CHILD SAFE POLICY

The purpose of our Child Safe Policy is to demonstrate the strong commitment of Mansfield Autism Statewide Service to the care, safety and well being of all students/young people we have contact with. It provides an outline of the policies, procedures and strategies developed to keep students safe from harm, including all forms of abuse in our school environments, and in other locations provided and supported by Mansfield Autism Statewide Services.

This policy takes into account relevant legislative requirements within the State of Victoria, including the specific requirements of the Victorian Child Safe Standards as set out in Ministerial Order No. 870.

This policy applies to school staff, including volunteers, contractors and board members.

Download a copy of our CHILD SAFE Policy

MASS CHILD SAFE POLICY

CODE OF CONDUCT

All staff, volunteers and board members of Mansfield Autism Statewide Service are required to observe Child Safe principles and expectations for appropriate behaviour towards and in the company of children, as noted below.
All personnel of Mansfield Autism Statewide Service are responsible for supporting the safety, participation, wellbeing and empowerment of children by:

• adhering to Mansfield Autism Statewide Service child safe policy at all times  and upholding Mansfield Autism Statewide Service Policy on child safety at all time

• adhering to Mansfield Autism Statewide Service child safe policy at all times  and upholding Mansfield Autism Statewide Service Policy on child safety at all time

• taking all reasonable steps to protect children from abuse

• treating everyone with respect

• listening and responding to the views and concerns of children, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused and/or are worried about their safety or the safety of another

• promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal  children (for example, by never questioning an Aboriginal child’s self-identification)

• promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds (for example, by having a zero tolerance of discrimination)

• promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of children with a disability (for example, during personal care activities)• ensuring as far as practicable that adults are not left alone with a child

• all parents, guardians, carers and visitors, to all sites, must sign in to the building and must be accompanied/ supervised by a member of staff at all times. Parents/guardians/carers who wish to spend time at the school and the Resi will be asked to complete a Working with Children Check or a Volunteer Working with Children Check.

• Volunteers may sometimes work with children – this is only allowable if current Police Check and Working with Children check are in place and that the Child Safety Officer has been informed. Volunteers will be supervised by a member of staff at all times. Volunteers will be required to read and sign the Code of Conduct.

• reporting any allegations of child abuse to Mansfield Autism Statewide Service Child Safety Officers Sophie Walker, Mercia Nelson (Mansfield Campus) and Katrine Ziemer (Dookie Campus) and ensuring any allegation are reported to the police or child protection.

• if an allegation of child abuse is made, ensure as quickly as possible that the child(ren) are safe

• reporting any child safety concerns to Mansfield Autism Statewide Service Child Safety Officers Sophie Walker, Mercia Nelson and Katrine Ziemer.

• encouraging children to ‘have a say’ and participate in all relevant organisational activities where possible, especially on issues that are important to them.

Staff and volunteers must not:

• develop any ‘special’ relationships with children that could be seen as favouritism (for example, the offering of gifts or special treatment for specific children)

• exhibit behaviours with children which may be construed as unnecessarily physical (for example inappropriate sitting on laps. Sitting on laps could be appropriate sometime, for example while reading a storybook to a small child in an open plan area)

• put children at risk of abuse (for example, not taking reasonable steps to minimise risk where possible).

• do things of a personal nature that a child can do for themselves, such as toileting, showering or changing clothes

• engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children (for example, personal social activities)

• use inappropriate language in the presence of children

• express personal views on cultures, race or sexuality in the presence of children

• discriminate against any child, including because of culture, race, ethnicity or disability

• have contact with a child or their family outside of our organisation without a Child Safety Officer’s knowledge and/or consent (for example, no babysitting). Accidental contact, such as seeing people in the street, is appropriate)

• have any online contact with a child or their family (unless necessary, for example providing families with e-newsletters) this includes Social Media Sites (Facebook, Instagram etc.)

• ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse.

Download and sign our staff and volunteers code of conduct:

Code of Conduct Form – Child Safe