Safeguarding Children works with organisations to create a culture of safeguarding
Why do we need child-safe organisations?
Child abuse has a significant impact on tamariki’s health and wellbeing. It can impact every aspect of their current and future life including mental health, happiness, employment, educational achievement, relationships and parenting. Organisations working with tamariki have a duty of care to safeguard and protect tamariki from abuse and neglect.
Is it relevant to your organisation?
YES!! An organisation should not assume that child abuse does not or will not happen within their operation. Not only should an organisation be safeguarding and protecting tamariki in their care, they should also consider the significance of reputational risk to their business if they fail to meet this responsibility. Reputational risk could result in significant impact to a business including unwanted media attention, funding withdrawal, loss of revenue, workforce trauma and intense public backlash. This risk is easily avoidable by putting in place effective safeguarding and child protection measures.
What does a child-safe organisation do?
- Promotes the safety of tamariki.
- Listens to and values the opinions of tamariki to keep them safe.
- Establishes effective systems to prevent child abuse.
- Ensures effective procedures are in place to recognise, respond and report all allegations of child abuse.
- Offers regular child protection training for all staff and volunteers.
- Drives change in organisational culture – embedding child safety in everyday thinking and practice.
- Provides a minimum standard of child safety across the organisation.
- Supports staff and volunteers in their role of keeping tamariki safe from abuse.
Safeguarding Children has produced a free 30 minute webinar “Child-safe organisations” which discusses the core elements of a child-safe organisation. It provides guidance to develop or enhance existing child-safe elements within an organisation. Start your organisation’s child-safe journey by registering and watching this free webinar here.
Making your organisation child-safe
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Seek the views and voices of tamariki
|We know that one of the crucial elements of a child-safe organisation is listening to and valuing the opinions of tamariki and rangatahi. If we ask tamariki and rangatahi what they think about the places they spend in and take on board those views, it sends a message to them that we care about what they have to say. They can tell us things they are unhappy about and we will listen and take that seriously. This act means tamariki and rangatahi are more likely to share their concerns with us and facilitates disclosures of abuse or neglect, thus making your organisation a safer place for tamariki and rangatahi.||Use our Children’s Voice activity with associated adult guidance, to complete an activity of asking tamariki and rangatahi for feedback about your organisation.|
Child Protection Policy and Procedures
|A child protection policy sets out an organisation’s commitment to keep tamariki and rangatahi safe and promote their welfare. It should assist the organisation in responding appropriately and with confidence to child wellbeing and safety situations which may occur inside and outside their work environment. Having a Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in place demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to protecting tamariki and rangatahi in their care, provides staff with best practice and encourages positive, healthy relationships. Procedures give clear guidance of how to make it work in practice when responding to concerns.||
To assist you in creating or auditing your child protection policy we have a Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy Development and Audit tool available for purchase. This will give the framework for what is required for robust policies and procedures.
View our Child Protection Policy recorded webinar to further assist you in creating this document.
Code of Conduct
People may pass a police vet but still be totally inappropriate to work with tamariki because of their behaviour and attitudes towards them.
A Code of Conduct is vital as it provides guidance on appropriate and expected standards of behaviour of those working or volunteering in an organisation towards tamariki and rangatahi. Having a Code of Conduct quickly identifies inappropriate or unsafe behaviour.
Create a Code of Conduct. You can purchase our Guide to Creating a Safeguarding Code of Conduct to assist you with this.
Purchase our Code of Conduct recorded webinar to further assist you in creating this document.
Tamariki must be safe in the places that they go. People who want to harm tamariki will seek roles working with them, including volunteering. Safe recruitment is one way of reducing the risk to tamariki.
The Children’s Act 2014 requires a safety check to be completed for every employee who joins an organisation as a core or non-core worker. We recommend these safety checks are extended to include volunteers to prevent those who may harm tamariki from gaining a voluntary role within your organisation.
Police vetting and safety checking for everyone including volunteers.
Your HR department or equivalent should have a policy and procedures in place detailing the recruitment process for recruiting children’s workers. These documents should clearly outline expectations to be met regarding safety checks relevant to the vacant position.
More information can be found in our Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy Development and Audit tool resource.
Ensure you know the legislation and how it applies to your organisation.
|Creating a safeguarding culture is a journey that all organisations need to start on and continually work on developing. Policies and Codes of Conduct are important elements to have in place to enable safeguarding. However, if the culture is one that doesn’t place importance on these documents or the reasons for them, the organisation is at risk of their culture over riding their safeguarding intentions and tamariki are at risk in their contact with that organisation. “Culture eats policy everyday”.||
A safeguarding culture is created by actioning all of these elements listed in these dropdown boxes.
To learn how to create a Code of Conduct purchase our recorded webinar.
Whistle Blowing Policy
|By having a policy that tells staff and volunteers what to do when they are worried about another staff member or volunteer provides one of the elements of safety for people to “whistleblow” on poor, dangerous and abusive practice. What we know from situations where abuse has taken place in organisations is that it will not be reported by those working there unless they feel safe enough and supported to do so. This failure to respond leads to further abuses and risk for all tamariki in touch with that organisation.||
Write a whistle blowing policy or ensure there is specific reference to the steps people need to take to whistle blow within your child protection policy.
More information on what is needed in your policy can be found in our Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy Development and Audit tool resource.
Advertise your commitment to child protection and wellbeing
|By promoting your commitment to keeping tamariki safe you are advising parents that your organisation takes child safety seriously. It also deters people wishing to harm tamariki from targeting your organisation as “safeguards” are in place.||
“Our organisation is committed to keeping children healthy and safe. We may share information with appropriate agencies (such as health and education providers or other agencies involved with your child’s life) if sharing that information will protect or improve the safety, health or well-being of a child.
Our agency by law can always share information with Oranga Tamariki and the Police. Further information can be found in our Child Protection Policy on our website: www.ouragency.org.nz“ .
|Records of child wellbeing and safety concerns must be documented to a high standard and managed in a way that allows for effective reviews of those records to analyse for patterns or clusters of concerns regarding a particular tamariki, family or staff/volunteer.||
Use your organisation’s record management system ensuring child wellbeing and safety concerns are recorded and are chronologically available.
Keep your eye out for future developments of training and resources to enhance your record keeping.
Appoint a Safeguarding and Child Protection Lead
|Having dedicated people to deal with child protection concerns is essential to provide the best outcomes for tamariki. This means that all other staff and volunteers are supported in handling concerns effectively. This role will also ensure that your safeguarding culture is promoted throughout the organisation.||
This role should be appointed based on interest, suitability and being able to handle difficult conversations. There should be dedicated time allowed for your employee to be spent on this role.
Safeguarding Children have a webinar/seminar on Child Protection Leads where you can find out what your role and responsibilities are.
Child Protection Training
|Training is a crucial element of a child-safe organisation. All staff and volunteers should know the fundamentals of child protection so they can recognise and respond to concerns and understand the reasons for safeguards. Training should be updated regularly to keep current with any legislation changes and best practice.||Please see our upcoming trainings on our training calendar.|
Tamariki need tools to keep themselves safe.
Safeguarding Children partner with Empowerment Trust who deliver direct training to tamariki and rangatahi via their Kidpower and Teenpower programmes.
The Kidpower approach increases protective factors and reduces risk factors for potential victims of all types of abuse. Empowerment Trust provide strategies, awareness and skills to prevent potentially violent situations from escalating and getting out of control, building healthy relationships and navigating conflict without aggression.
|Enquire with Empowerment Trust to see what trainings would be suitable for the tamariki and rangatahi in your organisation.|
|Serious case reviews where tamariki have been seriously harmed tell us that a common theme in these cases is that many people knew and many people had concerns, but there was a lack of information sharing of those concerns between those services who were involved with the child/family. We know from international research and evidence of best practice that working together in addressing child wellbeing and safety concerns is essential. “Together we can make a difference”||
Understand the law around what information you can share and with whom by accessing training on this – complete our Information Sharing Training webinar.
Reading the resources supplied by Oranga Tamariki on Information Sharing.
Download our list of services that are covered by the Oranga Tamariki Act for Information Sharing from our Resources web page.
Put a Safeguarding & Child Protection Lead in place and encourage them to link up with other Safeguarding & Child Protection Leads to share ideas, resource and for support.
Why work with Safeguarding Children?
Understanding what is needed to safeguard and protect children can be a challenge. It can be a daunting task for an organisation trying to determine where to start and implementing the level of change required to achieve this goal. Safeguarding Children are here to help navigate this process with you. We are New Zealand’s leading provider of safeguarding and child protection expertise. Our team specialise in creating child-safe organisations and delivering exceptional, effective training to ensure your organisation is well prepared to handle any safeguarding or child protection concern.
Safeguarding Children consists of nationally and internationally recognised subject matter experts. These experts are supported by a dedicated and talented operational support team who enable Safeguarding Children to develop and deliver high quality training both online and in person. This collective pool of talent has resulted in contracts with organisations such as the Ministry of Education, Oranga Tamariki and other Crown entities.
Trust us with your safeguarding and child protection needs.
Philanthropic funding sometimes allows us to work free of charge or at a reduced fee on a one to one basis with front-line community organisations undertaking important work with New Zealand’s most vulnerable who are unable, or would struggle, to pay. If you feel you fall into this category, please contact us for a discussion. Note: Support is offered to not for profit Community Organisations and/or Charitable Organisations only.