Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people A joint protocol of the Department of Human Services Child Protection, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Licensed Childrens Services and Victorian Schools Mandatory Reporting Professional Learning for school staff Todays training will include information about Child Protection Guiding principles - Legislative and Theoretical Context Roles of Agencies Child Protection & Child FIRST, DEECD, Police and others Reporting

Mandated - Non-mandated - Forming a belief Reporting/Referral arrangements Child Protection or Child FIRST School responsibilities Role Reporting - Confidentiality Information sharing Police - Child Protection & Child FIRST - Support agencies Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Introductory Group Exercise On Monday morning, Michael appears at school with raised welts across the back of his legs. When questioned, he says that on Saturday he used his fathers work computer without permission. His father became angry and hit him with a belt. Michael says that, by the end of the weekend everything was ok between him and his Dad. What issues does this raise for you?

What influences your view? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Influences on our values Our childhood experiences Our parenting experiences Our educational training Our work place culture The culture of our family and wider network Societal values Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. The Legislative Context Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA 2005) Passed in 2005 Came into operation 23 April 2007 Governs the provision of Child Protection, Family Services, Out of Home Care, Youth Justice and a

specialist Childrens Court Enables and guides the operation of Child FIRST Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Focus of Legislation and Reforms Promotion of Children's Best Interests safety, stability and development The Best Interests of the child are paramount these principles guide all decision making Earlier intervention support for vulnerable families via referral to Child FIRST Reducing abuse and neglect increased emphasis on preventing cumulative harm (S 162 CYFA (2005)) Improved quality of care for children and young people in out of home care and leaving care

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Definition of a Child:-CYFA 2005 Under the Act, a child is defined as under the age of 17 years If a Child Protection Order is in place, the definition of a child includes those under the age of 18 years Reports can also be received about unborn children. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Legal Definition:A Child in Need of Protection Section 162 of the CYFA 2005: Parents have abandoned a child and cannot be found. Parents are dead or incapacitated and there is no one else to look after that child.

Child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of physical injury, sexual abuse or emotional or psychological harm and parents have not or are unlikely to protect the child from such harm. Childs physical development or health has been harmed and parents have not or are unlikely to provide for or allow the provision of appropriate care. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Best Interests Case Practice Model

An approach to working with children and families based on sound professional judgement, reflective practice and respectful partnerships with families and services It aims to reflect the practice directions arising from the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA) and the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 by promoting the best interests of the child The development of a relationship based approach to working with families and service partners with a stronger emphasis on casework The use of tools to better measure the effectiveness of our intervention with families Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Role of Child Protection Child Protection has the responsibility to:

receive reports from people who believe on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection provide consultation and advice to people making reports investigate matters where it is believed that a child is at risk of significant harm refer children and families to services that assist in providing the ongoing safety and wellbeing of children take matters to the Childrens Court if the childs safety cannot be guaranteed supervise children on orders granted by the Childrens Court. See the Protocol Section 3.1 Role of Child Protection Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. StatisticsVictorian child protection activities 2006/7 2007/8

2008/9 Reports 38,675 41,607 42,851 Investigations 11,303 11,167 11,217 Substantiations

6,828 6,365 6,344 Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Statistics Victorian Child Protection 0 16 years 1,143,246 Estimated population (Dec 2008) 0 16 Years 33,640 Reported to Child Protection in 2008 09 0-16 years 6,129 Substantiated - In need of protection 0 17 Years 6,100 On Child Protection Orders: 30 June 2009 0 17 Years 5,283 In Out-of-home care: 30 June 2009 Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Protecting Children Is Everyones Business Society as a whole shares a responsibility for protecting the safety and well-being of children. Any member of the community can make a report to Child Protection or a referral to Child FIRST if they have significant concern for the well-being of a child. In addition, some members of the community (including teachers) are mandated to report to Child Protection Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Mandatory Reporting No change from previous legislation: legislation Doctors, Nurses, Teachers and Police must continue to report to Child Protection when they form a belief based on reasonable grounds that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm resulting from physical injury or sexual abuse and parents have not or are unlikely to protect child

from harm of this type Education staff also must report where they have significant concerns for emotional abuse or neglect Reports made in the course of carrying out your profession and made in good faith are confidential and do not constitute a breach of professional ethics or a contravention of relevant privacy laws nor can they be the subject of legal or civil action Secondary and Primary School Nurses are mandated and must also report Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Why are professionals mandated to report It is likely that a significant number of school students will suffer harm from abuse or neglect during their time within the education system Physical and sexual abuse can cause long lasting effects Harm is minimized when intervention takes place as early as possible Physical and sexual abuse of children are criminal offences

Teachers and other school professionals are ideally placed to recognise abnormal or changed behavior and are likely to be first to identify signs of abuse. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Non-mandated school staff Section 183 of the CYFA 2005 states that any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection may report their concerns to Child Protection. This means that any person should make a report to Child Protection when they believe that a child or young person is at risk of harm and in need of protection, and the childs parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child. If non-mandated staff have concerns that a student may be at risk of harm they should inform the principal immediately Refer to the Protocol Section 4.2: Protecting the safety of children and young people Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Are you mandated or non-mandated

Mandated Principal class Teachers Visiting teachers Student teachers Non-Mandated Nurses Psychologists Education (Will be mandated as of 1 July 2010) Support

Officers (Aides) Social Workers Non-teaching staff Administratio n Cleaners Canteen staff Speech Pathologists Are you aware of your responsibilities to protect children and young people from harm? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Duty of care School staff have a duty of care to protect and preserve the safety, health and wellbeing of children and young people in their care and staff must always act in the best interests of those children and young people. If a staff member has any concerns regarding the health, safety or wellbeing of a child or young person it is important to take immediate action. The roles and responsibilities of school staff in supporting children and young people who are involved with Child Protection may include: acting as a support person for students

attending Child Protection case plan meetings observing and monitoring students behaviour liaising with professionals. Refer to the Protocol Section 6.1. The role of school staff Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Mandatory reporting considerations Part 1: Forming a belief The CYFA (2005) states: That teachers must report to Child Protection when they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm as a result of physical injury or as a result of sexual abuse

A belief is considered to be more than a suspicion. A person may be considered to have formed a belief if they are more likely to accept rather than reject the suspicion that a child is at risk of harm from physical or sexual abuse Proof is not required that abuse has occurred or is likely to occur. A belief is sufficient. It is the role of the Child Protection to determine whether that belief should be investigated If one staff member has a different view from another staff member about making a report and the staff member continues to hold the belief that a child is in need of protection, that person is still obliged to make a report to Child Protection. Refer to the Protocol Section 4.3. Forming a belief on reasonable grounds Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Mandatory reporting considerations Part 2: Reasonable grounds Reasonable grounds is the mechanism used for forming the belief. Examples are: a child tells a teacher they have been abused

someone else tells a teacher (a relative, friend, neighbour or sibling) that a child has been abused or is at risk of abuse a child tells a teacher that they know someone who has been abused (often a child is referring to themselves) a teachers own observation of a particular childs behaviour/injuries or their knowledge of children generally leads them to suspect that abuse is occurring other grounds that have led to the forming of a belief that a child is being abused. Refer to the Protocol Section 4.3. Forming a belief on reasonable grounds Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Suggestions for responding to a child/young person who discloses Suggestions include: Listen to the child Control expressions of panic or shock Express your belief that the child is telling the truth. Use the childs language or vocabulary.

Tell the child that this has happened to other children, and that they are not the only one. Reassure the child that to disclose is the right thing to do. Emphasis that whatever happened was not the childs fault, and that the child is not bad. Tell the child that you know some adults do wrong things. Tell the child you will do your best to support and protect them. Indicate what you will do, - report to the Child Protection to help stop the abuse Tell the child that you are required to tell Child Protection. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Group exercise All schools You have been provided with a sheet entitled Helpful or Unhelpful Statements. Consider the statements and questions as a response to a disclosure of sexual assault: 1. Assess whether each statement is helpful, somewhat helpful or not at all helpful 2. Discuss why you have made that assessment

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Group exercise Answer Sheet 1 Helpful or unhelpful questions Helpful Somewhat helpful Unhelpful What were you doing with him in the first place Why didn't you tell me before

People who have had that experience often feel that way Do you want to talk about it I think you should report it to the police. How do you feel about it now That must have been terrible! What do your friends think That would be really hard to prove in court It sounds as though you might be afraid

With acknowledgement and thanks to the Centres Against Sexual Assault Forum Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Group exercise Answer Sheet 2 Helpful or unhelpful questions Helpful Somewhat helpful Unhelpful You seem very distressed.

That happened to a friend of mine. What would you like to happen now Oh yes. I know how you feel Are you worried about making trouble for others It's often difficult to talk about these experiences

Is there any point in making a fuss about this It's difficult when someone you trust hurts you What do you need to help you feel safe now Are you worried about getting someone in trouble With acknowledgement and thanks to the Centres Against Sexual Assault Forum Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

Consultation- A good idea! Schools must take immediate action in relation to concerns about possible abuse and neglect including student sexual assault. This means that the school needs clear and accessible policies & procedures about responding to concerns for the safety and/or wellbeing of a student Staff must be able to seek appropriate advice and know who can provide it. Consult with and seek advice from: the school principal, or a member of the school leadership team regional support staff. the Emergency and Security Management Unit - P: 9589 6266 the Student Critical Incident Advisory Unit, Student Wellbeing Division P: 9637 2934 or 9637 2487 the local Victoria Police Sexual Offences and Child Investigation Team (SOCIT) Department of Human Services, Child Protection Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Definitions of Abuse and Neglect Physical Abuse any non accidental injury to a child by a parent or

caregiver. May take the form of bruises, cuts, welts, burns or fractures, internal injuries, shaking injuries in young infants. Sexual Abuse when an adult or someone older/bigger than the child uses power or authority over the child to involve the child in sexual activity with or without physical force. Examples:- fondling of the genitals; masturbation; oral, vaginal or digital penetration by a finger, penis or other object; exposure to pornography, internet grooming behaviours. Emotional Abuse when a child is repeatedly rejected or frightened by threats; name calling; exposure to significant or sustained family violence; being put down or continual coldness. Refer to the Protocol Appendix 2:Definitions of Child Abuse and Indicators of Harm Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Definitions of Abuse and Neglect Continued Neglect the failure to provide the child with the basic necessities of life, such as adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care and

supervision. Family violence: Violence (either actual or threatened) that occurs within a family, includes physical, verbal, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial and social abuse. Family violence is a criminal offence and can be liable to prosecution. Other matters that should be reported to Child Protection: Risk-taking behaviour Female genital mutilation Child/young person exhibiting sexually abusive behaviours Refer to the Protocol Appendix 2:Definitions of Child Abuse and Indicators of Harm Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. When to report to Child Protection A school staff member forms a view that the child or young person is in need of protection because: The harm or risk of harm seriously impacts on the childs immediate safety, stability or development

The harm or risk of harm is persistent and entrenched and is likely to have a serious impact on the childs safety, stability or development. The childs parents cannot or will not protect the child/young person from harm. The definition of child in need of protection includes: harm accumulated through a series of continuing acts, omissions or circumstances NB: NB A Mandatory Report should be made as soon as possible.

Refer to the Protocol Section 4.8: Protecting the safety of children and young people Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Making a Report to Child Protection Information to provide. Child Family Alleged abuse Notifier Name/Gender/Age

Composition Times/dates Name Any disability Siblings/name/age Nature of incident Occupation Extended family Disability in family Patterns

Location Parent/carer Language spoken Previous incidents Contact details Safe Now Other adult @home Previous agency involvement Relationship to child

Background History History of violence Grounds for belief Cultural status Other agencies Religion Reaction to DHS Any other significant factors Family know of

report Present/prior concerns LACK OF ANY OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION SHOULD NOT DELAY A MANDATORY REPORT. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Making a Report to Child Protection What Happens Next Intake classification of Wellbeing or Protective report; information gathering, risk assessment, advice and referral; referral to Child FIRST Investigation - determination of substantiation of reported harm Protective Intervention - without court action Application to Childrens Court for orders for protection, supervision, treatment. Protective Orders ensure appropriate supervision for a child at risk of harm

Refer to the Protocol Section 4.8: Making a report to Child Protection and to Appendix 1: Core Functions of Child protection Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. What is Child FIRST Child and Family Information, Referral and Support Team (Child FIRST) The entry point into Integrated Family Services across the state Undertakes initial needs and risk identification and assessment Supported by Community Based Child Protection Worker When would I refer to Child FIRST rather than Child Protection

Where there is significant concern for a childs wellbeing When concerns have low to moderate impact on the child The childs immediate safety is not compromised. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Information Sharing Child Protection or Child FIRST The CYFA (2005) classifies some individuals and groups of professionals as information holders. This includes teachers, principals and people granted permission to teach by the Victorian Institute of Teaching. Child Protection Child Protection may authorise any professional to provide relevant information regarding a Child Protection investigation. Child FIRST

Child FIRST and Family Services can consult with information holders to complete a risk assessment, without prior family consent. After the risk assessment, information sharing with Child FIRST or Family Services needs family consent, and if old enough, the childs consent. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Information Sharing Protection for school staff School staff are protected provided you share information under authorised circumstances and in good faith (CYFA (2005) ) Your identity must be kept confidential unless you consent to it being disclosed. You are not subject to any legal liability in respect of the giving of information - you cannot be successfully sued.

Authorised disclosure cannot constitute unprofessional conduct or a breach of professional ethics. Authorised disclosure does not contravene: Health Services Act 1988, Section 141 Mental Health Act 1986, section 120A CYFA 2005, Section 212 Information Privacy Act 2000. NB: Details of a mandatory report should remain confidential . Refer to the Protocol Section 7.4 Protection when sharing information Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Information Sharing School Staff The deciding principle is need to know.

Only disclose information about a mandatory report with those who: have direct responsibility for the students safety and wellbeing. e.g. principal class, school welfare staff are involved in providing advice & support: region wellbeing, RNL, SCIAU have the capacity to protect the student from harm. e.g. Child Protection, Police Staff who work directly with a student such as class room teachers need to know enough information to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the student. For example: staff should be made aware the child is in a difficult situation informed that the child should be monitored and may need support provided with information about what to do if the child seems stressed No specific details to be provided to those without a need to know including: the substance and details of the concern or report who is allegedly involved. involved Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Victoria Police SOCIT Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams

Child Protection and Victoria Police have statutory responsibilities under the CYFA (2005) relating to the protection of children. Child Protection is the lead agency responsible for the care and protection of children - police for criminal investigations into alleged child abuse Protocols require that each agency notify the other of suspected child abuse. SOCIT consists of experienced and qualified police members specially trained in responding to & investigating sexual assault.

SOCIT can be contacted for advice by regions or schools. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Scenarios and case studies Following are a number of different exercises to provide practical examples of the application of the protocol and to facilitate discussion of issues. There are examples for different types of school settings and around different issues. Choose the one most applicable to your situation. Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study Secondary P1 Monday morning, a year 10 female student, Jessie 15yrs., tells you she was sexually assaulted last night. What do you do? She then tells you it was her older brother and this is not the

first time. What do you do next? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study Secondary P2 She tells you that she does not want her family to know, she will not talk to police and she wants you to arrange a pregnancy test. What do you tell her? What would lead you to form a belief? Do you report her allegation? If so who to? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study - Primary P1 A Grade 2 girl comes to your office and tells you that a Grade 3 boy has been touching her in her private parts. Is this enough information to form a belief?

Who would you consult? You talk to the principal who is aware that the Grade 3 boy has engaged in this behaviour previously and is very concerned. What do you do next? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study - Primary P2 The principal and the teacher meet with the parent they are concerned that the boys parent appears to be under the influence of alcohol/drugs and laughs about the boys behaviour. Other staff inform you this is often the case with this particular parent who is the boys sole carer. What do you do next for the girl and the boy? Do you report it? If so - who to? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study - Primary

Crystal is 8 years. She has poor school attendance She often looks tired when she is at school. She wears the same unwashed clothes all week. Crystal talks of her mother having multiple partners. Crystals mother has a mental health history and is occasionally hospitalised Repeated requests to Crystal's mother leads to only short term improvement. What would lead you to form a belief? What would you do in this situation? What issues does this case study raise for you? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study - Special Mary is 14 years old She has come to school and has been telling her classmates she has a 25 year old boyfriend She has also told them he stays at her house and they are having sex

Her Mum knows that they are having sex and says it is OK because he is a nice boy. What would lead you to form a belief? What would you do in this situation? What issues does this case study raise for you? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study - Secondary Bree is 15 years and enrolled at the school 3 months ago. Her attendance is variable. She told a staff member that she is unhappy living in the same house as her mothers boyfriend who is a creep. She also said that her mother, who works nights, has no idea what he is really like - he tried to kiss and hug her one night just before the camp. She would not elaborate further and burst into tears when the teacher tried to find out more. more What would lead you to form a belief?

What issues do this raise for you? What would you do in this situation? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Small Group Case Study All schools Tim stays in the library every day after school He says he is afraid to go home His friends tell you that Tim says he is sick of his Dad going off at them, especially at his Mum What would lead you to form a belief? What would you do in this situation? What issues does this case study raise for you? Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Where can you find the protocol electronically? The DEECD Website at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/ Link to the Protocol:http://www.education.vic.gov.au/healthwellbeing/safety/ childprotection/childprotection.htm

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. DEECD Policy & Procedures Responding to Allegations of Student Sexual Assault Procedures for Victorian Government Schools Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Age Appropriate Behaviours Resource Developed by: South Eastern Centres Against Sexual Assault Royal Childrens Hospital

Southern Health In Consultation with: Student Critical Incident Advisory Unit Department of Human Services Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Include local, regional, DHS Child Protection and SSSO contact details here Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

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