- All staff who work with children or young people are legally mandated to report suspected cases of risks of harm, abuse and neglect of children to the relevant Child Protection Agency.
- Education and care workers employed by the College are required to:
- Exercise a duty of care to protect children and keep them safe.
- Be aware of the definitions of risks of harm, abuse and neglect of children as defined in the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017
- Report suspicions of risks of harm, abuse and neglect of children to the relevant Child Protection Agency
- Provide children with child protection and abuse prevention programs/strategies.
- Staff members must report suspected cases of harm. This can be done by:
- Calling the 24-hour Child Abuse Report Line (13 14 78) for serious concerns.
- Completing an online form at reportchildabuse.families.sa.gov.au for more minor concerns.
- When reporting suspected cases of child harm staff will need to provide:
- The child’s name and date of birth
- The name(s) of the child’s parents
- The child’s address
- The matter may be discussed with the Principal or any other senior staff member. However, the legal responsibility lies with the individual education or care worker to make the report.
If you have concerns about the safety of a child:
- Remain calm and listen in an attentive, active and non-judgemental way.
- Allow students to lead the conversation and feel comfortable and safe. This may include their choice of venue or who they prefer to talk to, where appropriate.
- Encourage the child to talk in their own words.
- Take anything a child says seriously and act on any suspicions or concerns.
- Students need to know that the staff member’s job is to try to keep them safe. Don’t promise to keep a secret. Let the child know they have done the right thing in telling you. It may be appropriate to let the student know that you may need to talk to relevant staff or agencies to assist them further.
- Staff should not investigate or mediate the matter themselves.
A Mandatory Report must be made using the following procedure, as soon as possible for both disclosure of harm and suspicion of risk harm.
As Mandated Reporters, all disclosure of harm and suspicion of harm must be reported to CARL.
• For high risk or urgent matters, a report to the CARL, Child Abuse Report Line must be made on
131 478 (available 24 hours/7 days).
• For non-urgent matters, online reports to the online reporting system https://my.families.sa.gov.au/IDMProv/landing.html through your individual account or via phone on 131 478 (if the student is a Child Under the Guardianship of the Minister or if the report is about sexual abuse you can not use the online reporting system)
• Reports must be made by phone or online, even if the Police or external agencies have been notified
Follow advice given by CARL.
Complete a Mandatory Notification Record form. This can be found on the T drive (T:\Mandatory Notification Record) and give this directly to the Principal. Do not keep an electronic copy.
Notify parents of self-harm, suicidal ideation, and other as appropriate.
Refer the student to student wellbeing by either emailing email@example.com or speaking to a wellbeing team member in person.
Related Policies and Links
Responding to Abuse and Neglect– Department for Child Protection
The Principal (or delegate) will quarantine any device or other materials suspected of containing illegal or other content which may endanger child safety and wellbeing, then await Police advice.
If there is suspicion of a device containing illegal or other content which may endanger child safety and wellbeing, procedures for the quarantine of devices or other materials:
- Ensure the device is taken directly to the Principal’s office.
- The Principal (or delegate) will contact the Police.
- The Principal (or delegate) will follow any advice given by the Police.
- The Principal (or delegate) will contact the child’s parents and ensure a plan is in place for the student.
Portside Christian College have a Child Protection Risk Management Strategy Plan to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of all children and young people at the College, to protect them from harm and risk of harm, and protect the integrity of staff and volunteers.
The plan includes:
a) Codes of Conduct for staff, parents and students.
b) Recruitment, Selection and Training Procedures for employees and volunteers which include
child protection principles.
c) Procedures for handling disclosures of harm or risk of harm.
d) Reporting and documenting harm or risk of harm.
e) Procedures for managing breaches.
f) Risk management for high risk activities and special events.
g) Strategies for communication and support.
The College has a Child Safety Officer (the Student Wellbeing Coordinator).
The Child Safety Officer will act as a point of call to provide advice and support to children, young
people, staff and volunteers about the safety and wellbeing of children in the organisation.