Everyone has a responsibility to protect the wellbeing and safety of children or young people whom they have contact, and report any case a child or young person is suspected to be at risk of significant harm. The following policy directives apply in my counselling service:
UNDER GUIDELINES REQUIREMENTS FOR A CHILD SAFE POLICY: applies to all sites and services involved in providing supports to children and young people under the age of 18 years.
Any case where there is reasonable grounds to suspect a child or young person is experiencing, or has experienced:
physical abuse sexual abuse or neglect, including failures in providing:
physical shelter/environment food
mental health care education
problematic sexual behaviour
carer concerns, such as:
parent/carer substance abuse
parent/carer mental health
parent/carer domestic violence
or there are concerns for an unborn child.
CHILD SAFE COMMITMENT
*provide services in a way that does not exploit or abuse our position
*listen to the views of children or young people and respect what they say and involve them when we make decisions, especially about matters that will directly affect them
*respect children and young people's rights, background, culture and beliefs as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
*comply with all relevant commonwealth, state or territory laws protecting children and young people
*follow mandatory reporting requirements for children or young people suspected to be at risk of significant harm report any concerning staff conduct towards children or young people, including any suspected risk of significant harm to a child, to the key management personnel
*safeguard children or young people at all times and not place them at risk of abuse, or condone behaviour which is unsafe
*use appropriate language for the age and understanding of the child or young person, and avoid confusing or age-inappropriate discussions with sexual, discriminatory or violent references
*avoid any actions or words intended to threaten, intimidate, shame, humiliate, belittle, embarrass or degrade children or young peoplenot attend work affected by illegal drugs or alcohol, consume them whilst on duty or supply them to children or young people in our care
*not smoke whilst on duty.
COMMUNICATION OF POLICY
*we will discuss this policy with all new participants under 18 years of age and their families.
BREACHES OF CHILD SAFE POLICY AS SET OUT UNDER NDIS REQUIREMENTS INCLUDE:
*failure to disclose—all adults in Australia with a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child have an obligation to report that information to the police
*failure to protect—key management personnel will commit an offence if they know of a substantial risk of child sexual abuse and have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently fail to do so
*breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action; however, a serious breach may be deemed a criminal offence under relevant legislation.
Consent is the permission given by a person or substitute decision maker concerning decisions that affect a person's life. Consent requires a person to be informed about what they are giving consent to or for. Consent requires an understanding of the decision at hand which is referred to as capacity. When a person has the capacity to make a particular decision, they can:
understand the facts and choices involved weigh up the consequences, and communicate the decision.
Some people may need support to exercise their capacity to make decisions that affect them, and to increase their decision making skills and confidence.
Participants are always presumed to have the capacity to make their own decisions and give consent when it is required, unless there is evidence otherwise. We don't assume a person lacks capacity because of their age, appearance, disability, behaviour, language skills or any other condition or characteristic
*encourage and support participants to make informed decisions when their consent is required
*ensure consent arrangements for participants, including any legal authorisations required, are recorded in the participant's file, and are reviewed and updated regularlyobtain consent from the participant prior to collecting, using and storing a participant's information and provide reasons why the information is needed
*obtain consent before disclosing any of a participant's personal information (such as case notes, management plans or assessments) to other parties
*only disclose participant information without consent if we believe the person is at risk of harm, an unlawful act has occurred or as otherwise required by law
*not influence or limit decision making and self-determination with our interests, beliefs or values when providing decision making support.
Consent from a participant or a substitute decision maker should always be in writing but if this is not practicable, verbal consent is acceptable providing it is later confirmed in writing.