The mammoth task of taking the organisation through the accreditation process in a limited timeframe and meeting the seven standards was led by the Quality team with the support and commitment of the reference group members and the wider staff team. In order to achieve accreditation and meet the seven standards we had to review all of our processes and practice, this task allowed us to identify areas for improvement and to be able to add to our already extensive quality management system.
The next step was to ensure that each and every staff member understood their role and expectations on how to keep children safe. This involved completing online training and receiving regular communication on new child safe information and processes.
Finally, Parkerville Children and Youth Care was ready to invite the ACF Auditors to come to Western Australia and audit the organisation against the seven ‘Safeguarding Children Standards’. On August 22nd, two Auditors arrived from Melbourne and spent two days interviewing a sample of the staff team , the sample included 31 people from across the Organisation i.e. Board Members, Volunteers, Carers.
The Auditors provided positive feedback on the attitude and knowledge of the staff members they spoke to, they were impressed with the genuine care and consideration that staff members expressed when considering the safety of children and taking ownership of their part to play.
The final hurdle to overcome as part of the accreditation process involved an ACF panel of experts interviewing Basil, Marie (Child Safe Coordinator/Quality team) and Fr. Chris (Board member). This concluded the accreditation process and all that remained was to find out if we had achieved the standards and would be awarded the stamp of approval from ACF. On the November 2nd the Staff Development day began with a video call from ACF in Melbourne, where we were informed that Parkerville Children and Youth Care had not only achieved accreditation but we had done so in the fastest time on record and that due to the high standard of staff practice and knowledge there are no recommendations from the ACF panel.
Parkerville Children and Youth Care can proudly proclaim that we have passed the test and we are a Child Safe Organisation.