The Music Place!

CHILD & YOUNG PERSON PROTECTION POLICY

Introduction

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium is dedicated to the emotional, physical and musical well-being of children under its care. Consequently, as a major strategic concern, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium is committed to the development and management of policy that governs the safety of students within its care and for the teaching, administrative and auxiliary staff employed by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium.

This policy will outline the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium’s policy regarding:
Child Protection in general
Child Protection Employment Requirements
Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Child Protection Reporting Procedures
Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Actions in response to allegations against Employees – Non-reportable, inappropriate conduct with children
Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Actions in response to allegations against Employees – Reportable Conduct
Equity and Confidentiality
Roles and Responsibilities

This policy has been developed in line with the NSW Ombudsman guidelines for child protection in the workplace and procedures for the management of child protection and in line with the relevant legislation regarding child protection.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following Goulburn Regional Conservatorium policies and contracts:
Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Code of Conduct
Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Policy
Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Employment Contracts

Relevant Legislation
NSW Ombudsman Act 1974
Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998
Child Protection (Prohibited Employment) Act 1998
Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
Crimes Act 1900
Privacy Act 1988
Freedom of Information Act 1982

Copies of legislation are available at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act 

Definitions
External organisation: Refers to any organisation including government and non-government primary school, secondary school or pre-school. External organisations also include tertiary institutions, churches or any other organisation where children are engaged. External organisations are also defined as being beyond the administrative or legal control of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium.

Personnel: refers to any employed, volunteer or visiting person engaged by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium specifically to work with children. Where personnel are specifically related to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium they are referred to within this policy as Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel.

Child Protection Policy Statement

Mandatory Reporters
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 (132 111) when he/she has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child, or a group 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.

Conservatorium employees are mandatory reporters.

Reportable Conduct under the Ombudsman Act 1974
Reportable conduct refers to the following:
Any sexual offence or sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child (including a child pornography offence or an
Offence involving child abuse material [within the meaning of Division
15A of Part 3 of the Crimes Act 1900]); or
Any assault, ill treatment or neglect of a child; or
Any behaviour that causes psychological harm to a child, whether or not, in any case, with the consent of the child.

Young Persons (Age 16–17 years)
As a mandatory reporter in NSW, you should also report concerns you have about the safety, welfare, or well being of a young person, under Section 24 Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Procedures for reporting concerns
If there are concerns about the safety, welfare or well-being of a child or young person normal procedures for reporting to FaCS are to be followed:
Inform the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director
Gather relevant information to make a report to Family and Community Services (FaCS) however, staff are not permitted to investigate or probe students for further information. Where a legitimate concern exists report first.
Provide any further information required by the FaCS Helpline Officer
If these concerns relate directly to the actions of the Director, report these directly to FaCS via their Helpline on 132 111.

Safeguards for people making a report
The identity of any individual who makes a report is confidential, although it is necessary to provide some identifying details when a report is made to FaCS Helpline.
Any person who makes a report in good faith to FaCS (or to a person who has the power or responsibility to protect the child or young person, i.e. the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director) has the following protection by law:
the making of a report does not constitute a breach of professional ethics or a departure from accepted standards of professional conduct
no liability for defamation can be incurred because of the report
the report is not admissible in any proceedings as evidence against the person who made the report
a person cannot be compelled in any proceedings to provide the report or give evidence of any of its contents
no person may disclose to anyone (including the parent/carer) the identity of the person who makes the report unless with the person's permission, or in accordance with a court order
no staff member should respond to an enquiry or complaint about a report or confirm or deny that any report has been made

Child Protection Employment Requirements
The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium requires that all activities conducted by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium or in conjunction with the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium including, but not restricted to, teaching, excursions, conducting, recitals, examinations and performance programs in government and non-government schools or other external organisations conform to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management policies and procedures regarding child protection and OH&S.

Accordingly:

All new personnel involved with children under the auspice of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will be required to complete a NSW Working with Children Check as per the requirements of the Commission for Children and Young People and the Office of the Children’s Guardian. Application and information for the NSW Working with Children Check can be done at the Office of the Children’s Guardian website: http://www.kids.nsw.gov.au/Working-with-children/New-Working-with-Children-Check 

All Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel are required to provide the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium with their NSW Working with Children Check Number prior to the commencement of employment.
All offers of employment with the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium are contingent upon a successful Working with Children Check.
As at the 1 July 2013 the NSW Working With Children Check system changed. For existing employees of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium at the 1/7/2013 their current Working With Children Check remains current until the 1st April 2016. All current and new employees of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium are responsible for and must have applied for, and provided to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium, their NSW Working With Children Number by the 15th March 2016. A failure to provide the Working With Children Check number by this date will result in immediate suspension of duties without pay until the Working with Children Check has been completed.
All personnel engaged with the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will be required to adhere to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Code of Conduct.
Child Protection training is a fundamental requirement of Goulburn Regional Conservatorium employment. Training in Child Protection is a legislative requirement and applies to all Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel. Training in Child Protection is mandatory and will be provided at the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium’s expense.
Offsite teaching studios may not be utilised except where written approval from the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Committee has been received. Schools where Goulburn Regional Conservatorium programs are in operation will be required to assist the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium in the management of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Child Protection Policy.
At the commencement of duties and annually thereafter this policy and training will be updated and signed off by all Goulburn Regional Conservatorium staff as being read and understood.

Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Child Protection Reporting Procedures

When allegations have been made against Goulburn Regional Conservatorium staff to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium
The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will treat all reports in strict confidentiality and protect the professional reputation of teachers at all times. The Goulburn Regional conservatorium will operate all child protection matters on an allegation basis.

All Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel are required to report any matter pertaining to the protection of children under this policy.

All Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel are required to report any Child Protection matter to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director or her nominee within three days.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will report immediately to Family and Community Services (FaCS) in accordance with the NSW Ombudsman’s Act 1974 and Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2003.

In accordance with legislation, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will report any allegation of child abuse without initial reference to the personnel to FaCS and the Ombudsman’s Office. Under legislation, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will not investigate the matter further until formal investigations by relevant external organisations are complete.

When a school has lodged an allegation regarding Goulburn Regional Conservatorium staff
Where allegations are made against any Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel within the jurisdiction of an external organisation including schools, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will take advice from that organisation and the relevant child protection agency attached to that organisation.

Where allegations relate to reportable conduct, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director will report the matter independently to the external organisation to FaCS and/or the police where appropriate.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will suspend all duties of the recipient of the allegation with that external organisation until cleared by that organisation’s child protection agency, or the Police depending upon the nature and seriousness of the allegation.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium reserves the right not to suspend personnel from other Goulburn Regional Conservatorium activities where insufficient evidence is provided by the external organisation to support suspension. Where allegations are of a serious or sexual nature, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will act in accordance to advice from the Department of Community Services, the Police, NSW Commission for Young People or the relevant Child Protection agency attached to the external organisation.

Allegation management of non Goulburn Regional Conservatorium staff
Where allegations are made to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium relating to persons who are not Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Personnel, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will report any allegation of abuse according to legislative requirements as detailed in the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 (CCYP). Where abuse is alleged to have occurred within the jurisdiction of an external organisation, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will act in accordance with the legislation and consult with the Child Protection Agency attached to the external organisation.

All allegations will be held in the strictest confidence in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

Allegation Management of GOULBURN REGIONAL CONSERVATORIUM Personnel

Goulburn Regional Conservatorium’s Actions in response to allegations against Employees – Non-reportable, Inappropriate conduct with children
Where conduct is deemed non-reportable by the NSW Ombudsman’s Act 1974 and Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2003 and the CCYP Act 1998, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium reserves the right to:
Take appropriate disciplinary action, upon legal advice, where personnel are alleged to have acted inappropriately with children.

Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Actions in response to allegations against Employees – Reportable Conduct
Where conduct is deemed reportable by the NSW Ombudsman’s Act 1974, CCYP Act 1998 and the Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2003, and pending the outcome of investigations by the relevant external agencies, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium reserves the right to:
Casual Staff: Suspend without pay any casual personnel from all Goulburn Regional Conservatorium activities where allegations relate to serious or sexual abuse of children. This includes any behaviour regarded under the NSW Ombudsman’s Act 1974 or the Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2003 and the CCYP Act 1998 as reportable conduct. This suspension will be reviewed every four weeks after appropriate risk assessment of evidence available to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium.

Salaried Staff: Suspend contract personnel on full pay for the duration of the investigation from all Goulburn Regional Conservatorium activities where allegations relate to serious or sexual abuse of children. This includes any behaviour regarded under the NSW Ombudsman’s Act 1974 or the Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2003 as reportable conduct.

This matter will be reviewed every four weeks after appropriate risk assessment of evidence available to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium. Updates will be provided to the suspended personnel at the same time.
The conditions of suspension will be reviewed at 10 weeks from suspension date where investigations do not reject, on the basis of evidence, the allegation.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management reserves the right, upon appropriate risk assessment and legal advice, to terminate a contract where criminal charges are laid or where investigations have been suspended and evidence available to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium suggests further contact, by the alleged, with children carries a high probability of risk to children or the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium.

All Goulburn Regional Conservatorium staff: The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium reserves the right to terminate any personnel contract immediately upon advice from the Ombudsman, Police or other authority where criminal charges are made against any Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel or where extreme risk to children or the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium is probable.

Equity and Confidentiality
The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will treat all allegations in the strictest of confidence under the Privacy Act 1988 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium will provide wherever possible emotional and medical support to any child or adult who has been the recipient of abuse while in the care of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium at the time of the abuse or where the abuse was inflicted by Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel.

Any Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel who are the recipient of an allegation of abuse will be offered whatever emotional support may be required to assist them through the investigative process.

All Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel are required to maintain strict confidentiality relating to all aspects of this policy or any case/ situation/ investigation falling under this policy. Any breach of confidentiality in relation to any case/ situation/ investigation falling under this policy will be regarded as serious and will attract disciplinary action or, where appropriate and in conjunction with legal advice, termination of contract.

Roles and Responsibilities

Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Personnel
All Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Personnel are required to make themselves available for Child Protection Training as provided or required by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium’s Child Protection Policy.

All Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Personnel are bound by the NSW Ombudsman’s Act 1974 to report any incident of Child Abuse within the context of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium and this policy to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director within three days of the receipt of the allegation. A failure to report an allegation of abuse within this time frame may result in disciplinary action or termination of contract depending upon the nature of the allegation.

Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director
The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director will manage the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium’s Child Protection Policy and ensure that all Goulburn Regional Conservatorium personnel are trained in Child Protection.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director will report all allegations of abuse to FaCS and CCYP within three days of receipt of the allegation. A failure to report in accordance with legislative requirements may result in disciplinary action or termination of employment.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director will advise and consult with the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium OH&S Officer in the management of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Policy and the relevant linking of policies to Child Protection.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director will inform, under the confidentiality conditions of this policy, the Chair of the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management any allegations made against Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Personnel.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director will, upon consultation with the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management, enact any component of this policy as required. The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director is required to ensure the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management, is made aware of all allegations against Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Personnel in relation to risk management. The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director is not entitled to disclose confidential aspects of any allegation to the Board of Management beyond that which is required to manage risk. The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management must treat all matters falling under this policy as strictly confidential under the relevant legislation.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director is required at the completion of any employment proceedings in relation to this policy to notify CCYP under attachment 8 of the Working with Children Check Guidelines. The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director will in accordance with Attachment 10 of the guidelines notify the personnel involved with the notification of any relevant notifications utilising the pro-forma documents provided by CCYP.

Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Committee
The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Committee will ensure that all Goulburn Regional Conservatorium activities are conducted within acceptable levels of risk. Where appropriate, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Committee may recommend the suspension of services to external organisations where that organisation fails to meet acceptable standards to teaching facilities in relation to child protection.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Committee will ensure that it remains the currency of Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Child Protection Policy and maintains the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Child Protection Policy in accordance with any changes to the relevant legislation.

Further, the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Risk Management Committee will equip the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director with current legal rights and responsibilities as regards child protection, staff legal support and child welfare.

Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management
The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management will provide oversight on all aspects of this policy.

The Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management, at the Chair’s discretion, will meet as required in order to ensure all aspects of this policy have been managed in accordance with policy and legislative requirements by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Director and personnel.

Policy ratified by Goulburn Regional Conservatorium Board of Management: March, 2014.

The GRC is a Childsafe Organisation

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