Child Safe Policy
This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of Premier School of Dance to child safety and establishing and maintaining child safe and child friendly environments.
It complies with our obligations under the Children’s Protection Act 1993, including:
- Section 8B – 8D – child safe environments and criminal history assessments for people working with children; and
- Section 11 – Mandatory reporting.
It also complies with the Child safe environments: Principles of good practice and Child safe environments: Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children.
This policy applies to all people involved in the organisation, including employees (permanent and casual) and volunteers.
Commitment to child safety
All children who come to Premier School of Dance 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 and 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.
Premier School of Dance encourages and respects the views of children and young people who access our services. We listen to and act upon any concerns that children, young people or their families raise with us. We teach children what they can do if they feel unsafe.
We ensure that children, young people and their families know their rights and how to access the complaints procedures available to them via our website.
Premier School of Dance takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children.
Criminal history assessments are required for anyone within our organisation that:
- Has regular contact with children and is not directly supervised at all times
- Works in close proximity to children on a regular basis and is not directly supervised at all times
- Supervises or manages
- Has access to sensitive records relating to children or young people.
Exemptions from this requirement may apply in some circumstances.
Code of Conduct
All members are made aware of, and must abide by, our Code of Conduct availabe on our website. Our Code of Conduct was developed in collaboration with all our employees, volunteers, the children who use our services and their parents.
Support for employees and volunteers
Premier School of Dance seeks to attract and retain the best employees and volunteers. We provide support so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated. All new employees undergo induction and receive a copy of our child safe policy and code of conduct to sign.
Reporting and responding to suspected child abuse and neglect
Premier School of Dance will not tolerate incidents of child abuse. All employees and volunteers understand their obligation to notify the Director, Nikki Abdilla then action a call to the Child Abuse Report Line on 13 14 78 as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a child has been, or is being, abused or neglected.
Anyone charged with, or under investigation for a serious criminal offense will be asked to remove themselves from our premises until the matter has been dealt with. Premier School of Dance will work with the Child Abuse Helpline discuss the best individual approach for all parties involved.
We also ensure that employees have access to relevant information resources such as:
- Child safe environment: www.families.sa.gov.au/childsafe)
- Families SA reporting child abuse website: http://www.dfc.sa.gov.au/pub/default.aspx?tabid=485
- Free online SMART (Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma) Learning package, developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation: www.childhood.org.au)
We ensure that support is also available for the employee making the report, particularly where an ongoing service is provided to the child, young person and their family.
Supporting children, young people and their families
Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility. Premier School of Dance recognises that even when a report is made, we may still have a role in supporting the child or young person. This support may include:
- Referring the child, young person or their family to other appropriate services
- Dealing with reports or concerns relating to the actions of an employee or volunteer of our organisation
- In addition to making a report to the Child Abuse Report Line, employees and volunteers must also report to Nikki Abdilla if reasonable suspicion is formed that a child has been, or is being, abused or neglected by another member, employee, or volunteer.
- In response to any report to management concerning a member, employee or volunteer of this organisation, management may determine to take disciplinary action.
- Other protective actions may also be introduced to ensure the safety of children and young people within our organisation.
- Employees with knowledge or suspicion of child abuse must report to Nikki Abdilla, the Director and ensure confidentially to all other persons within the organisation including employees, parents and children.
Harassment and bullying
Premier School of Dance opposes all forms of harassment and bullying. We take this issue seriously and encourage anyone who believes that they, or another person, has been harassed, or bullied to raise this issue with Nikki Abdilla or management.
This policy is available for access 24/7 to everyone via our website.
We ask employees and volunteers (where appropriate) to sign a written statement indicating that they have read and will abide by our child-safe policy. We retain a copy of all signed statements.
Conducting criminal history assessments
Prior to the appointment of a new employee/volunteer and then at three yearly intervals, Premier School of Dance will direct the employee/volunteer to obtain a Letter of Clearance from the Screening Unit as evidence that the applicant does not pose an increased risk of harm to children. Premier School of Dance may obtain a further criminal history assessment for an employee/volunteer at any time that Premier School of Dance believes it necessary or desirable for the purpose of maintaining a child safe environment.
The informed written consent of the employee/volunteer is required prior to conducting a criminal history assessment. The Screening Unit’s informed consent form is available from www.dfc.sa.gov.au/pub/screening.
Information relating to a person’s criminal history and the assessment process is managed securely and confidentially and in accordance with the Child Safe Environments: Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children issued pursuant to Section 8A of the Children’s Protection Act 1993.
Exemptions from this requirement may apply in some circumstances (see below). However Premier School of Dance retains the discretion to decide on a case-by-case basis whether any relevant exemptions will be exercised.
The following organisations, persons and positions are exempt from the application of Section 8B of the Act:
- An organisation that provides equipment, food or venues for children’s parties or events and does not provide any other services;
- 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;
- A person appointed as a police officer;
- A person who is a registered teacher (within the meaning of the Teachers Registration and Standards Act 2004);
- A person who undertakes, or a position that only involves, work that is not for the exclusive benefit of children and is not provided to any child on an individual basis;
- A position that only involves prescribed functions because children are employed or engaged to work as volunteers by the person occupying the position or by that person’s employer;
- A position in which all work involving children is undertaken in the presence of the children’s parents or guardians and in which there is ordinarily no physical contact with the children.
Child Protection guidelines for employees and volunteers of Premier School of Dance
Caring for children and young people brings additional responsibilities for employees and volunteers of this organisation. All employees and volunteers of this organisation are responsible for promoting the safety and well-being of children and young people by:
- Ensuring the safety and welfare of the child or young person is paramount at all times.
- Treating all children and young people with dignity, equality and respect.
- Adhering to this organisation’s child safe policy at all times.
- Listening and responding appropriately to the views and concerns of children and young people within the organisation.
- Taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and protection of children and young people within the organisation.
- Ensuring children and young people understand their rights and explaining to the child in age-appropriate language what they can expect when participating in a service, activity or program offered by the organisation.
- Responding quickly, fairly and transparently to any serious complaints made by a child, young person or their parent/guardian.
- Notifying the Child Abuse Report Line on 13 14 78 as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a child or young person has been or is being abused or neglected.
Employees/volunteers will not:
• Take part in any unnecessary physical contact with a child or young person.
• Discriminate against any child or young person because of age, gender, cultural background, religion, vulnerability or sexuality.