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MANDATORY REPORTING

POLICY

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE Camberwell Grammar School (“the School”) has developed this policy to define the roles and responsibilities of school staff in protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people and to enable staff to:

2.

identify the indicators of a child or young person who may need protection.

make a report of a child or young person who may need protection

comply with reporting obligations under child protection law and criminal law.

BODY OF POLICY The School:

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has zero tolerance for child abuse

actively works to listen to and empower students

has systems to protect students from abuse, and will take all allegations and concerns very seriously and respond to them consistently in line with the school's policies and procedures

is committed to promoting cultural safety and a safe environment for all students, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and students with a disability.

APPLICATION This policy applies to all Camberwell Grammar School staff, students, volunteers, contractors and any other members of the school community.

4.

IMPLEMENTATION 4.1.

Reporting child protection concerns (DHHS Child Protection or Child FIRST) Mandatory reporters (including teachers), who believe on reasonable grounds that a child or young person in need of protection from physical injury or sexual abuse, must report their concerns to the Department of Human Services (DHHS) Child Protection. All other school staff who believe on reasonable grounds that a child or young person in need of: •

protection, are encouraged to report their concerns to DHHS Child Protection or Victoria Police.

therapeutic treatment, are encouraged to report their concerns to DHHS Child Protection.

If staff have significant concerns for the wellbeing of a child or young person they are encouraged to report their concerns to DHHS Child Protection or Child FIRST. In cases where staff have concerns about a child or young person, they should discuss their concerns with the Headmaster, Heads of School or School Counsellors. 4.2.

Reporting criminal child abuse (Victoria Police) Any staff member who forms a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria by an adult against a child under 16 must disclose that information to police. Failure to disclose the information to police is a criminal offence, except in limited circumstances such as where the information has already been reported to DHHS Child Protection. Emanating from the 2013 ‘Betrayal of Trust’ Report, it is now (from 1 July 2015) also an offence if you fail to protect a child under the age of 16 years. Section 49C of the Crimes Act states that “A person who by reason of the position he or she occupies within a relevant organisation has the power or responsibility to reduce or remove a substantial risk that a

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relevant child will become the victim of a sexual offence committed by a person of or over the age of 18 years who is associated with* the … organisation and knows that there is a substantial risk that that person will commit a sexual offence against a relevant child, must not negligently fail to reduce or remove that risk.” *Associated with includes but is not limited to: Board Members, Employees, Managers, Volunteers, Contractors. These offences apply to all adults in Victoria, not just professionals who work with children. 4.3.

Reporting Allegations to the Commission For Children and Young People (CCYP) The Headmaster is to report all allegations made against an employee, contractor or volunteer at the School to CCYP and ensure allegations are appropriately investigated. Reporting allegations to CCYP are to be completed online at https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/ within three business days after becoming aware of the allegation. Within 30 days after becoming aware of the allegation, the Headmaster is to provide: •

detailed information about the reportable allegation;

information about proposed disciplinary or other action to be taken in response to the allegation;

any written submissions made by the worker of volunteer about that disciplinary or other action.

After the investigation, the Headmaster must give us:

4.4.

a copy of the investigation findings and reasons

additional information about proposed disciplinary or other action to be taken in response to the allegation.

Duty of care School staff have a duty of care to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of children in their care. If a staff member has concerns about the safety, health and wellbeing of children in their care it is important to take immediate action. In the case of a child who may need protection or therapeutic treatment, or where there are significant concerns about the wellbeing of a child, school staff can discharge this duty of care by taking action which includes the following:

4.5.

Notifying one of the School’s Child Safety Officers or the Headmaster of their concerns and the reasons for those concerns (as long as it is acted upon).

Reporting their concerns to the DHS Child Protection or Victoria Police.

Forming a 'reasonable belief' A ‘reasonable belief’ or a ‘belief on reasonable grounds’ is not the same as having proof but is more than mere rumour or speculation. A ‘reasonable belief’ is formed if a reasonable person in the same position would have formed the belief on the same grounds. For example, a ‘reasonable belief’ might be formed if:

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a child states that they have been physically or sexually abused

a child states that they know someone who has been physically or sexually abused (sometimes the child may be talking about themselves)

someone who knows a child states that the child has been physically or sexually abused

professional observations of the child’s behaviour or development leads a professional to form a belief that the child has been physically or sexually abused or is likely to be abused

signs of abuse lead to a belief that the child has been physically or sexually abused.

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4.6.

Types of child abuse and indicators of harm Child abuse can have a significant effect on a child’s physical or emotional health, development and wellbeing. The younger a child the more vulnerable he/she is and the more serious the consequences are likely to be. Types of child abuse include: •

physical abuse

sexual abuse

emotional abuse

neglect

medical neglect

family violence

human trafficking (including forced marriage).

Other reports to DHHS Child Protection may be needed for: •

risk-taking behaviour

female genital mutilation

risk to unborn child

child or young person exhibiting sexually-abusive behaviours.

There are many indicators of child abuse and neglect. The presence of a single indicator, or even several indicators, does not prove that abuse or neglect has occurred. However, the repeated occurrence of an indicator, or the occurrence of several indicators together, should alert teachers to the possibility of child abuse and neglect. 4.7.

When to Report The following table sets out when to report a concern that a child or a young person has been abused or needs protection.

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Type of Reporting

By Whom

To Whom

Mandatory Reporting - DHHS Child Protection Mandatory reporters must make a report as soon as practicable if, during practising their profession or carrying out their duties, they form a belief on reasonable grounds that a child or young person needs protection, because of physical injury or sexual abuse, and the child’s parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child.

Mandatory reporters • Teachers registered to teach or who have permission to teach pursuant to the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic) • Principals of government and non-government schools • Registered medical practitioners • Nurses • All members of the police force

DHHS Child Protection

Child in need of protection Any person may make a report if they believe on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection for any of the following reasons: • The child has been abandoned and there is no other suitable person who is willing and able to care for the child. • The child’s parents are dead or incapacitated and there is no other suitable person who is willing and able to care for the child. • The child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm because of physical injury and the parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child.

Any person

DHHS Child Protection Victoria Police

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Type of Reporting • The child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm because of sexual abuse and their parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child. • The child has suffered or is likely to suffer emotional or psychological harm and the parents are unable or unwilling to protect the child. • The child’s physical development or health has been, or is likely to be significantly harmed and the parents are unable or unwilling to provide basic care, or effective medical or other remedial care.

By Whom

To Whom

Child in need of therapeutic treatment Any person may make a report if they believe on reasonable grounds that a child who is 10 years of age or over, but under 15 years of age, needs therapeutic treatment because he or she has exhibited sexuallyabusive behaviours.

Any person

DHHS Child Protection

Significant concerns about wellbeing of a child Any person may make a report if they have significant concerns for the wellbeing of a child.

Any person

DHHS Child Protection Child FIRST

Reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child under 16. Any adult who forms a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed in Victoria by an adult against a child under 16 must report that information to police. You will not be guilty of an offence if you do not report in the following circumstances: • The victim is 16 years of age or older and does not have an intellectual disability that limits his/her capacity to make an informed decision; and he/she does not want the information reported to the police • The victim has disclosed the information in confidence during a therapeutic relationship with you as a registered medical practitioner or counsellor. Reasonable excuses for failing to comply with the requirement include: • A reasonable belief that the information has already been reported to police or DHHS Child Protection disclosing all the information • a reasonable fear that the disclosure will place someone (other than the alleged perpetrator) at risk of harm

Any person aged 18 or over

Victoria Police

The Headmaster must report an allegation to the Commission for Children and Young People within three business days of becoming aware of a reportable allegation made against an employee, contractor or volunteer. This is to be made online (https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/). Within 30 calendar days, the Headmaster must provide certain detailed information

Headmaster

Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP)

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Type of Reporting about the allegations and the proposed response prompted by the online process. It is a criminal offence for the Headmaster to fail to comply with the three-day and 30-day notification obligations without a reasonable excuse.

4.8.

By Whom

To Whom

Making a report This table describes how to make a mandatory report, to report child abuse or child protection concerns.

4.9.

Keep comprehensive notes. Use the Incident Report form in the Responding to Suspected Child Abuse Procedure.

Discuss any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of a student or students with one of the School’s Child Safety Officers or the Headmaster, providing notes on an Incident Report form.

The School is responsible for reporting the allegation to the proper authorities but at any time during this process, you can make a report to either DHHS Child Protection 13 12 78 (24 hrs 7 days, toll free) or the Victoria Police 000 if necessary.

Potential consequences of making a report Potential Consequence

Description

Confidentiality

The identity of a reporter must remain confidential unless: • the reporter chooses to inform the child, young person or parent of the report. • the reporter consents in writing to their identity being disclosed. • a Court or Tribunal decides that it necessary for the identity of the reporter to be disclosed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. • a Court or Tribunal decides that, in the interests of justice, the reporter is required to provide evidence. If a report is made in good faith: • it does not constitute unprofessional conduct or a breach of professional ethics on the part of the reporter. • the reporter cannot be held legally liable in respect of the report.

Professional Protection

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Interviews

DHHS Child Protection and/or Victoria Police may conduct interviews of children and young people at the school without the parent’s knowledge or consent. Interviewing children and young people at school should only occur in exceptional circumstances and if it is in the best interests of the child to proceed in this manner. DHHS Child Protection and/or Victoria Police will notify the Headmaster, Heads of School or School Counsellor of their intention to interview the child or young person on the school premises. When DHHS Child Protection practitioners/Victoria Police officers come to the school premises, the Headmaster, Heads of School or School Counsellor should request to see identification before permitting them to have access to the child or young person. When a child or young person is being interviewed by DHHS Child Protection and/or Victoria Police, school staff must arrange to have a supportive adult present with the child or young person.

Support for the child or young person

The roles and responsibilities of staff members in supporting children who are involved with DHHS Child Protection may include the following: • acting as a support person for the child or young person • attending DHHS Child Protection case planning meetings • observing and monitoring the child’s behaviour • liaising with professionals.

Requests for Information

DHHS Child Protection, Child FIRST and/or Victoria Police may request information about the child or family for investigating a report and

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5.

Potential Consequence

Description assessing the risk to the child or young person. In certain circumstances, DHHS Child Protection can also direct school staff and Department staff to provide information or documents about the protection or development of the child. Such directions should be in writing and only be made by authorised persons within DHHS Child Protection. CCYP will also require information at certain intervals. Information required will be directed by their online process.

Witness Summons

If DHHS Child Protection makes a Protection Application in the Children’s Court of Victoria, any party to the application may issue a Witness Summons to produce documents and/or to give evidence in the proceedings.

RELATED DOCUMENTS Child Safety Policy Chid Safety Officer – Role Description Code of Conduct for Working with Students Responding to Suspected Child Abuse Procedure Student Welfare Policy

6.

RELEVANT LEGISLATION Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 Crimes Act 1958 Education and Training Reform Act 2006 Victorian Institute of Teaching Act 2001 Child Safe Standards - Ministerial Order 870 Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Bill 2016 Department of Education – Education and Training - Child protection - Reporting Obligations Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic)

Approver Authoriser

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Staff Executive Committee Council

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RESPONDING TO AN EMERGENCY

administering first aid

calling 000 for urgent medical and/or police assistance to respond to immediate health or safety concerns

identifying a contact person at the school for future liaison with Police.

Where necessary you may also need to maintain the integrity of the potential crime scene and preserve evidence.

separating alleged victims and others involved

If a child is at immediate risk of harm you must ensure their safety by:

If there is no risk of immediate harm go to Action 2

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REPORTING TO AUTHORITIES

For suspected student sexual assault, please follow the Four Critical Actions: Student Sexual Offending.

COMMISSION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE (CYPP) Within 3 business days of becoming aware of the allegation, the Headmaster must report the allegation to CYPP on https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/

CHILD SAFETY OFFICERS You must also report internally to Child Safety Officers and/or Headmaster.

VICTORIA POLICE You must report all instances of suspected child abuse involving a school staff member, contractor or volunteer to Victoria Police. COMMISSION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE (CYPP) Within 3 business days of becoming aware of the allegation, the Headmaster must report the allegation to CYPP VICTORIAN INSTITUTE OF TEACHING (VIT) Notify VIT immediately if allegation involves a registered teacher.

If you believe that a child is not subject to abuse, but you still hold significant concerns for their wellbeing you must still act. This may include making a referral or seeking advice from Child FIRST (in circumstances where the family are open to receiving support), or to DHHS Child Protection or Victoria Police.

VICTORIA POLICE You must also report all instances of suspected sexual abuse (including grooming) to Victoria Police.

DHHS CHILD PROTECTION You must report to DHHS Child Protection if a child is considered to be: • in need of protection from child abuse • at risk of being harmed (or has been harmed) and the harm has had, or is likely to have, a serious impact on the child’s safety, stability or development.

You must also report internally to Child Safety Officers and/or Headmaster.

Q. Where does the source of suspected abuse come from? WITHIN THE SCHOOL WITHIN THE FAMILY OR COMMUNITY

As soon as immediate health and safety concerns are addressed you must report all incidents, suspicions and disclosures of child abuse as soon as possible. Failure to report physical and sexual child abuse may amount to a criminal offence.

2 CONTACTING PARENTS/CARERS

to contact the parents/carers and provide agreed information (this must be done as soon as possible, preferably on the same day of the incident, disclosure or suspicion).

not to contact the parents/ carer (e.g. in circumstances where the parents are alleged to have engaged in the abuse, or the child is a mature minor and does not wish for their parent/carer to be contacted)

VICTORIA POLICE 000 or your local police station

CHILD FIRST www.dhs.vic.gov.au

DHHS CHILD PROTECTION North Division 1300 664 9777 South Division 1300 655 795 East Division 1300 360 391 West Division (Rural) 1800 075 599 West Division (Metro) 1300 664 9777 AFTER HOURS After hours, weekends, public holidays 13 12 78

CONTACT

The Headmaster must consult with DHHS Child Protection or Victoria Police to determine what information can be shared with parents/carers. They may advise:

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PROVIDE ONGOING SUPPORT

COMMISSION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE (CYPP) https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/ 1300 78 29 78

INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS VICTORIA (03) 9825 7200

DIOCESAN OFFICE Melbourne (03) 9267 0228 Ballarat (03) 5337 7135 Sale (03) 5622 6600 Sandhurst (03) 5443 2377

STUDENT INCIDENT AND RECOVERY UNIT (03) 9637 2595

DET SECURITY SERVICES UNIT (03) 9589 6266

You must follow the Four Critical Actions every time you become aware of a further instance or risk of abuse. This includes reporting new information to authorities.

Strategies may include development of a safety plan, direct support and referral to wellbeing professionals.

Your school must provide support for children impacted by abuse. This should include the development of a Student Support Plan in consultation with wellbeing professionals. This is an essential part of your duty of care requirements.

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