Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated

CHILD SAFE POLICY

1. Purpose

2. Context

3. Scope

4. Commitment to child safety

5. Child Safe Officer

6. Children’s participation

7. Recruitment practices

8. Code of Conduct

9. Support for employees and volunteers

10. Procedure for handling suspicions of a child at risk

11. Strategies to minimise risk

12. Harassment/bullying/discrimination

13. Communication

14. SAMPLE Mandated Notification

Approved by Board of Management of Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated October 2010
Revised August 2014, November 2015, October 2017, October 2020, September 2021

1. Purpose

This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of the Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Board of Management as well as Member Groups, administrators, coaches, officials (umpires/referees/judges) and volunteers to child safety and establishing and maintaining child safe and child friendly environments.

This policy was developed by the Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Board of Management in collaboration with all our committee members, Member Groups, administrators, coaches, volunteers, participants, parents and carers who use our services.

2. Context

This policy reflects the Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated commitment to provide a safe environment where every person has the right to be treated with respect and is safe and protected from abuse. (Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Constitution Section 4)

This policy must be read in conjunction with Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Member Protection Policy.

Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people who participate in our Member Groups activities or use our services.  We support the rights of the child and will act at all times to ensure that a child safe environment is maintained.  We also support the rights and wellbeing and acknowledge the valuable contribution of our staff, volunteers and members and encourage their active participation in building and a secure and safe environment for all participants.

Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated has lodged a compliance statement with the Department of Human Services to acknowledge that we are aware of our obligations to create and maintain a child safe environment according to the requirements of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016.

3. Scope

This policy, from the date of endorsement, applies to all committee members, Member Groups, administrators, coaches, officials (umpires/referees/judges), volunteers, participants, parents and carers and other individuals involved in the organisation.

4. Commitment to child safety

All children who visit Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated have a right to feel and be safe.  We are committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people accessing our services therefore the welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority. We aim to create a child safe and child friendly environment where all children are valued and feel safe.

5. Child Safe Officer

A Child Safe Officer is a person who can deliver advice and awareness within Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated around developing a child safe environment. Child Safe Officers complete training to support them in this role and this training is updated every three (3) years.

As a first point of contact to children, parents and volunteers for advice and support regarding the safety and well-being of children in our organisation, contact any Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Board of Management member or our appointed Child Safe Officer. Names and contact details are located on the Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Notice Board.

6. Children’s participation

Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated encourages children to express their views, and make suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect children.

We actively encourage children who use our services to ‘have a say’ about those things that are important to them.  We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. (Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Constitution Section 4-5)

We inform children what they can do if they feel unsafe.  We listen to and act on any concerns children, or their parents raise with us.

7. Recruitment practices

Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated and Member Groups will ensure that the organisation takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children especially those in positions that involve regular unsupervised contact with children. This may be achieved using a range of screening measures.  Such measures will aim to minimise the likelihood of engaging (or retaining) people who are unsuitable to work with children. Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated and Member Groups will ensure that Working with Children Checks are conducted for employees and volunteers working with children in accordance with the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016. An ‘Employee Volunteer Handbook’, Volunteer Membership Form, Employee Membership Form, contract, Member Protection Declaration and an Induction form in addition to all screening obligations are completed as necessary by Member Groups.

8. Code of Conduct

All members are made aware of, and must abide by the committee members, Member Groups, administrators, coaches, volunteers Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct was developed by our Board of Management in collaboration with all our volunteers including leaders, coaches, administrators, Member Group committees and helpers, the children who use our services, their parents and guardians.

9. Support for employees and volunteers

Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated seeks to attract and retain the best volunteers and employees by providing support, supervision and training so they feel valued, respected and fairly treated.

We ensure that our volunteers and employees who work with children have ongoing supervision, support and training so that their performance is developed and enhanced to promote the establishment and maintenance of a child safe environment.

10. Procedure for handling suspicions of a child at risk

We will treat any suspicion of a child at risk (including allegations of child abuse or neglect) promptly, seriously and with a high degree of sensitivity.

A child at risk is defined in the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017

All people working with Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated in a paid or unpaid capacity have a duty to report any concerns to the appropriate authorities, following the steps outlined below.

Step 1: Forming a suspicion

If a child or young person raises with you an allegation of child abuse or neglect or tells you of a situation that places a child at risk that relates to them or to another child, it is important that you listen, stay calm and be supportive.

Do Don’t
Make sure you are clear about what the child has told you. Do not challenge or undermine the child.
Reassure the child that what has occurred is not his or her fault. Do not seek detailed information, ask leading questions or offer an opinion.
Explain that other people may need to be told in order to stop what is happening. Do not discuss the details with any person other than those detailed in these procedures.
Promptly and accurately record the discussion in writing. Do not contact the alleged offender.

Additionally, during the course of providing activities and services of behalf of Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated employees and volunteers may observe actions and behaviours that cause them concern over the safety and wellbeing of a child.

Step 2: Report the suspicion

  • Immediately report any suspicion of a child at risk, to SAPOL and/or the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) on 131478. You may need to make a report to both.
  • Contact the CARL for advice if there is any doubt about whether your suspicion should be reported.
  • If the suspicion involves a person to whom this policy applies, then also report the circumstances to the Member Group Chairperson, President, Vice President or Secretary of Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated so that he or she can manage the situation or refer it as may be required, to a Child Safe Officer.

Step 3: Protect the child and manage the situation

  • The Member Group Chairperson, President, Vice President or Secretary of Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated will assess the immediate risks to the child and take interim steps to ensure the child’s safety and the safety of any other children. This may include redeploying the alleged offender to a position where there is no unsupervised contact with children, supervising the alleged offender or removing/suspending him or her until any investigations have been concluded.  Legal advice should be sought before any interim steps are made if the person is an employee.
  • The Member Group Chairperson, President, Vice President or Secretary of Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated will consider what services may be most appropriate to support the child and his or her parent/s.
  • The Member Group Chairperson, President, Vice President or Secretary of Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated will consider what support services may be appropriate for the alleged offender.
  • The Member Group Chairperson, President, Vice President or Secretary of Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated will seek to put in place measures to protect the child and the alleged offender from possible victimisation and gossip.

Step 4: Take internal action

  • At least three different investigations could be undertaken to examine allegations that are made against a person to whom this policy applies, including:
  • a criminal investigation (conducted by SAPOL)
  • a child protection investigation (conducted by the Department for Child Protection)
  • a disciplinary or misconduct inquiry/investigation (conducted by Member Groups own affiliated state body association)
  • Member Groups own affiliated state body association will assess the allegations and determine what action should be taken in the circumstances. Depending on the situation, action may include considering whether the alleged offender should return to his or her position, be dismissed, banned or suspended or face other disciplinary action.
  • If disciplinary action is undertaken, we will follow the procedures set out in [Clause 10] of our Member Protection Policy.
  • Where required we will provide the relevant government agency with a report of any disciplinary action we take.
  • Contact details for advice or to report an allegation of child abuse –

South Australia Police
Non-urgent police assistance
Ph: 131 444
www.police.sa.gov.au

Department for Child Protection
www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/reporting-child-abuse
Ph: 131 478

11. Strategies to minimise risk

  • Transportation of athletes
  • Recruitment procedures – Criminal History Assessments, Member Protection Declarations & Statutory Declarations (if required)
  • Taking images/photographs of children
  • Child Safe Officer
  • Complaints procedures
  • Risk Management Strategies
  • Responsibilities of coaches, committees, parents & athletes
  • Procedure for breaches of policy
  • Training of coaches and other members
  • Protecting privacy and confidentiality
  • Procedures for dealing with situations where a member is being investigated for, or is charged with, a serious criminal offence
  • Equipment maintenance

Related policies and procedures

12. Harassment/bullying/discrimination

Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated opposes all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying. (Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Constitution Section 4-5).

We take this issue seriously and encourage anyone who believes that they, or another person, that has been harassed, discriminated against or bullied to raise this issue with a member of the Board of Management or our Child Safe Officer.

13. Communication

Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated will ensure that everyone to whom this policy applies is aware of and has had an opportunity to read the policy.

A copy of the Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Child Safe Policy will be permanently on display on the Seacliff Community Recreation Association Incorporated Notice Board.

Mandated Notification Attachment 1

Mandated Notification

Under section 31 of the Children and Young and People (Safety) Act 2017, certain people are obliged by law to notify the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) if they suspect on reasonable grounds that a child/young person has been or is being, abused and/or neglected and the suspicion is formed in the course of the person’s work (whether paid or voluntary) or in carrying out official duties

The identity of any person making a report to the Department for Child Protection (‘the Department’) via CARL is protected by the Act

In South Australia, anyone under the age of 18 is classified as a “child or young person”

The person must notify the Child Abuse Report Line of the suspicion as soon as practicable after they form that suspicion

Please refer to the SCRA Child Safe Policy for further details

Child Abuse Report Line (CARL)
13 14 78