CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

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Enquiries to:

Supervisor, Management

Applies to:

Staff, children and parents


POLICY

Kidz Corner Miramar's Child Protection Policy is to ensure the protection of the children and teachers who attend the centre. All children will be treated with dignity and respect, kept free from physical, emotional and sexual abuse and have their needs met in a safe environment.

Management will ensure that appropriate support systems for teachers, children and families are provided when they are dealing with suspected child abuse (Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. Regulation 43 Curriculum standard: general (1) (a) (ii) (IV), (b) (c) (ii), (2). Regulation 46 Health and safety practices standard: general (1) (a). Regulation 47 Governance, management, and administration standard: general (1) (e), (2); Children Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989; Vulnerable Children Act 2014; Privacy Act 1993

For the purpose of this policy, abuse is used in the context of adult to child. This could be staff to child or an adult (outside of the centre) to the child.

Abuse relating to child to child or child to adult is not within the scope of this policy.

OBJECTIVES, DEFINITION AND PROCEDURES (Criteria HS31)

Definition:
Child abuse is defined in the Children Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 as “the harming (whether physically, emotionally, or sexually), ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation of any child or young person”

Neglect may be:


Objectives:


PROCEDURES

    Training:

  1. Management and teachers are required to be familiar with the Child Protection Policy.
  2. We are committed to increasing and maintaining staff awareness of how to prevent, recognise and respond to abuse. Management will ensure that all staff have access to, and will be encouraged to attend, a child protection training course when it is felt knowledge needs to be updated (Criteria GMA7).

  3. Information Access

  4. All written material (such as magazines, books and newspapers) and ICT access will be monitored by teachers for inappropriate content (see Cyber safety, Information, Communication and Technology Policy).
  5. Teachers value the internet as a learning tool. Children’s access to the internet will be limited to child appropriate web sites only (see Cyber Safety Policy).

  6. Safe Recruitment of Staff

  7. All appointments (permanent, fixed term, casual or volunteer) to positions that have direct and/or frequent contact with children will be conditional on a safety check. Further information regarding safety checking, including vetting and screening procedures, is found in the Staff Safety Checking Policy and Staff Policy.
  8. Any student visitors to the centre are screened by their Tertiary Institution. A letter confirming their successful safety check, including vetting and screening is required prior to the student starting at the centre.

  9. Relievers, Visitors and Students

  10. Teachers will inform families about relievers, visitors and students in the centre.
  11. Any relief teachers supplied by the current preferred agency are screened by the agency using the following criteria: obtaining a work history covering the preceding 5 years, at least one reference check, information from any relevant professional organisation, experience working with children, interview, NZ Police Vet check, check of original qualifications and photo identification.

  12. Children

  13. Safe play will be part of the programme with the correct naming of parts of the body and children learning their right to say “NO” in situations where they feel uncomfortable or which they believe to be wrong (Criteria C10).
  14. The centre’s curriculum will support children’s developing social competence and understanding of appropriate behaviour (Criteria C10).

  15. Teachers and Supervision

  16. All children are to be in sight of the teacher responsible for them at all times and where practical all teachers can be observed by other staff members.
  17. All parts of the outdoor area, where children can go, shall be able to be readily observed by teachers supervising. The teacher supervising children shall, as far as practicable, be observable by one other staff member.
  18. All parts of the indoor area, where children can go, shall be able to be readily observed by teachers supervising. The teachers supervising children shall, as far as practicable, be observable by one other staff member (Criteria PF2, PF25).

  19. Professionalism

  20. Staff are encouraged to keep their professional and personal lives separate. Staff working outside centre hours as babysitters for parents/caregivers are not acting as employees of the Centre. Kidz Corner accepts no responsibility for any staff member who is working in this capacity. All staff should be aware of strategies for protecting themselves from suspicion of abuse.

  21. Toileting Routine

  22. The centre has an open door policy for toileting and nappy changing areas. When changing children’s clothing or assisting children with toileting teachers will consider their own visibility to others (Criteria PF25). Communication will occur between teachers when a child is being assisted with toileting or nappy changing.
  23. Toileting and nappy changing will be recorded on the Nappy Chart, which includes the day, date, name of the child, name of the staff member, and a description of the event (Criteria HS3).
  24. It is Kidz Corner Policy that visitors, parent helpers, relievers and students will not assist children (other than their own) with toileting or changing clothes.

  25. Rules about touching children

  26. The care and teaching of children involves physical contact. This is normal, natural and desirable. It is natural to touch children to show affection, to comfort, to reassure them and to give them praise, as well as taking care of some of their physical needs. However, it is not acceptable to force unwanted affection or touching on a child.
  27. Parents, students and visitors are welcome in the centre, but are not permitted perform care taking tasks with other people’s children or be alone with them.

  28. Parents/Guardians and Whanau

  29. We are committed to increasing and maintaining parents’ awareness of how to prevent, recognise, and respond to abuse. The Supervisor, Assistant Supervisor and teachers will ensure that all parents have access to current information and policies (Criteria GMA2).
  30. Parents/whanau and caregivers of children at the centre are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Child Protection Policy. A copy of the Child Protection Policy is available on the Kidz Corner website.
  31. Parents are required to identify the people who have the authority to collect their child/ren on the Kidz Corner enrolment form. If a person picking up a child is not identified on the enrolment form parents are requested to inform a staff member and identify them on the sign in sheet (Criteria GMA10).
  32. Parents are welcome to spend time at the centre but must report to the Supervisor on arrival.
  33. If there is a legal custody arrangement regarding access to a child, then a copy of the document outlining the legal arrangements must be given to the Supervisor on enrolment or as soon as possible after the change in circumstances has occurred (Criteria GMA10).

  34. Contact with Professional Agencies

  35. Management and teachers will have up to date working knowledge of agencies, which have the statutory power and skill to respond to allegations of child abuse and to protect children from all forms of abuse. These agencies may include but are not limited to: Police, Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, or Public Health (Hutt Valley District Health Board). Teachers should not assume responsibility beyond their level of expertise and should contact a professional agency for support if necessary (Criteria GMA7).

  36. Accusations concerning/involving teachers

  37. When it is suspected that a staff member has perpetrated abuse, the staff member under suspicion will be prevented from having any further access to children at the centre during the investigation and will be informed of their rights. The centre Service Provider, the person nominated to take responsibility for meeting the regulatory requirements of the centre (named on the Centre Licence) will ensure that the Procedures for Reporting Abuse and Centre Complaints Procedure is followed and report the matter to the statutory authorities (Criteria GMA7).
  38. The accused teacher will have the right to a support person throughout the complaint procedure. The centre will also provide a list of support agencies for families involved in allegations of suspected abuse.
  39. A member of the Management team will be appointed to support the remaining teaching team.

  40. Reporting disclosures

  41. Teachers will take seriously any disclosure from a child. In any action the safety of the child is paramount.
  42. No decisions or actions in respect of suspected or actual child abuse are to be made by any staff member in isolation unless there are concerns for the immediate safety of the child.
  43. Teachers will keep a record of what has been observed and disclosed by the child – a report of the verbal and behavioural observations shall include dates, times, and the name of the person making the observations. All follow up actions shall be recorded.
  44. A consultative approach is essential to ensure the safety of the child and the staff member. Teachers will consult the Supervisor, Assistant Supervisor/s or Service Provider to discuss concerns regarding a suspected child abuse case.
  45. Giving information to protect children better is not a breach in confidentiality. Wherever possible the family/whanau will be kept informed of what information has been shared and to which agency, and for what purpose. Guidance for sharing information with family/whanau is to be sought from either the Police Child Protection Team or Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children. Principle 11 of the Privacy Act, 1993, states “disclosure of the information is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat”.
  46. Teachers will maintain appropriate confidentiality at all times. It is critical that as concerns arise the appropriate people are informed and the critical information is not held back when a report to the relevant agency is made.

Disclosure of Abuse Steps

In the instance of a child disclosing abuse:


Centre Supervisor:

Trust Board Chairman:

Reviewed: August 2017
Next Review: August 2019

APPENDIX A

Information required for reporting:
When a notification is made to Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, the centre needs to provide the following information:


    What happens once a report has been made?

  1. Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children will generate a letter to the person named as ‘notifier’ acknowledging the reporting, and advising which Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children site the matter was referred to recommending either further action or no further action.
  2. Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children will make the final decision as to whether or not further action will be taken and by whom.
  3. Depending on the assessed level of needs for the child and their family a referral may be made to a non government organisation (NGO) social service for their support.
  4. If further action is to be taken the social worker allocated to the case will develop an investigation plan. This may require input from the notifier.
  5. Once the reporting has been investigated Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children will contact the notifier to advise if any further action has been taken or will be taken or whether a referral will be made to an NGO for either an assessment or for provision of family support.

If reporting is urgent the above actions will take place immediately.

The notifier may contact Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children Contact Centre at any stage to obtain information on the status of the notification.

Confidentiality to the Notifier

A person’s name will not normally be released in the absence of a request under the Official Information Act or Privacy Act. If a request is made the information will be released unless there is a reason to withhold such as:


However we cannot guarantee confidentiality. (Refer to Appendix 1: Release of notifier details under the Official Information Act 1982 and Privacy Act 1993).