CHILD PROTECTION & SAFETY POLICY
We are a welcoming school community that promotes self-worth and recognises the dignity and uniqueness of each individual.
This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of the whole school community of Saint Monica’s, leaders, staff, volunteers, students, their families, to child safety and to provide an outline of the policies and procedures developed to keep everyone safe from harm, including all forms of abuse.
COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY
All students enrolled, and any child visiting, have a right to feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we have zero tolerance to child abuse. We aim to create a child safe and child friendly environment where children feel safe and are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety.
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS TO SAFETY AND PARTICIPATION
The staff and volunteers of Saint Monica’s encourage students to express their views. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all students to openly express their views and feel comfortable about giving voice to the things that are important to them.
We teach students about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns students, or their parents or carers, raise with us.
Ways the school ensures this happens are…
- Continued implementation of Christian Education for Personal Development (CEPD)
- Implement The Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum
- Familiarizing staff, volunteers, parents, carers & students with theUnited Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Explicitly teach the Social Emotional Learning curriculum through PBIS and the Friendship Saver program
- Plan and deliver a whole school approach to Positive Behaviours in Schools
- Implement specific programs such as Friendship Saver to facilitate the development of resilience skills in students.
VALUING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
We value and celebrate diversity, especially cultural diversity, and we do not tolerate discriminatory practices. To achieve this we:
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal students and their families
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) and their families
- promote the personal safety, participation and empowerment of students with a disability and make them feel welcome and part of all aspects of school life
RECRUITING STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Saint Monica’s will apply the most thorough and rigorous standards in the recruitment and screening of staff and volunteers. We interview and conduct referee checks on all staff and volunteers and require police checks and Working With Children Checks (WWCC) for all staff and volunteers. Our commitment to Child Safety and our screening requirements are included in all advertisements for staff and volunteer positions.
Guidelines on the Employment of Staff in Catholic Schools.
SUPPORTING STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Saint Monica’s provides support and supervision to all staff and volunteers so people feel valued, respected, affirmed in their work and fairly treated. We have a Code of Conduct to provide guidance to our staff and volunteers, all of whom receive training on the requirements of the Code.
REPORTING A CHILD SAFETY CONCERN OR COMPLAINT
Our school records any child safety complaints, disclosures or breaches of the Code of Conduct, and store the records in accordance with security and privacy requirements. Our complaints and disclosure processes are outlined and detailed in the following policies and procedures
- Failure to Disclose
- Failure to protect
- Mandatory reporting
- Complaints handling procedure
Saint Monica’s has been appointed the principal as Child Safety Officer with specific responsibility for responding to any complaints made by staff, volunteers, parents or students in relation to Child Safety.
Risk management is an approach that minimises the potential for child abuse or harm to occur. Our Risk Management Plans outline and detail all aspects of risk across our whole school environment (on site and off site school activities) with specific activity risk assessments. In addition to our general Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse and harm to our students.
This policy is reviewed every three years and we undertake to seek feedback from students, parents, carers, staff and volunteers.
Policy Ratified: 2016
Next Review date: 2019