Child Protection & Intervention Policy
The issue of child abuse is a complex problem that has an impact on all areas of society, including participation in recreation activities.
The Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service, led to increased community awareness of the significant number of child sexual assaults and incidents of abuse which occur. It also highlighted the need for the development and implementation of strategies to protect children from abusive situations.
Protecting children from abuse is a responsibility that we must all undertake. Through the implementation of strategies that assist in preventing child abuse from occurring, Southern Highlands Youth Arts Council Inc. (SHYAC) has taken a pro-active role in relation to child protection and intervention. These strategies will help to foster a safe and positive environment for children and young people to participate in artistic and physical activities.
In addition, development of Child Protection and Intervention Policy and Guidelines provides the Organisation with an excellent risk management tool for developing prevention strategies and for the effective management of child abuse issues.
This policy was first developed as a formal SHYAC policy in 2009 to provide direction for officials, volunteers, members and parents of children and young people involved in SHYAC, and affiliated organisations. It will help continue to deliver a consistent approach to child abuse prevention for SHYAC .
Paul McShane 5th January 2021
President of SHYAC Date
SHYAC is committed to ensuring that the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children are maintained at all times during their participation in activities run by SHYAC.
SHYAC aims to promote a safe environment for all children and to assist all officials, members and volunteers to recognise child abuse and neglect and follow the appropriate notification procedures when reporting alleged abuse.
The focus of the policy and guidelines is the prevention of child abuse in the SHYAC environment.
This policy and guidelines promote the care and protection of children participating in all aspects of the Arts programs and events run or supported by SHYAC and to provide information and direction for, official, volunteers and members of the Organisation.
This policy and guidelines will assist SHYAC in establishing coordinated strategies for dealing with the problem of child abuse and neglect in a responsible, effective and consistent manner.
Through the development of this policy
SHYAC objectives are to:
|scope of POLICY
The Child Protection Intervention Policy of SHYAC are applicable to all management and staff (paid, voluntary, permanent or casual) of SHYAC, its affiliates and contractors.
|Implementation of Legislation
In order to implement the child protection legislation SHYAC will undertake to:
Administrators, officials, members and volunteers often have a high level of contact with children in the Arts environment and play a major part in the successful operation of Arts activities.
Officials are often seen as role models. They have significant influence on the children they come into contact with and therefore have significant responsibilities.
SHYAC expects that all administrators and officials whether paid or unpaid, who participate in organised activities under the banner of this Organisation will commit to implementing risk management strategies developed by SHYAC for child protection and intervention.
SHYAC Child Protection and Intervention Policy and Guidelines will be reviewed annually and updated in line with any legislative changes that have significant impact on the manner in which child protection and intervention issues are to be dealt with.
Paul McShane 5th January 2021
Notification Procedures for Allegations of Child Abuse
SHYAC acknowledges that issues regarding child abuse and the reporting of allegations of child abuse is highly sensitive, and should be dealt with in a confidential manner.
SHYAC has developed these notification procedures to ensure that confidentiality is maintained throughout the process and that consistent procedures for reporting are encouraged.
SHYAC will be proactive in its role to protect children and encourage an open environment that allows employees and members to be aware of their rights and responsibilities within the Organisation.
|Child Protection Officer
To deal appropriately with these issues and to ensure that the
confidentiality of all parties involved is maintained, one person
within SHYAC will be designated as the child protection officer.
The child protection officer is responsible for reporting any allegations of child abuse that occur in SHYAC to the local branch of the Department of Communities and Justice, and the NSW Police Service. If the child protection officer is not available then the most senior person within SHYAC should be notified.
Child Protection Officer:
Name: Paul McShane
Position: 2023 – 24 Secretary
Mobile: 0408 659 896
|What should be Report ed?
Some incidents may seem minor, however, they may in fact reveal more serious concerns of misconduct or a pattern of behaviour that requires further scrutiny. All people associated with SHYAC should be aware of the indicators for child abuse and sexual abuse so that they may make an informed decision on what to report.
If you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child participating in any organised activities conducted by SHYAC is at risk report the matter to the child protection officer.
Verbal notification of alleged child abuse must be followed up in writing within 24 hours to the local Department of Community Services using the child protection notification form provided.
If an incident of child abuse occurs in SHYAC it is not the responsibility of persons within SHYAC to take it upon themselves to determine whether the allegation is true or false. This responsibility belongs with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, the NSW Police and the Judiciary.
Depending on the nature of the allegations and the extent of the situation, the NSW Department of Communities and Justice will determine the manner in which the matter will be investigated. This may involve the NSW Police Service.
All matters regarding allegations of child abuse are to be treated as confidential. The person designated as the child protection officer is the contact person for any incident involving allegations of child abuse. This is essential for confidentiality. Confidentiality protects all individuals involved:
|Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998
Under the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 ______________________
SHYAC is required to:
|Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998
Under the Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998
|CHILDREN’S GUARDIAN aCT (2019)
Under the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 as at the date of policy review
SHYAC does not appear to be an entity coming under the reportable conduct obligations.
Nevertheless SHYAC endeavours to meet similar provisions for such entities, especially in relation to the requirement of a Working With Children Check for any personnel, contractors or volunteers who are deemed to have close contact with children by the nature of their role.