastoral support for the child and familyNotifying the Department of Child Safety.Notifying the Child Protection Investigation UnitNotifying Towards Healing and the Director of Qld Professional StandardsA referral to an outside agency.The Principal will inform the Student Protection Coordinator or AD: Schools at DCEO or (in the case of mandatory reporting) the Diocesan Director.
62 INFORMING PARENTSParents are not to be contacted before reports are made to Police or Child Safety.However it is appropriate to speak to these statutory authorities as soon as possible after the report has been submitted about their intervention and ascertain when you can inform parents without jeopardizing their investigation.
63 INFORMING PARENTSIn cases when there are student to student sexualised behaviours (e.g. “selfies” , sexualised play) it is appropriate to contact police immediately the report is made to ascertain if you can advise parents.
65 Catholic Education, Diocese of Rockhampton Student Protection Processes will be updated Available DCEO Staff Portal, DCEO Website, School Office, School Website, School Library
66 STAFF RESPONSIBILITYIt is the responsibility of all staff to:Be alert to the signs which could indicate that a student is being harmed in some way.Develop basic skills in knowing how to respond to a disclosure by a student.Understand their obligations under legislation and policy to report harm
67 OUTSIDE RESPONSIBILITY The Department of Child Safety and Police determine whether abuse has occurred or if a child is at risk of harm and implement the action to be taken.
68 INFORMING PARENTS / CAREGIVERS Authorised Child Safety and Police Officers can have contact with children at school or in a Child Care Centre in specific situations when investigating an allegation of harm to a child. It is the responsibility of these officers – NOT THE SCHOOL – to inform the parents/caregivers.
69 CONFIDENTIALITYAny case of suspected harm to students must remain confidential, should never become a topic of gossip and should never be spoken about freely with others. If communicated to others with no right to know, the person suspected could take an action for damages for defamation.
70 A boy in Year 7 was caught with pornographic magazines A boy in Year 7 was caught with pornographic magazines. The boy told the teacher his stepfather gave them to him as a present. He said the magazines were his secret with his stepfather and he would be really angry if he knew he had shown them to anyone else. The student said that he wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about his secrets with his stepfather. Student said he can’t tell his mum because he is scared his stepfather may hurt him and his mum.The teacher honestly and reasonably believes the childhas suffered significant harm andthere may not be a parent able and willing to protect him from the harm.The teacher has therefore formed a reasonable suspicion that the child may be in need of protection and the matter should be reported to Child Safety. As the information indicates that harm has been caused by sexual abuse, this is also a reportable suspicion and therefore must be reported to Child Safety.As information indicates likely sexual abuse a report must be made to Queensland Police Service in accordance with ss B of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006.
72 It is important that:Every child knows to whom they can report instances of abuse at your school [Class Teacher, Student Protection Contact, Principal].Every child has been involved in a lesson based on the Feeling Unsafe Poster.The Feeling Unsafe Posters are displayed all over the school.Student Protection Contacts are introduced to the community (e.g. at assembly) on a regular basis.
73 DCEO Primary School Poster Secondary College Poster
74 Mandatory Child Safety Curriculum From the commencement of the 2015 school year, the teaching of a Child Safety Curriculum in all kindergartens, pre-prep, prep, primary schools and colleges in the Diocese of Rockhampton will be mandatory. Circular No: 2014/099
75 Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum To further assist all our staff with the teaching of child safety, I am strongly recommending the use of the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum.Circular No: 2014/099
76 Why A Child Safety Curriculum? Teaching child safety messages assists school communities to develop greater awareness of issues associated with safety. Schools can also provide students with knowledge and skills to help them recognise, react and report harm and potentially harmful situations. "Department of Education, Training and Employment – Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum."
77 The Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum has been developed by the Department of Education, Training and Employment to support schools to “deliver key safety messages to students in Prep-Year 9. Students will learn how to Recognise, React and Report when they are unsafe or find themselves in situations that can have a significant detrimental effect on their physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing.” (Department of Education, Training and Employment).
78 The Curriculum materials are located on Scootle
81 BLUE CARDS (do help)Since 2001 there have been over 5,800 cases where people have been prevented from working with children.In alone there were over 868 cases where people were prevented from working with children.
82 RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES All regulated child-related organisations in Queensland are required by law to have a risk management strategy.Their purpose is to protect children in child-related service environments from harm by developing and implementing practices and procedures.
83 RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES Include:appropriate standards of behaviour for interacting with children and young peoplemaintaining a blue card registersuitable recruitment, training and management of staff (in addition to blue card screening)appropriate handling of disclosures and suspicions of harminvolving children and young people in the development of organisation’s processes
84 Remember that: The child’s safety and well-being is paramount; Your decision not to report may place a child at serious, possible life-threatening risk;The main aim of the Department of Child Safety is to follow up with the family to make sure the child is safe and try to assist the family to resolve problems and/or refer the family to support agencies.
85 Scenario 1A 9 year old female student came to school with a black eye. When her teacher asked how she got the black eye the student told the teacher her father hit her. The student lives with her mother but has contact with her father and step-mother every second weekend. The student says she had just had a weekend with her father and was going back to her mother’s home that afternoon. The school contacted the mother who immediately came to the school to take the student to the doctor to have her eye checked. The mother also told the school that she was going to the Family Court to seek an order about the father’s contact with the student.
86 Suggested Action SIGNIFICANT Physical harm Complete Student Protection Reporting FormFax or this form to Queensland Police ServiceFax or this form also to Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) - only if source of the suspected or likely abuse is a family member of the student and there is no parent able and willing to protect the studentto
87 Scenario 2 The Principal was informed by the parent of a Year 10 student that one of the other female Year 10 students was having a sexual relationship with her boyfriend who was a 22 year old male who she met through her part time job. The parent said that her daughter told her about the situation because she was worried that the other student might get pregnant or get a sexually transmitted infection. The woman’s daughter had told her the student was having sex with this young man and talked about it with her friends at school and on Facebook (The parent showed the Principal a couple of posts on Facebook). The parent stated that, as far as she was aware, the student’s parents had no knowledge of the relationship as the student would tell them she was working or going to a school event when she was actually meeting up with the young man. The Principal spoke with the student who confirmed that she did have a boyfriend who was 22 years old. The Principal contacted the student’s mother with the student’s consent and spoke with her about the information provided by the student and the other parent. The student’s mother was very distressed and said they had no knowledge of the student’s relationship with this young man. The mother said she would speak with her husband and they would do whatever was required to protect the student and co-operate with the QPS.
88 Suggested Action SEXUAL / LIKELY SEXUAL ABUSE Complete Student Protection Reporting FormFax or this form to Queensland Police ServiceFax or this form also to Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) - only if source of the suspected or likely sexual abuse is a family member of the student and there is no parent able and willing to protect the studentto
89 BUT – AT THE END OF THE DAY, CONCLUSIONBe aware: Some people feel that making a notification may:place their relationship with the child at riskplace their relationship with the family at riskmake the child’s situation worsemean they have to be involved in an investigationmean they will have to attend court and be cross examinedmean they are ‘telling’ on a family without knowing with certainty whether abuse or maltreatment is actually occurringmean they are making an unfair class, race or gender judgmentmake them feel as though they are intruding on another family’s businessBUT – AT THE END OF THE DAY,A CHILD’S WELL-BEING COMES FIRST
90 On behalf of the students from the Schools of the Rockhampton Diocese… THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION