Children attending the Centre are vulnerable to undetected child abuse.
Precautions and sound observing practice can help prevent and detect abuse.
Minimise potential for child abuse to occur at the Centre and detect and identify child abuse if it occurs.
1. It is the Policy of this Centre that no person i.e. staff member, person in training, parent or visitor, shall by any act or failing to act collude in or cause any instance of child abuse.
2. It is the duty of all staff and other adults at the Centre to take the steps necessary to prevent any instances of child abuse. Every child will be given:-
A Respect and dignity
B Positive guidance promoting appropriate behaviour, having regard to the child’s stage of development,
C Staff will:-
Praise and encourage children,
Avoid blame, harsh language, and belittling or degrading responses,
No child will be subjected to any form of physical ill-treatment, solitary confinement, immobilisation, or deprivation of food, drink, warmth, shelter or protection.
3. All staff or other adults will immediately report to management if they suspect or believe that child abuse is occurring or has occurred, to any child enrolled at the Centre.
4. Any information relating to individual cases or reported abuse are confidential to those directly involved and should not be discussed with any other persons in or outside the Centre. Failure of staff to comply with this Policy is a serious offence as noted in the Centre rules.
5. Full and detailed written records will be kept (as directed by Management) of every related discussion, act, or incident which involves a parent, child, accused or staff member if child abuse is suspected. Professional Agencies such as Public Health, Parentline, Care and Protection division of the Child Youth and Family service may be contacted.
6. Staff must consult with Management at all times and not assume responsibility for action or advice. For cases where Management is involved staff may contact the Police. Where staff are alleged to be involved they will be suspended while the matter is investigated and will be informed of their rights.
7. Management will ensure an open plan within the Centre so that all areas can be observed. All children within the Centre will be within sight of a staff member at all times, and all staff will be within view of other staff members. Such areas as the bathroom/toilet/ sleep room will be observed by other staff members.
8. No child may be taken from the Centre by any staff member or adult ( except in emergencies ) without the permission of the parent and Management. Outside visits are to be recorded on the Centre excursion record and ratio’s as per policy must be adhered to. No less than two staff members will be present on any outing. Trip notices and permission slips will be kept on record.
9. Management will include on staff application forms that they have no criminal records and will ensure that a recent police check is carried out before employment commences .All recent employment positions are required to be disclosed and may be checked with previous employers and may be specifically asked if they have any cause to suspect the applicant may have been involved in child abuse or suspected child abuse.
10. Trainees will only be permitted in the Centre for practicum purposes from reputable trainee providers and may be asked to provide evidence of a police check. No trainee will be permitted in the sleep room or to change nappies.
11. Parents, families, and visiting Early Childhood colleagues are welcome in the Centre. All other persons must be invited to be there, and Management must be informed of such visitors. All unrecognised visitors to the Centre will be “challenged” by Management or the Person Responsible to determine their reason for being there. All staff on the premises must notify the person in charge of the presence of such a person. All visitors must sign the visitors book. Visitors on the premises without good reason will be asked to leave.
12. Management and staff will ensure that visitors are not left unsupervised with children whilst in the Centre.
13. We consider It is appropriate to respond to a child who initiates physical contact, seeking affection, or who needs comforting or reassurance. For the purpose of consoling a child we agree the following is appropriate contact:-
Holding their hand
Rubbing their back in continuous motions
This action will be carried out only for the time needed to console the child.
14. It is not appropriate to force unwanted affection or touching on a child. Physical contact of children during changing or cleansing must be for that purpose only and not be more than is necessary to perform the task.
15. Management will ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibility with regard to this policy and have sufficient skills and knowledge to implement it. It will be read and discussed as part of the staff induction procedure.