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Celebrating 1 year as a Child Safe Accredited Organisation

What is the Safeguarding Children Program and how does that make us Child Safe?

The Safeguarding Children Program is a unique voluntary accreditation scheme run by the Australian Childhood Foundation for organisations who have a duty of care to children and young people. The training and ongoing support systematically builds the capacity of organisations to keep children and young people safe from abuse and exploitation by staff, volunteers or other relevant related individuals.

The Safeguarding Children Program developed a set of seven unique strategies/standards that will ensure the safety of children and young people in contact with an organisation is embedded in process, practice and culture. Parkerville Children and Youth Care became Child Safe/ Safeguarding Children accredited on November 8th 2016 and must from that date forward adhere to the 7 Safeguarding standards. The 7 standards include:

  1. A commitment to safeguarding children
    Through its ‘safeguarding children’ statement our organisation documents its clear commitment to safeguarding children and young people from abuse and neglect.
  1. Personnel roles and conduct
    Our organisation ensures that each person involved in our delivery of services to children and young people understands their role, and the behaviour we expect in safeguarding children and young people from abuse and neglect.
  2. Recruitment and screening practices
    Our organisation has appropriate measures in place to minimise the likelihood that we will recruit a person who is unsuitable to work with children or young people.
  3. Personnel induction and training
    Our organisation’s induction, education and training programs are a vital part of our commitment to safeguarding children and young people from abuse and neglect.
  4. Involving children and parents
    In developing a safe, inclusive and supportive environment our organisation involves and communicates with children, young people and their parents. We encourage parental involvement and behaviour that helps to protect children and young people.
  5. Child abuse reports and allegations
    Our organisation has measures in place to ensure that all our people who work with children and young people understand their responsibility to report possible abuse or neglect and understand our reporting procedures.
  6. Supporting a child-safe culture
    Our organisation has measures in place to ensure that all our people who work with children and young people understand their responsibility to report possible abuse or neglect and understand our reporting procedures.

 

Maintaining a Child Safe Culture: 1 year later

  • The 7 Safeguarding Standards are embedded in organisation processes and practice, when it comes to maintaining a child safe culture and our value of integrity as an organisation we do what we say we do.
  • 100% of all involved personnel (staff, volunteers, students, interns) have completed the ACF online training and organisation induction as well as a local program based induction.
  • Parkerville CYC has taken steps to create processes that are easy to understand and focus on how we interact with and around the children and young people, these new process are in place and ongoing training is available for all involved personnel to ensure everyone is aware of how to identify and report child abuse or breaches in conduct or behaviour, this supports a culture of accountability for child safety.
  • Child safety and keeping children and young people free from abuse and harm is at the centre of everything we do and by management supporting involved personnel to do the right thing every time and follow process we nurture a culture of Child Safe Organisation.
  • Parkerville CYC have a dedicated person to act as a coordinator for all ACF and Child Safe related matters, the Child Safe Consultant is available to all involved personnel and over sees the registers for reporting Type B incidents, this role links in with the Quality team as it allows for opportunities to be identified as part of continuous improvement.
  • Parkerville Children and Youth Care continue to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to actively and voluntarily reducing the risk posed to children and young people by participating the in the Safeguarding Program.
  • The Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) recognised Parkerville CYC achievements in relation to gaining accreditation in the faster time every recorded (10months).
  • ACF acknowledged the impressive and established quality systems at Parkerville CYC and have asked that the Quality team act as accreditation consultants for other agencies across Australia going through the process.
  • The culture of child safe and commitment to continuous improvement has meant that Parkerville CYC has surveyed all involved personnel to gain a better insight into the child safe culture and how we can improve across the different standards.
  • Parkerville CYC have taken up the challenge to address areas of complexity head on and create processes to support staff in identifying, responding and reporting cases of suspected child abuse or neglect (Type B).
  • By inviting an external organisation such as the Australian Childhood Foundation to evaluate us and by being informed by the findings from the Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse we have gained new insight and developed new creative ways through continue to strive towards excellence in all aspects of maintaining a child safe organisation. (Feedback Project, Type B, HR processes)

 

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