Child Safe Policy

Policy Objectives

This policy provides the framework for:

  • The development of work systems, practices, policies and procedures that promote child protection within the College;
  • The creation of a positive and robust child protection culture;
  • The promotion and open discussion of child protection issues within the College; and
  • Complying with all laws, regulations and standards relevant to child protection in South Australia.

This policy has been developed in accordance with Principle 2 of the Child Safe Environments Principles of Good Practice.

Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

Cornerstone College is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people at the College. We support the rights of the student and will act without hesitation to ensure a child safe environment is maintained at all times. We also support the rights and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and encourage their active participation in creating and maintaining a child safe environment for all members of the College community.

Our Child Safe Values and Principles

The College’s commitment to child safety is based on the following overarching principles that guide the development and regular review of our work systems, practices, policies and procedures to protect children from abuse, grooming and neglect.

  1. All children have a right to be safe.
  2. The welfare and best interests of the child are paramount.
  3. The views of the child and a child’s privacy must be respected.
  4. Clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children are established in our Child Safety Code of Conduct and staff and Student Professional Boundaries Policy.
  5. The safety of children is dependent upon the existence of a child safe culture.
  6. Child safety awareness is promoted and openly discussed within our College community.
  7. Procedures are in place to screen the Principal, members of the Senior Leadership Team, all staff, direct contact volunteers, third party contractors and external education providers who have direct contact with students.
  8. Child safety and protection is everyone’s responsibility.
  9. Child protection training is mandatory for all College Board Members, staff, direct contact contractors and direct contact volunteers.
  10. Procedures for responding to alleged or suspected incidents of child abuse, grooming or neglect are simple and accessible for all members of the College community.
  11. Children from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds have the right to special care and support including those who identify as Torres Strait Islander.
  12. Children who have any kind of disability have the right to special care and support.

** Direct Contact Volunteers are those volunteers who are involved in providing support, guidance and supervision directly to students and could potentially have direct unsupervised contact with students during the normal course of providing the volunteer service. Examples of Direct Contact Volunteer activities may include volunteers involved in College camps and excursions, coaching sporting teams or assisting in learning activities.

Our Child Protection Program

Cornerstone College has developed procedures and standards to support our overarching Child Safe Policy, through our Child Protection Program. Our Child Protection Program relates to all aspects of protecting children from abuse, grooming and neglect and establishes work systems, practices, policies and procedures to protect children from abuse. It includes:

  • Clear information as to what constitutes child abuse and associated key risk indicators;
  • Clear procedures for responding to and reporting allegations of child abuse;
  • Strategies to support, encourage and enable staff, volunteers, third party contractors, external education providers, parents/guardians and students to understand, identify, discuss and report child protection matters;
  • Procedures for recruiting and screening College Board Members, staff, direct contact contractors and direct contact volunteers;
  • Pastoral care strategies designed to empower students and keep them safe;
  • Policies with respect to cultural diversity and students with disabilities;
  • A child protection training program;
  • Information regarding the steps to take after a disclosure of abuse to protect, support and assist children;
  • Guidelines with respect to record keeping and confidentiality;
  • Policies to ensure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and standards (including the requirements for a child safe environment); and
  • A system for continuous improvement and review.

Responsibilities

Child protection is everyone’s responsibility.
At Cornerstone College all members of the Board and staff, volunteers, Third Party Contractors and External Education Providers have a shared responsibility for contributing to the safety and protection of children. Specific responsibilities include:

College Board

Each member of the College Board is required to ensure that appropriate resources are made available to allow the College’s Child Safe Policy and the Child Protection Program to be effectively implemented within the College and are responsible for holding the Principal and Senior Leadership team accountable for effective implementation.

The Principal

The Principal is responsible, and will be accountable for, taking all practical measures to ensure that this Child Safe Policy and the College’s Child Protection Program are implemented effectively and that a strong and sustainable child protection culture is maintained within the College.

The College’s Child Safety Officers

A number of staff are nominated as the College’s Child Safety Officers. Our Child Safety Officers receive additional specialised training with respect to child protection issues. They are the first point of contact for raising child protection concerns within the College. They are also responsible for championing child protection within the College and assisting in coordinating responses to child protection incidents. Cornerstone College has also appointed Jamie Cameron as the College’s Senior Child Safety Officer. The Senior Safety Officer has an important role in the promotion and maintenance of a child safe environment at the College.

Staff Members

All staff are required to comply with our Child Protection Program and their legal obligations with respect to the reporting of child abuse. Each current and new staff member is required to sign a written statement indicating that they have read and acknowledged the College’s Child Safe Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct.

It is everyone’s responsibility to be aware of key risk indicators of child abuse, to be observant, and to raise any concerns they may have relating to child abuse with one of the College’s Child Safety Officers.

Staff, as a condition of employment at the College, must adhere to the College’s Child Safety Code of Conduct and Staff and Student Professional Boundaries Policy.

Direct Contact Volunteers

All Direct Contact Volunteers, as defined in this policy, are required to comply with our Child Protection Program and their legal obligations with respect to the reporting of child abuse.

Each current and new Direct Contact Volunteer is required to sign a written statement indicating that they have read and acknowledged the College’s Child Safe Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct.

It is everyone’s responsibility to be aware of key risk indicators of child abuse, to be observant, and to raise any concerns they may have relating to child abuse with one of the College’s Child Safety Officers.

Indirect Contact Volunteers

Indirect Contact Volunteers are those volunteers who are involved in providing support and services whilst not directly assisting a specific group of students. Indirect Contact Volunteers are not responsible for supervising students and would not have “unsupervised” contact with students during the normal course of providing the volunteer service.

All Indirect Contact Volunteers are responsible for contributing to the safety and protection of children in the College environment.

All Indirect Contact Volunteers are required by the College to sign a written statement indicating that they have read and acknowledged the College’s Child Safe Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct.

Examples of Indirect Contact Volunteer activities may include assisting with College functions, or the College canteen and fundraising barbeques.

Third Party Contractors

All Third Party Contractors engaged by the College are responsible for contributing to the safety and protection of children in the College environment. Third Party Contractors include, for example, maintenance and building personnel, consultants, casual teachers, tutors, sports coaches and College cleaners. This also includes visiting music teachers and other extra-curricular teachers and instructors who are engaged by students and their families directly, rather than the College, but have an agreement with the College to use the College’s facilities.

In the College’s Child Protection Program, Third Party Contractors are classified as either “Direct Contact Contractors” or “Indirect Contact Contractors”.

Direct Contact Contractors are:

  • Those who have direct unsupervised contact with students during the normal course of their work;
  • Those who may be able to establish a relationship of trust with a student notwithstanding that unsupervised access to students would be rare (for example full-time maintenance personnel); and
  • Any contractors whom a school is legally required to screen.

Indirect Contact Contractors are those contractors who do not meet the definition of “Direct Contact Contractor”.

All Third Party Contractors engaged by the College are required to comply with our Child Protection Program and their legal obligations with respect to the reporting of child abuse, grooming and neglect. Each Third Party Contractor is required to sign a written statement indication that they have read and acknowledged the College’s Child Safe Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct. The College may include this requirement in the written agreement between it and the Third Party Contractor.

External Education Providers

An External Education Provider is any organisation that the College has arranged to deliver a specified course of study that is part of the curriculum, to a student or students enrolled at the College.

The delivery of such a course may take place on College premises or elsewhere.

All External Education Providers engaged by the College are required to comply with our Child Protection Program and their legal obligations with respect to the reporting of child abuse, grooming and neglect.

Each External Education Provider is required to have appropriate child protection policies and procedures within their organisation.

Cornerstone College may include this requirement in the written agreement between it and the External Education Provider.

Reporting Concerns

The College’s Child Protection Program provides detailed guidance for all members of the College community as to how to identify key risk indicators of child abuse, grooming or neglect and how to report child protection concerns. It also contains detailed procedures with respect to the reporting of child abuse, grooming or neglect incidents to relevant external authorities. Staff, Third Party Contractors, External Education Providers, Volunteers, students, parents/carers and other community members who have concerns that a child may be subject to abuse, grooming or neglect are asked to contact the College’s Senior Child Safety Officer, Jamie Cameron, by phoning 0409 520 493 or emailing jcameron@cornerstone.sa.edu.au

Whenever there are concerns that a child is in immediate danger the Police should be called on 000.

If you have any questions regarding the College’s Child Safe Policy, and how it applies to you, the College’s Senior Child Safety Officer, Jamie Cameron, is available for advice.