Children’s Entertainers Association Limited
CHILD SAFE POLICY
Authorised by David Russell
CEO and Founder
8 February 2019
This policy was written to demonstrate the strong commitment of the Children’s Entertainers Association Limited (CENTA) Board of Directors as well as Members, administrators and volunteers to child safety and establishing and maintaining child safe and child friendly environments.
The accredited members of the Children’s Entertainers Association, are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people accessing our services. We support the rights of the child and will act without hesitation to ensure a child safe environment is maintained at all times. We also support the rights and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment for all participants.
2. Commitment to the safety of children and young people
The Children’s Entertainers Association is committed to safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.
The Children’s Entertainers Association has zero tolerance for child abuse.
The Children’s Entertainers Association is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.
Every person involved in The Children’s Entertainers Association has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.
In its planning, decision-making and operations The Children’s Entertainers Association will:
-Take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety;
-Value and empower children to participate in decisions which affect their lives;
-Foster a culture of openness that supports all persons to safely disclose allegations or suspicion of risks of harm to children and young people
-Respect diversity in cultures and child rearing practices while keeping child safety paramount;
-Provide written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children and young people;
-Engage only the most suitable people to work with children and young people and have high quality staff and volunteer supervision and professional development;
-Ensure children and young people know who to talk with if they are worried or are feeling unsafe, and that they are comfortable and encouraged to raise such issues;
-Report allegations or suspicion that a child or young person is, or may be at risk of harm promptly to the appropriate authorities;
-Share information appropriately and lawfully with other organisations where the safety and wellbeing of children and young people is at risk; and
-Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers.
As a first point of contact for advice and support regarding the safety and well-being of children contact any Children’s Entertainers Association Directors or our appointed Child Safe Officer. Names and contact details are located on the Children’s Entertainers Association Limited’s website (www.centa.org.au).
This policy was developed by the Children’s Entertainers Association Board of Directors in collaboration with all our committee members, Members, administrators, volunteers, participants, parents and carers who use our services.
As identified in the Children’s Entertainers Association Limited Constitution it complies with our obligations under the Children’s Protection Act 1993 (to the extent it remains operational), the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016.
It also complies with the Child Safe Environments: Principles of Good Practice and the Child Safe Environments: Standards for dealing with information about a person’s criminal history as part of a relevant history assessment issued by the Chief Executive of the Department for Education.
This policy, from the date of endorsement, applies to all committee members, Members, administrators, volunteers, participants, parents and carers and other individuals involved in the organisation. It also covers the recruitment and selection of all persons working with children and young participants in entertainment activities. This policy is to be used in conjunction with the use of CENTA resources, Code of Conduct and decision making.
4. Children and young people’s participation
CENTA encourages children and young people to express their views, and make suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect children and ensure children and young people understand what child safety and wellbeing means.
We ensure children, young people and their caregivers who use our services know about our commitment to child safety and wellbeing and actively encourage them to ‘have a say’ about those things that are important to them. We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices.
We inform children and young people what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, young people, or their parents raise with us. We do this by having a feedback or “report a concern” facility on our website. We also have links to resources for parents and young people, such as the book “My underpants rule”.
5. Code of Conduct
All members are made aware of, and must abide by the committee members, Members, entertainers, administrators, volunteers Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct was developed by our Board of Directors in collaboration with selected entertainers, administrators, members and helpers, the children who use our services, their parents and guardians.
For further information regarding code of conduct and standards of behaviour please refer to the separate Code of Conduct document found on the CENTA website at centa.org.au
We have a comprehensive breach procedure which outlines the steps the Association will take if a person is alleged to have breached the code of conduct.
6. Recruitment practices
CENTA takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children. We employ a range of screening measures and apply best practice standards in the screening and recruitment of employees including written applications, face-to-face interviews and personal Statutory Declarations (if required).
We interview and conduct reference checks on all our committee members, administrators, employees and volunteers. CENTA members will provide evidence of current child related employment screening or working with children and young people. They will also be required to complete the online workshops on our Policies, Procedures and Code of Conduct. They will need to undertake to abide by these processes and guidelines.
Further information can be found in our recruitment policy on our website. www.centa.org.au
7. Reporting and responding to a suspicion that a child or young person may be at risk
CENTA will not tolerate incidents where a child or young person is, or may be, at risk of harm.
We ensure that all members, entertainers, volunteers, employees and those working with children and young people understand how to:
-recognise signs of harm, or risk of harm and
-make appropriate reports that a child or young person is, or may be at risk of harm.
We will provide opportunities for volunteers and employees to attend an information session on child protection and mandatory reporting requirements.
We also ensure that our members, entertainers, volunteers, employees are aware how to make a notification to the Child Abuse Report Line on 13 14 78 as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a child is, or may be at risk of harm.
Members, entertainers, volunteers and employees must also report to the CENTA Board of Directors and the nominated Children’s Entertainers Association Limited Child Safe Officer any reasonable suspicion that a child is, or may be at risk of harm when the alleged perpetrator is involved in the association.
CENTA will take any appropriate protective action necessary to keep children, young people and others safe. (CENTA will ensure it has policies and procedures in place to ensure that confidentiality and natural justice applies)
8. Supervisions, training and support for members, employees and volunteers
CENTA seeks to attract and retain the best employees, volunteers and members by providing support, supervision and training so they feel valued, respected and fairly treated.
We ensure that our members, volunteers and employees who work with children have ongoing supervision, support and training so that their performance is developed and enhanced to recognise, report and respond to a suspicion that a child is, or may be at risk of harm and promote the establishment and maintenance of child safe environments.
Further information about our induction, training and performance evaluation process can be found in the CENTA Child Protection Risk Management Policy, available on the CENTA website at centa.org.au
9. Responding to complaints about a person involved in our organisation
Anyone involved in or associated with our organisation can make a complaint or express their concern. Any concerns or complaint relating to the behaviour or conduct of another person towards or affecting a child or young person must immediately be reported to a CENTA Director or our Child Safe officer.
All complaints/concerns will be listened to and recorded (written down). CENTA will action and deal with all complaints promptly and ensure that procedural fairness is followed at all times.
CENTA also opposes all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying.
We take this issue seriously and encourage anyone who believes that they, or another person, that has been harassed, discriminated against or bullied to report this issue to a CENTA Director or our Child Safe Officer.
For information regarding monitoring compliance of CENTA members and the process for handling of breaches of compliance please refer to CENTA’s Child Protection Risk Management Policy.
CENTA will ensure that everyone to whom this policy applies is aware of and has had an opportunity to read the policy.
A copy of the Children’s Entertainers Association Limited Child Safe Policy will be permanently on display on the Children’s Entertainers Association Limited website (www.centa.org.au).
CENTA and its members will actively promote themselves as child safe organisations to parents/caregivers of children and young people and the broader community by openly communicating the organisation’s child safe policies and procedures.
11. Risk Management
For information regarding CENTA’s risk management policies and processes, please refer to our Child protection risk management policy. This policy addresses the following topics:
-Recruitment procedures – Relevant history Assessments & Statutory Declarations (if required)
-Policy covering taking images/photographs of children
-Appointing a Child Safety Officer
-Risk Management Strategies
-Responsibilities of entertainers, committees and parents
-Procedure for breaches of policy
-Professional development training for members
-Educating Parents/Event hosts
-Protecting privacy and confidentiality
-Procedures for dealing with situations where a member is being investigated for, or is charged with, a serious criminal offence
12. Policy Review
CENTA will review our policies and procedures:
-at least once in every 5 years
-if the scope of the services provided has increased
-if new or additional risks are identified for children or young people
-if CENTA has a substantial change to the responsible or managing authority since last lodging a compliance statement.
If a review of our policies and procedures result in changes to these documents, CENTA will lodge a new child safe environments compliance statement with the Department for Education, as required by the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.
Version 1.1 February 2019
Approved by Directors of Management of Children’s Entertainers Association Limited February 2019