NVM Child Safe Complaints Management Policy
Child Safety Commitment
We want children to be safe, happy and empowered. We support and respect NVM staff and are committed to the safety, respectful participation and agency of all children. We have zero tolerance of child abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect) and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures. We are committed to the cultural safety of all Indigenous Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability. We work in partnership with schools/host organisations to provide high quality safe programs for students. We are committed to providing an environment where all young people feel valued and can learn in a supportive atmosphere regardless of their skill level. We are committed to receiving feedback and looking at ways to improve our safety and quality of programs. Our child safe policy is linked to our website for schools, parents and students to easily access. Any compliments or complaints can be provided to the instructor, the school or directly the NVM, Nikki Visaj. Parents are an important part of the NVM community and should always feel their children are safe. We expect all parents and carers to uphold us on the child safe standards and code of conduct. We have zero tolerance of bullying and regularly work with our staff and students to ensure this is embedded in our culture. Should a child safety concern be raised within our organisation concerning any of our students, instructors, staff, or any other person accessing our organisation we wish to be immediately contacted and are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children as our highest priority in our response. Anyone may make a report to Child Protection or the Police if they believe, on reasonable grounds, that a child needs protection. It is a requirement of all staff that suspected criminal child abuse must be reported to the police or child protection as soon as is practicable.
If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse, phone 000
Recognising and Reporting Signs of Abuse
Concerns about the safety and wellbeing of children can range from an uncomfortable feeling through to a direct observation or a disclosure by a child. All members of our organisation are encouraged to speak to someone and be proactive rather than wait until it is too late. An instructor may, during participating in the activities of NVM or carrying out their work, form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection from child abuse. If a person is concerned about an immediate risk to a child’s safety, the person must phone “000” as soon as practicable. There are four types of Child abuse: 1. Physical abuse: occurs when a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm because of a physical injury, such as a non-accidental physical injury. 2. Sexual abuse: occurs when a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm because of sexual abuse, such as when a child is exploited, or used by another for his or her sexual gratification or sexual or arousal or for that of others (grooming). 3. Emotional and psychological abuse: occurs when a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, emotional or psychological harm of such a kind that the child’s emotional or intellectual development is or is likely to be significantly damaged; and 4. Neglect: occurs when a child’s physical development or health has been or is likely to be significantly damaged. It refers to an omission, such as depriving a child of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, or medical care. A report to police or the Department of Health and Human Services (Child Protection) can be made if they have formed a belief, on reasonable grounds, that a child needs protection because they have suffered (or are likely to suffer) significant harm due to physical or sexual abuse. This report must be made as soon as practicable, and after each occasion where he or she becomes aware of a further reasonable ground for the belief. A ‘reasonable belief’ or a ‘belief on reasonable grounds’ is not the same as having proof but is more than mere rumour or speculation. NVM will have reasonable grounds to notify if: · a child states that they have been physically or sexually abused; · a child states that they know someone who has been physically or sexually abused (sometimes the child may be talking about themselves); - someone who knows a child states that the child has been physically or sexually abused; - observations of the child’s behavior or development leads to forming a belief that the child has been physically or sexually abused or is likely to be abused; - or signs of abuse lead to a belief that the child has been physically or sexually abused.
Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
If a person receives information that leads them to form a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria against a child (under the age of 16 years) by another person (of or over the age of 18 years), the person has a legal obligation to disclose that information to the Police as soon as it is practicable. Individuals who fail to comply with this obligation under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) may be subject to a penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
NVM Approach to Reports of Abuse
Should a child safety concern be raised within our organisation concerning any of our students, instructors, staff, or any other person accessing our facilities, then the following process will be followed: Anyone may make a report to Child Protection or the Police if they believe, on reasonable grounds, that a child needs protection. It is a requirement of all staff that suspected criminal child abuse must be reported to the police or child protection as soon as is practicable. Complaints can be made directly to NVM child safety officer, Nicole or through the school if preferred. Nicole Bakri - Phone: 0425131554 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NVM supports and encourages a person to make a report to the Police or DHHS if they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection, or they are concerned about the safety, health or wellbeing of a child. If an allegation is made against an instructor or employee, NVM will take all steps to ensure that the safety of the child is paramount. An initial step will involve the immediate withdrawal of the accused person from undertaking the role as instructor. NVM will investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct against a child in accordance with procedural fairness and will handle the allegations in a confidential manner to the greatest extent possible. NVM will cooperate with the directions of the Police and/or DHHS in relation to any investigation conducted by these authorities. NVM will also investigate any concern raised regarding inappropriate conduct in accordance with its Code of Conduct and Child Safe Policy. Examples of child safety concerns include but are not limited to: • Concerns about a physical environment that may pose a risk to children (this includes health and hygiene issues); • Inappropriate or special relationships developing between staff and children; • Inadequate staff–child supervision ratios; • Breaches of the Code of Conduct; • Feelings of discomfort about interactions between a staff member and child; • Suspicions or beliefs that children are at risk of harm; • Observations of concerning changes in behaviour; • Children’s disclosures of abuse or harm, which must be reported to Child Protection or the police; Should instructors or staff have a concern about any of the above they are required to speak immediately with our child safe champion Nicole Bakri. Should the champion not be available then staff and instructors must speak with another Director. A direct report must be made either by the instructor or staff member alone or together with the child safe champion, manager or other Director to School Contact as well as Child Protection or the Police. Once a report has been made or concerns have been raised in our organisation an internal investigation will commence immediately. This may include: • Immediate contact with Police and/or Child Protection and in accordance with their guidance an internal investigation will only commence when they give permission to do so, then; • Talking with members of the organisation, school/host organisation including students and parents and taking statements (either verbal or written); • Meetings and further discussions with involved parties; • Possible immediate suspension and/or discontinuation of instructor or employee involvement with NVM All investigations will be fully documented and stored securely. Any information collected will only be shared with appropriate people and/or organisations. Please note: Investigations of any matter by police must always take priority over internal investigations.
The safety and needs of the children in our care will always be our primary consideration. Staff and instructors are encouraged to call the police on triple zero (000) if they have immediate concerns for a child’s safety or if they reasonably believe child harm/abuse may have occurred.