Module 4 Identify and Respond to Children and Young People at Risk
All children and young people have the right to be free from harm and to play, learn and be cared for in a safe and secure environment. Nannies will treat all children with respect and understanding throughout their communications and interactions.
There are ethical considerations which Nannies need to work with in response to recognising and managing children who are at risk.
All SCN Nannies are Mandatory Reporters. Mandatory reporting is the legislative requirement for selected classes of people to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities.
In NSW, mandatory reporting is regulated by the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (the Care Act). A mandatory reporter in NSW is an individual required by under Section 27 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 to report to the Child Protection Helpline when he/she has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child, or a class of children, is at Risk Of Significant Harm from abuse or neglect, and those grounds arise during the course of or from the person’s work.
What Is Child Abuse and Neglect?
The World Health Organization ([WHO], 2006, p. 9) defines child abuse and neglect as:
“All forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”.
Definitions of child abuse and neglect can include adults, young people and older children as the perpetrators of the abuse. It is commonly stated in legislation that the term ‘child abuse and neglect’ refers to behaviours and treatment that result in the actual and/or likelihood of harm to the child or young person. Furthermore, such behaviours may be intentional or unintentional and can include acts of omission (i.e., neglect) and commission.
Please refer to the South Coast Nannies website under Nannies – Resources to obtain additional information and training regarding relevant information about Mandatory Reporting and Child Story Reporting (which is an online tool that supports mandatory reporters to decide how to respond to events and access the Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG), if needed, guiding you through the reporting process, suggesting appropriate actions and linking you to more resources).
Child Safe Organisation
As a Child Safe Organisation, SCN is committed to the health, protection, safety, well being and support of all children, young people and families using our services whether on a casual or permanent basis.
Our Child Safe Standards Policy outlines your role with South Coast Nannies in relation to keeping children and young people safe and free from harm.
SCN Child Safe Standards
1. Child safety and well being is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
SCN is committed to safety management with risk assessment protocols to support the Nannies on every assignment, ensuring that the children in their care are safe from harm.
2. Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
SCN and its Nannies create a safe environment which is friendly, supportive and nurturing, allowing children to participate and voice their opinions in decision making reflecting their individual choices.
3. Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and well being.
Families are encouraged to communicate their specific requirements related to the care of their children on our Family Information Forms, and through liaison with SCN and its Nannies. Feedback forms are provided via email to reflect on the services provided in relation to the safety and care of their children.
This informs parents and Nannies about safeguarding children and vulnerable people and encourages their feedback and opinions about relevant policies and practices.
4. Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
SCN are respectful and sensitive with families who are diverse in background, culture, language, faith, religion, family structure, ability, gender and sexuality. Our communication and interactions with families and Nannies provide guidance with any ethical issues which may arise.
5. People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and well being values in practice.
SCN ensures that all its Nannies have completed appropriate First Aid training, have undertaken the Working with Children Check (through the Office of Children’s Guardian), have been reference checked through phone interviews and have completed our Induction Process, (highlighting the policies and procedures which relate to the safety, care and education of the children), and have completed professional development through our Staff management software.
6. Processes to respond to complaints and concerns are child focused.
SCN reflects on the Child Safe Code of Conduct through its Complaints Policy, demonstrating its commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children and families.
7. Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
SCN is committed to ensuring that all aspects of children’s safety are protected when in care and all Nannies must comply with Mandatory Reporting Regulations. Mandatory reporting is the legislative requirement to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities.
Through SCN’s Induction process, Nannies are provided with educational resources to extend their knowledge and awareness regarding the safety of children.
All Nannies are provided with the essential contact details to ensure that safety procedures are followed, including: – Poisons Information Centre 13 11 26, SCN Emergency number 0412 138 755 and Child Protection Helpline 13 2111.
8. Physical and online environments promote safety and well being while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
To ensure children are safe from harm, SCN uses Risk Assessment procedures to identify and manage risks within the physical environments.
Our Risk Management Strategies identify, assess risks, provide controls or eliminations, and include processes to address and report potential risks including environments, wildlife, drugs and alcohol, adult-to-child or child-to-child interactions. Any risks identified are recorded and minimised/eliminated where practicable.
9. Implementation of the National Child Safe Principles is regularly reviewed and improved.
SCN follows the National Child Safe Principles throughout all policies and practices. They are reviewed annually to reflect changes in legislation to update and improve our Child Safe practices.
10. Policies and Procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
SCN ensures the safety of children and young people through our commitment to Child Safe practices through the following Policies.