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Safe Environments

The Child Safe Framework Procedure for safe environments relates to the implementation of the following Policy statement:

We commit to the welfare of all young people through the implementation and ongoing improvement of our Child Safe Framework which includes child-safe and child-friendly environments where young people are listened to, feel safe, have fun, accept challenges, learn and grow.

Safe environments are transparent and accountable in relation to both procedures and relationships. The spiritual, physical, and emotional environments are safe and safe practices are in place to run the program, where all foreseeable risks and hazards are identified, assessed, and managed. In implementing procedures for the fact that some activities or situations present more inherent risks than others, consideration should be given to the participants’ ages and cultural backgrounds.

The following requirements will be completed, implemented or considered prior to any program, event or activity:

  • Risk Assessment
  • First Aid – suitable qualified staff and kits
  • Transportation
  • Spiritual Safety
  • Emotional Safety
  • Food
  • Supervision of Young people

Supervision of Workers

The Child Safe Framework Procedure for supervision of workers relates to the implementation of the following Policy statement:

We commit to the welfare of all young people through the implementation and ongoing improvement of our Child Safe Framework which includes safe and adequate recruitment, training, supervision, support and resourcing of our workers.

The Board will provide a system of support and supervision for all our workers, to ensure they feel valued, respected and fairly treated, including:

  • Provision of up-to-date documentation to Workers
    • The CEO will ensure all workers have access to valid, updated documents and Codes of Conduct
  • Supporting Workers
    • The Area Manager will communicate the types of formal or informal support mechanisms available to workers.
  • Review of Position
    • All casual or permanent staff shall engage in an annual process of position review through a formal written process or review
  • Codes of Conduct
    • The Codes of Conduct detail the standards of conduct expected by all staff and workers, set out the clear expectations of staff and Young Life Australia, and encourage staff members to seek to act in a manner that faithfully represents the ethos and beliefs of Young Life Australia
    • There are three Role Specific Codes of Conduct for:
      • Board members, staff (paid employees), volunteer workers, and casual helpers
      • Venue guests, including contractors, subcontractors (and their employees) and visitors (e.g. parents)
      • Young people who participate in our programs

Training and Resourcing of Workers

The Child Safe Framework Procedure for training and resourcing of workers relates to the implementation of the following Policy statement:

We commit to the welfare of all young people through the implementation and ongoing improvement of our Child Safe Venue Framework which includes safe and adequate recruitment, training, supervision, support and resourcing of our workers.

The following training will be offered to all workers:

  • Induction training in relation to knowledge of standard operating procedures that apply to equipment, programs and general programs, Code of Conduct expectations and appropriate behaviours with young people, and documents as found in the Policy document ;
  • Child Safe training, initial and ongoing, in Child Safe procedures, including empowering and including young people, identifying and responding to young people at risk of harm, and safe environments (duty of care); and
  • Ongoing Inservice Training. The Area Manager will arrange ongoing staff and worker professional development as is appropriate to the worker’s role, eg, first aid, specific qualifications as necessary for the successful carrying out of the worker’s role.

Recruitment and Appointment of Workers

The Board will carry out, or delegate to the appropriate office holders, recruitment and screening due diligence checks according to good practice standards for all staff and volunteers. All recruitment and screening documentation will be accessed by a suitably experienced member of the organisation with the authority of the Board.

All completed recruitment and screening documentation will be stored securely, and successful applicant documentation will be held on personnel files for a minimum of 45 years.  We also have appointment and admission procedures for contractors and guests to our offices or venues where young people may be in attendance. We have four recruitment and screening procedures:

  1. Procedure for paid staff and Board members
  2. Procedure for volunteer workers and helpers
  3. Procedure for contractors
  4. Procedure for admission of guests (including those hiring our venue, parent visitors, all other adults who visit when young people are on programs)

Participation and Inclusion of Young people and their Caregivers

The Child Safe Framework Procedure for participation and inclusion of young people and their caregivers acknowledges

  • the need for sensitivity and consideration of those young people of Aboriginal, culturally, and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as any young person with a disability;
  • the primary role of parents and caregivers as well as the role of young people in child protection and will actively engage with young people and caregivers, inviting open communication and feedback as part of our procedures and interactions; and
  • the shared responsibility of the whole community for child safety and welfare, including caregivers, guest organisations and our workers (paid and volunteer) and as such we will actively promote the role of parents and caregivers and the wider community in the shared responsibility of child safety.

Detailed procedures are set out in the Framework document to ensure:

  • Young people’s participation and inclusion
  • Engaging with Caregivers and Community

Record Keeping

The Child Safe Framework Procedure for record keeping relates to the documentation and safe and secure storage of records in relation to keeping young people safe, of reports of concerns about young people and of reporting of incidents.

  1. In the documentation and storage of records we will consider the National Privacy Act principles, ie.
    • that private information is only collected if necessary;
    • individuals concerned are advised of its intended use;
    • personal information collected is stored securely and not divulged to others without the consent of the individual involved;
    • any personal information the organisation is keeping, which is no longer required, is out of date or incorrect, is either destroyed or amended to be accurate.
  2. The Board will delegate the task of adequate documentation and secure storage of all records to the Young Life Australia Database Manager.
  3. The Database Manager is responsible for the implementation of our record keeping procedures.
  4. Child Safe records will be kept in secure (locked or pass-worded) storage for a period of not less than 45 years.
  5. The Area Manager will collect information using information and permission forms for giving permission in situations including but not limited to:
    • collecting, retaining, and distributing of personal information of program participants;
    • taking photos, displaying photos of attendees in hard copy or electronic forms such as communication or social media platforms;
    • providing details of persons appearing in photos in either hard or electronic forms.
  6. Employment records, including all documentation as part of our Child Safe Procedures will be securely stored electronically by the Database Manager.
  7. Child protection reports and records, including all documentation as part of our Child Safe Procedures will be securely stored electronically by the Child Safety Office. These records will be kept permanently.
  8. Incident reports and records including all documentation as part of our Child Safe Procedures will be securely stored electronically by the Database Manager. These records will be kept permanently.

Workplace Investigation

The Workplace Investigation process is designed to address allegations of misconduct, where a formal process is required to make findings for implementation of risk management and/or disciplinary actions, including government statutory body required or insurance investigations.

This process is not designed for use where there are allegations of very minor misconduct which requires only admonition and correcting worker behaviour, nor is this process appropriate for resolving conflicts or misunderstandings between parties. Young Life’s procedure for Conflict Resolution is available through its communication platforms.

For situations where a worker (volunteer or paid) is alleged to have engaged in minor or unknown conduct or a minor breach of a relevant Code of Conduct, the matter should be dealt with pastorally by the appropriate leader with a view to re-correcting behaviours.

This process aims at working through information relating to allegations of more serious misconduct, for findings to ensure all parties are offered natural justice.

The procedures associated with responding to workplace concerns are very detailed. A Workplace Investigation quick reference table for the appropriate action to be taken can be found in the “Resources” folder in the Child Protection section of the Training site.

Responding to Incidents and Emergencies

The Child Safe Framework Procedure for responding to incidents and emergencies is our commitment to ensuring the welfare of all young people through the implementation and ongoing improvement of our Child Safe Framework which includes friendly, appropriate and expedient responses to all incidents and accidents.

Incidents and critical incident response procedures form part of our overall programs safety procedures as found in our Safety Management Manual. Our response to incident procedures management applies to our common law duty of care, Work Health and Safety and specifically to the minimising of safety risks for young people who are in our care.

The Board will delegate the task of management of incidents and critical incidents to the CEO or designee.

 

The CEO or designee is responsible for the implementation of our incident and critical incident procedures.

The appropriate Accident and Incident Report Form to be used to report accidents or incidents be found in the “Resources” folder in the Child Protection section of the Training site.

Responding to Child Protection Concerns

The Child Safe Framework Procedure for responding to child protection concerns relates to the implementation of the following Policy statement:

We commit to the welfare of all young people through the implementation and ongoing improvement of our Child Safe Framework which includes friendly, appropriate and expedient responses to all incidents, accidents or child protection concerns.

 

These responses will be:

  • Child Centred Approach to Reporting
    • (Our commitment) to a child focussed approach … starts with the question: “How is the young person experiencing the suspected or actual harm?” and then act in the best interests of the young person.
  • …reported as soon as is practicable when
    • A young person disclosed that they are being harmed or are at risk of being harmed
    • Another person discloses that a young person is being harmed or is at risk of being harmed
    • The worker has a reasonable concern that a young person is at risk of harm (based on the indicators of young people who may be at risk of harm).

The procedures associated with responding to child protection concerns are very detailed. The Child Safe Concerns Record  that is to be completed as well as a quick reference table for the appropriate action to be taken in different situations can be found in the “Resources” folder in the Child Protection section of the Training site.

Resources