Child & Young Persons’ Protection Policy

Introduction

Objective

This child and young persons’ protection policy contains a variety of policies that describe the commitment that KidsLink has to children and young people and the measures it will take to ensure their safety and well-being. The safety and well being of children and young people is of prime importance at all times.

If you have a concern relating to a service provider on www.kidslink.co.nz please contact us immediately. We take all matters of child safety very seriously and will take immediate action.

Related Documents

The child and young persons’ protection policy is to be used in conjunction with the following existing policies and documents:

This child protection policy adheres to the following Acts:

  • Vulnerable Children Act 2014
  • Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994
  • Children Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989
  • Privacy Act 1993
  • Human Rights Act 1993
  • Education Act 1989/1998
  • Domestic Violence Act 1995
  • Care of Children Act 2004
  • Child Young Person and their Families Act 1989
  • Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights

Scope

This policy applies to all Service Providers who wish to promote their services on www.kidslink.co.nz.

Principles

KidsLink is committed to the following principles:

  • This policy recognises that children and young people have a right to be safe from abuse and harm
  • KidsLink is committed to the prevention of abuse and to the well-being of children, young people and their families
  • KidsLink is committed to dealing with abuse, suspected abuse or disclosure of abuse in a timely fashion
  • KidsLink agrees that working in accordance with this policy requires staff to be trained and supported
  • KidsLink will ensure any disclosures about alleged abuse are acknowledged, investigated and appropriate action taken
  • KidsLink is committed to complying with all relevant legislation

Definitions

World Health Organisation 1999

“Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power."

Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 (section 2)

"Child abuse means the harming (whether physically, emotionally or sexually), ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation of any child or young person."

Children and Young People Definition: For the purposes of this policy, children are those under the age of 14. Young people are those from 14 and up to the age of 17.

Responsibilities

The directors of KidsLink Ltd shall be responsible for the implementation of this policy. This responsibility may be delegated to appropriately trained staff.

Review

Last Review: August 2016
Amended: August 2016
Next Review: August 2017

Applicable Policies

1. Commitment to the prevention of child abuse and neglect

Aim

To identify and make public the underlying philosophy and commitment of KidsLink to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Policy

Kidslink values children and young people and is committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and to the protection of children. This commitment means that the interests and the welfare of the child are the prime considerations when any decision is made about suspected child abuse. KidsLink acknowledges that there must be a widespread commitment across the organisation to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and that this organisation will ensure that this commitment is recognised and followed.

We support the roles of the Police and CYF in the investigation of suspected abuse, and will report suspected abuse to these agencies.

Procedure

The commitment to the safety of children will be given leadership from the board and management. It will be included in all of KidsLink Ltd’s strategies, plans, and public documents where relevant.

Reference to the commitment to the safety of children will be made regularly to ensure all staff maintain the commitment.

Information about KidsLink Ltd’s commitment will be made available to stakeholders including KidsLink Schools, Service Providers and Website Users and all others involved with KidsLink Ltd.

The time frame for developing, implementing and reviewing this policy will be included in KidsLink’s annual work plan.

2. Reducing the risk of inappropriate service providers appearing on www.kidslink.co.nz

Aim

To reduce to risk of persons likely to cause harm to children and young people being able to promote services targeted at children and/or young people on www.kidslink.co.nz.

Policy

KidsLink acknowledges that those people who abuse children will often choose to work in a child-focused environment. KidsLink is committed to reducing the risk of such people promoting services on www.kidslink.co.nz.

Procedure

Application to Become a KidsLink Service Provider

KidsLink Ltd will at all times reserve the right to decline an application from a service provider to appear on www.kidslink.co.nz.

Processing Applications

  1. Applications will only be accepted if:
    Service providers complete a declaration stating that:

    1. The service provider complies with the required standards of professionalism set by the industry and/or any regulatory authority and/or relevant legislation in which they practice
    2. Any qualifications, experience claimed, and/or testimonials referred to by the service provider, are verifiable
    3. The service provider, and any employee of the service provider who may come into contact with children or young people, has no criminal history that would, in the opinion of the general public, make them unsuitable to work with children or young people
    4. The service provider shall at all times exercise responsible care to do good and reduce the risk of harm to others
  2. The service provider has an established reputable trading history which is verifiable
  3. In the event that the service provider has no reputable trading history, the service provider must provide written consent to a police criminal record check

3. Use of photographs of children

Aim

To ensure any photographs of children which are displayed on www.kidslink.co.nz are appropriate and do not adversely impact upon any child or young person.

Policy

KidsLink acknowledges that photographs and images taken of children and young people will be provided to it by service providers. These images will only be loaded on to the site if they legitimately reflect the type of work provided by the service provider and they adhere to clear guidelines.

Procedure

KidsLink will only use photographs or images of children or young people in its publications or website if it has written confirmation from the service provider that a parent or caregiver (or the child if he or she is old enough to give consent) has given permission to do so. This requirement does not apply to stock photos legitimately purchased by the service provider.

Where the service provider has provided a legitimately purchased stock photograph or image, the service provider shall provide written confirmation to KidsLink that the use to which the photograph or image is intended is permitted by the applicable licence agreement.

Content loaders shall not load any supplied photograph or image of a child or young person which shows any child or young person in a compromised position or situation, irrespective of consent.

KidsLink shall not use photographs or images in a manner which depicts a child or young person as being associated with sensitive subjects, including topics that may depict the child or young person in a negative or unfavorable light, that may subject them to ridicule, or implies illegal activities; and topics regarding all sexual issues, incontinence, sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, abortion, substance abuse, physical or mental abuse, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, homosexual or alternative lifestyles, medical conditions or procedures, and other health and mental health issues.

When KidsLink runs competitions and other such events involving the participation of children, KidsLink will ensure everyone photographing or filming the activities has a connection to the activities or is from the media.

4. Use of testimonials and text supplied by service providers

Aim

To ensure that the content any testimonials and/or text supplied by service providers do not adversely affect any child or young person and their right to privacy is respected.

Policy

KidsLink acknowledges that the testimonial content of a service provider’s web pages will be provided by the service providers. Such content may include references to children and/or young people which may lead to their identification either directly or indirectly. KidsLink is committed to protecting the identity of children.

Procedure

All names which may lead to the identification of a child or young person (including the names of parents or caregivers) shall be removed from any testimonial or text supplied by service providers.

5. Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Aim

To ensure any concerns over child safety are identified and reported.

Policy

KidsLink will provide information to identify and report any issues of suspected child abuse.

Procedure

KidsLink has published an information page for identifying and reporting suspected child abuse and neglect. This includes:

  • the 6 R's
  • a list of the information needed for a Report of Concern
  • guidelines for submitting a report of concern form to CYF's

6. Responding to suspected child abuse and neglect

Aim

To ensure any issues of suspected child vulnerability including potential or actual child abuse or neglect are taken seriously and handled in an appropriate manner that ensures the child’s or young person’s safety.

Policy

KidsLink aims to respond to allegations and suspicions of abuse in a manner which best ensures children’s or young persons’ immediate and long-term safety.

We will not act alone, and will refer all suspected situations of child abuse to the Police or Child, Youth and Family. The safety of the child will be the primary consideration, and no person in this organisation will collude to protect an adult or a service provider.

Procedure

KidsLink will respond to suspicions and allegations of child abuse by a service provider by:

  • Immediately suspending the service provider’s web page
  • All suspicions and information will be recorded factually, and held confidentially
  • Anything that is an opinion or a personal concern will be identified as such and not as being fact
  • When child abuse or neglect is suspected the senior manager will inform Child, Youth and Family and/or the Police
  • All actions and reasons for them will be recorded
  • Information will be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people

7. Induction and ongoing training

Aim

To ensure all new employees or volunteers receive appropriate induction and ongoing training.

Policy

KidsLink recognises that induction and ongoing training for new employees is critical to the safety of children and all staff whether paid or unpaid will attend induction and ongoing training to understand and carry out the Child and Young Persons’ Protection Policy.

Procedure

All new staff members will attend a programme where this Child and Young Persons’ Protection Policy is clearly explained.

All staff will read and have a copy of the Child and Young Persons’ Protection Policy. Reference to this Policy will be made on a regular basis in staff meetings and training sessions, so that staff remain familiar with and up to date with the policy statements and procedure.