Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy

Organisation Overview

Camp Quality’s services and programs are created specifically to support children aged up to 15 years, who are dealing with their own cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a family member.

Camp Quality provides kids and their families with fun experiences, trusted information, coping tools and a supportive community: in hospital, online, at school and away from it all on camps and at our retreats.

Policy Statement

  1. Camp Quality recognises all children and young people have the right to develop and reach their potential in caring, nurturing and safe environments.
  2. Camp Quality considers any form of child / young person abuse, inclusive of emotional, physical, sexual abuse or neglect, as intolerable, under any circumstances.
  3. Camp Quality has a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from harm and ensure any incidents of suspected child abuse are promptly and appropriately dealt with.
  4. Camp Quality promotes equity and respects diversity by:
    • actively anticipating children’s diverse circumstances and responding effectively to those with additional vulnerabilities;
    • giving all children access to information, support, and complaints processes; and
    • paying particular attention to the needs of:
      • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children;
      • children with a disability;
      • children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;
      • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Intersex (LGBTI) children;
      • and those children unable to live at home.

Our commitment

  1. Camp Quality has zero-tolerance towards abuse and neglect of children and young people. We are committed to the rights of all children and young people to feel safe and be safe when participating in our organisation’s activities, services and programs.
  2. Safeguarding children and young people is a shared responsibility within our organisation. It is the responsibility of all at Camp Quality, from the Executive to employees, volunteers and contractors to:
    • protect children and young people from all forms of abuse and neglect by our people;
    • be alert to incidents of child abuse and neglect occurring outside the scope of our operations and services that may have an impact on the children and young people to whom we provide a service; and
    • create and maintain a child safe culture that is understood, endorsed and put into action by all the individuals who work for, volunteer, support or access our programs and services.
  3. We expect all within our organisation, regardless of their role or level of responsibility, to act to safeguard children and young people from such harm by:
    • adopting appropriate safeguarding practice and behaviour set within our policy and procedural guidelines, when carrying out their roles, and
    • reporting any abuse and neglect of which they become aware to our management and/or to external authorities responsible for child protection or to police, regardless of whether that abuse is being perpetrated by personnel within our organisation, or by those outside our organisation including those from the child’s family, extended family, their family’s extended network or strangers.
  4. We monitor our employees, volunteers, and external providers to ensure appropriate practice and behaviour, and policies are followed.
  5. We require our volunteers and employees to disclose convictions or charges affecting their suitability to work with children and young people and we review police record and Working with Children Checks (WWC Checks) periodically.

Responsibilities and Delegations

Our organisation has a safeguarding children and young people governance structure with robust systems in place which support personnel and service users to report safeguarding concerns and facilitate effective risk-based and informed decisions that ensure accountability to children and young people.

Our governance structure, including our Risk & Safety Committee comprising a Child Protection Officer and Risk & Safety Officers, defines the roles and responsibilities associated with providing oversight, management and implementation of our commitment to safeguarding children and young people.

  1. Board of Directors
    1. Responsible for ensuring appropriate policies and practices are in place to minimise the risk of child abuse, and appropriately respond to suspected allegations.
    2. Required to understand and act in line with Camp Quality’s Safeguarding Children & Young People-related policies and Code of Conduct, including reporting any suspected child abuse (whether the suspected perpetrator is within or outside of Camp Quality) to a Child Protection Officer.
    3. Actively promote best practice in Safeguarding Children and Young People and promptly respond to any advice received from any State/Territory child protection authority or the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF).
    4. In conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), are responsible for ensuring Safeguarding Children & Young People-related policies and practices are reviewed annually.
  2. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    1. Is accountable to the Board of Directors for ensuring that appropriate policies and practices are implemented, monitored, reported on and evaluated in a timely and diligent manner, including the review of safeguarding children-related policies and practices annually.
    2. The CEO is required to understand and act in line with Camp Quality’s Safeguarding Children and Young People-related policies and Code of Conduct, including reporting any suspected child abuse to the relevant State/Territory child protection authority (whether the suspected perpetrator is within or outside of Camp Quality).
    3. Actively promote safeguarding children and promptly respond to any changes to legislation or advice received from any State/Territory child protection authority or the Australian Childhood Foundation and bring changes promptly to the attention of the Board.
    4. Fully cooperate with all relevant State/Territory child protection authorities or other recognised bodies in their investigations of suspected child abuse.
    5. Ensure that access to training and development and emotional support (access to an independent counsellor) is provided to employees and volunteers.
    6. Manage inquiries, including the media, relating to suspected child abuse.
  3. Child Protection Officer (CPO)
    1. The Compliance Manager is Camp Quality’s Child Protection Officer:
    2. The CPO is required to understand and act in line with Camp Quality’s Safeguarding Children and Young People-related policies and Code of Conduct, including reporting any suspected child abuse to the relevant State/Territory child protection authority, police department and/or the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF) (whether the suspected perpetrator is within or outside of Camp Quality).
    3. Fully cooperate with all relevant State/Territory child protection authorities or other recognised bodies in their investigations of suspected child abuse.
    4. Is required to ensure that the Camp Quality Safety and Child Protection Hotline is always answered (1800 CQ SAFE – 1800 277 233 or cqsafe@campquality.org.au).
    5. In addition to the above responsibilities, the CPO leads Camp Quality’s Risk & Safety Committee and Work Health & Safety Committee and:
      • promotes safeguarding children and promptly responds to any changes to legislation or advice received from any state/territory child protection authority or the ACF, and ensures changes are promptly brought to the attention of the CEO;
      • ensures appropriate policies and practices are reviewed regularly and access to appropriate training and development is provided for all involved parties;
      • is the key contact for employees, volunteers, parents, and children on any safeguarding children matter;
      • directly liaises with State/Territory child protection authorities and other recognised bodies in their investigations of suspected child abuse;
      • is the key contact for the ACF to ensure compliance auditing requirements are met;
      • investigates any suspected child abuse that involves a Camp Quality child or young person, employee, volunteer or involved parties; and
      • In conjunction with the General Manager – People & Culture, ensures employees and volunteers are recruited in accordance with the relevant Recruitment policies and that all employees and volunteers have the required Working with Children Check that is current and clear of any child related matters.
    6. Employees and Volunteers
      1. Are required to understand and act in in line with Camp Quality’s Safeguarding Children and Young People-related policies and the Code of Conduct, including reporting any suspected child abuse to the Child Protection Officer (whether the suspected
        perpetrator is within or outside Camp Quality).
      2. Are required to attend appropriate training and development.
      3. Managers are responsible for recruiting employees in line with Safeguarding Children and Young People-related policies and the Recruitment Policy.
      4. Employees are responsible for recruiting volunteers in line with the Safeguarding Children and Young People and Volunteer Recruitment Policy.
      5. Must immediately report abuse or neglect and any concerns with policies, practices, or the behaviour of personnel to their line manager, CQ Safe or statutory authority as required.
      6. Must meet any legislated mandatory reporting requirements as per Annexure 1.
    7. Parents/Guardians and family members over 18 years
      1. Are expected to understand and act in line with Camp Quality’s Safeguarding Children and Young People related policies, the Family Code of Conduct, including reporting any suspected child abuse to the Child Protection Officer (whether the suspected perpetrator is within or outside of Camp Quality).
      2. Are involved in the promotion of a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment.
      3. Are to participate in the making of decisions which affect their child / family member.
      4. Are encouraged to provide their feedback and understand the process for responding to concerns regarding the safety and wellbeing of children in Camp Quality’s care.
      5. Are encouraged to promote Safeguarding Children & Young People policies and practices.

Policy Practice and Procedure

  1. Access to Policy
    1. The Board, employees, volunteers, and parents/guardians will be provided relevant information on commencement with Camp Quality. The Board, employees and volunteers will also be provided additional Safeguarding Children & Young People related policies and Safeguarding Children and Young People training.
    2. All involved parties can request this policy, along with other Safeguarding Children and Young People related policies at any time through the Child Protection Officer or another Camp Quality employee.
    3. All involved parties have access to the Safeguarding Children & Young People Policy and Code of Conduct on the Camp Qualities Website and Family and Volunteer Portal.
  2. Training
    1. Employees and volunteers receive Safeguarding Children & Young People training on appointment of their role as detailed in the Recruitment Matrix.
    2. Employees and volunteers are required to complete the on-line Safeguarding Children & Young People and online / cyber safety training as part of their onboarding program, every three years after that (ACF training) and at other intervals as required in relation to policy / procedure updates.
    3. Employees and volunteers are provided with information during their induction about our commitment to safeguarding.
    4. Volunteers, employees and other relevant persons are required to attend a Child Protection briefing before every Recreation Program.
    5. Records relating to the attendance and compliance for employees and volunteers are uploaded to Camp Quality’s learning management system.
    6. Training content, delivery and compliance is the responsibility of the People & Culture team. In collaboration with Services & Programs and the Compliance Manager.
  3. Monitoring and Review
    1. We are committed to maintaining and improving our policies, procedures, and practices to safeguard children and young people from neglect and abuse. We have assigned responsibility for maintaining and improving our policies and procedures to the Child Protection Officer.
    2. This document will be reviewed by our Child Protection Officer and Risk and Safety Committee every year, after consultation. Some circumstances may trigger an early review, this includes but is not limited to legislative changes, organisational changes, incident outcomes and other matters deemed appropriate by the Camp Quality Board and/or Chief Executive Officer.
    3. When there are any updates or changes to this Policy, they will be communicated to all personnel and stakeholders.
    4. External audit and verification based on a sample, conducted by the ACF shall occur at 3 yearly intervals.

Definitions

  1. Child: A child means a person who is under the age of 12, 16 or 18 years as defined by relevant State or Territory legislation (see Annexure 1).
  2. Young person: A person who is aged above 12 or 16 years but who is under the age of 18 years as defined by relevant State or Territory legislation (see Annexure 1).
  3. Involved person: Involved persons refers to individuals who are not volunteers and employees delivering or attending Camp Quality programs and service.
  4. Child abuse: Child abuse and neglect refers to any non-accidental behaviour by parents, caregivers, other adults or older adolescents that is outside the norms of conduct and entails a substantial risk of causing physical or emotional harm to a child or young person. Child abuse can be categorised as physical, sexual, emotional, neglect and exposure to family violence (Child Family Community Australia).
    1. Physical Abuse: Occurs when a person subjects a child to non-accidental physically aggressive acts. The abuser may inflict an injury intentionally or inadvertently because of physical punishment or the aggressive treatment of a child. Physically abusive behaviour includes (but is not limited to) shoving, hitting, slapping, shaking, throwing, punching, biting, burning, excessive and physically harmful over training, and kicking. It also includes giving children harmful substances such as drugs, alcohol, or poison. Certain types of punishment, whilst not causing injury can also be considered physical abuse if they place a child at risk of being hurt.
    2. Sexual Abuse: Occurs when an adult or a person of authority (e.g. older) involves a child in any sexual activity. Perpetrators of sexual abuse take advantage of their power, authority or position over the child or young person for their own benefit. It can include making sexual comments to a child, engaging children to participate in sexual conversations over the internet or on social media, kissing, touching a child’s genitals or breasts, oral sex or intercourse with a child. Encouraging a child to view pornographic magazines, websites and videos is also sexual abuse. Engaging children to participate in sexual conversations over the internet is also considered sexual abuse.
    3. Emotional /Psychological Abuse: Occurs when a child does not receive the love, affection or attention they need for healthy emotional, psychological and social development. Such abuse may involve repeated rejection or threats to a child. Constant criticism, teasing, ignoring, threatening, yelling, scapegoating, ridicule and rejection or continual coldness are all examples of emotional abuse. These behaviours continue to an extent that results in significant damage to the child’s physical, intellectual, or emotional wellbeing and development.
    4. Neglect: Occurs when there is persistent failure or deliberate denial to provide the child with the necessities of life. Such neglect includes the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, adequate supervision, clean water, medical attention or supervision to the extent that the child’s health and development is, or is likely to be, significantly harmed. Categories of neglect include physical neglect, medical neglect, abandonment or desertion, emotional neglect and educational neglect. The issue of neglect must be considered within the context of resources reasonably available.
    5. Exposure to Family Violence: Occurs when children are forced to live with violence between adults in their home. It is harmful to children. It can include witnessing violence or the consequences of violence. Family violence is defined as violence between members of a family or extended family or those fulfilling the role of family in a child or young person’s life. Exposure to family violence places children and young people at increased risk of physical injury and harm and has a significant impact on their wellbeing and development.
    6. Bullying: Bullying involves the inappropriate use of power by one or more persons over another less powerful person or group and is generally an act that is repeated over time. Bullying has been described by researchers as taking many forms which are often interrelated and include:
      • Verbal (name calling, put downs, threats);
      • Physical (hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, tripping, spitting); and
      • Social (ignoring, excluding, ostracising, alienating); and/or Psychological (spreading rumours, stalking, dirty looks, hiding or damaging possessions).
    7. Harm: Harm to a child, is any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological, or emotional wellbeing. It is immaterial how the harm is caused. Harm can be caused by:
      • physical, psychological or emotional abuse or neglect;
      • sexual abuse or exploitation; or
      • a single act, omission, or circumstance; and
      • a series or combination of acts, omissions, or circumstances.
    8. Grooming: Grooming is a term used to describe what happens when a perpetrator of abuse builds a relationship with a child with a view to abusing them at some stage. There is no set pattern in relation to the grooming of children. For some perpetrators, there will be a lengthy period before the abuse begins. The child may be given special attention and, what starts as an apparently normal display of affection, such as cuddling, can develop into sexual touching or masturbation and then into more serious sexual behaviour. Other perpetrators may draw a child in and abuse them relatively quickly. Some abusers do not groom children but abuse them without forming a relationship at all.
    9. Danger to self and/or others (self-harm): Danger to self or self-harm, also known as self-injury, is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue done without the intent to commit suicide. Self-harm can also be used to describe a child/young person demonstrating suicidal behaviours. Danger to self and or others also extends to include a child/young person threatening to harm themselves or threatening to harm someone else.

 

Updated May 2021

 

Annexure 1

State/Territory Reporting Contact Details

ACT

  • Child and Youth Protection Services
  • General Public: 1300 556 729 (24 hours)
  • Mandatory Reporters: 1300 556 728 (24 hours)

NSW

  • Department of Family & Community Services
  • Child Protection Hotline: 132 111 (24 hours)

NT

  • Territory Families
  • Child Abuse Hotline: 1800 700 250 (24 hours)

QLD

  • Dept of Child Safety, Youth and Women
  • Brisbane: 1300 682 254
  • Central Queensland: 1300 703 762
  • Far North Queensland: 1300 684 062
  • Ipswich: 1800 316 855
  • North Queensland: 1300 706 147
  • South East: 1300 679 849
  • South West (Darling Downs): 1300 683 390
  • After Hours: 1800 177 135

SA

  • Department of Child Protection
  • Child Abuse Report Line: 13 14 78 (24 hours)

Tasmania

  • Department of Communities
  • Child Safety Service: 1800 000 123 (24 hours)

Victoria

  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • North Division Intake: 1300 664 977
  • South Division Intake: 1300 655 795
  • East Division Intake: 1300 360 391
  • West Division Intake – Regional: 1800 075 599
  • West Division Intake – Metro: 1300 664 977
  • After Hours: 13 12 78

WA

  • Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support
  • Central Intake Team: 1800 273 889
  • After Hours: 18800 199 008

 

Annexure 3

Camp Quality – Legal Reporting Obligations Summary

Reporting Legislation and Summary

Mandatory Reporting

  • VIC – Children, Youth & Families Act 2005 (Vic) ss 182(1), 184 & 162(c)-(d); Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)s 327
  • TAS – Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1997 (Tas) ss 3, 4 &14
  • QLD – Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) pt1AA, ss 13E&13F
  • NT – Care & Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT) ss 15, 16 & 26
  • NSW – Children & Young Persons (Care & Protection) Act 1998 (NSW) ss 23 & 27
  • ACT – Children & Young People Act 2008 (ACT) s 356
  • SA – Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) Chapter 5 s 30-s 31
  • WA – Children and Community Services Act 2004 (WA)Division 9A, s 124A to s 124H,
Relevant CQ People who must comply

Child Protection Officer

All jurisdictions in Australia have child abuse mandatory reporting legislation.

All jurisdictions require a reasonable belief or suspicion that a child is at risk of harm to trigger a mandatory report.

 

Reportable Conduct

  • NSW – NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian
  • VIC – Children Legislation Amendment (Reportable Conduct) Act 2017 (Vic)
  • ACT – Reportable Conduct and Information Sharing Legislation Amendment Act 2016 (ACT)

All three Reportable Conduct Scheme legislations require employment-related child protection matters to be reported including employed volunteers and unpaid staff members.

Relevant CQ People who must comply

Camp Quality and its services/personnel in NSW, VIC and ACT

 

Failure to Protect and Failure to Disclose

VIC, TAS, QLD, NSW & ACT,

In response to recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, adults who reasonably believe that a sexual offence has been committed against a child, must make a report to police. Failure to make a report is an offence.

Relevant CQ People who must comply

All Camp Quality staff and volunteers in VIC, TAS, QLD, NSW & ACT