Shira Hadasha Child Protection Policy
Shira Hadasha Child Protection Policy
Shira Hadasha seeks to create a space for children to feel safe and secure at all times.
All children who attend Shira Hadasha services or functions are to remain in the care and control of their parents/guardians. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that their children are safe and secure at all times.
Shira Hadasha does not offer child-minding services. A parent/guardian is required to be in the presence of their children at all times. A parent/guardian may appoint another person to care for their child at Shira Hadasha however Shira Hadasha is not responsible for the safety or security of the child in these circumstances.
Parents/guardians are required to accompany their children to use the toilet facilities and to change their own children’s nappies/clothes where appropriate. A parent/guardian may appoint another person undertake these duties however Shira Hadasha is not responsible for the safety or security of the child in these circumstances. An employee/volunteer/contractor of Shira Hadasha who is present at Shira Hadasha in their role to work with children, is not permitted to take children to the toilet or change nappies/clothes.
Shira Hadasha provides child education services. When engaging new employees/volunteers/contractors to work with children, a representative of Shira Hadasha will interview candidates and analyse the past work experience with children of each candidate. Where applicable, at least two previous employers and two referees will be contacted regarding the candidates suitability for the position. Any employees/volunteers/contractors who are aged over 18 years old are required to have a valid Working With Children’s check and provide a criminal record check. Any candidate with prior convictions relating to violent or sexually related offending, will not be engaged or employed by Shira Hadasha.
All employees/volunteers/contractors engaged by Shira Hadasha to provide child education services and/or work with children on an ongoing basis will meet annually to review the Child Protection Policy.
All employees/volunteers/contractors engaged by Shira Hadasha will be mindful of not putting themselves in a position where their intentions could be misconstrued or where they could be vulnerable to accusations of abuse of children in their care.
Communications between employees/volunteers/contractors engaged by Shira Hadasha are to be conducted between our staff and parents/guardians of the children who attend Shira Hadasha programs. In the rare circumstance that it is necessary to directly contact a child program participant (eg. organising a B’nei Mitzvah program activity), communications should preferably be conducted by email or text message, and a copy of these communications should be retained by the employees/volunteers/contractors for the duration of their engagement by the Shule.
Shira Hadasha children’s services and programs will take place in rooms where the door will remain open at all times.
Physical contact with children is strictly limited to contact that is required for an educational purpose and should be kept to a minimum (eg. tagging someone in a game, assisting putting costume on over clothes for a game).
Programs will only be conducted when more than one child is present or, in the event where there is only one child participating in a program, when their parent/guardian is present.
In the event that children are being collected from a Shira Hadasha event and there is only one child remaining to be collected, the Shira Hadasha employee/volunteer/contractor will wait with the child in a public space (eg. outside the building).
In the event that an employee/volunteer/contractor engaged by Shira Hadasha to work with children is requested to drive children to/from a Shira Hadasha related event:
- the parent/guardian of the children must provide express written permission
- there must be more than one child being transported thoughout the journey.
Shira Hadasha will not dismiss any concerns raised in relation any the care and safety of children on our premises. Any parent/guardian/child educator/facilitator or observer who notices concerning behavior in relation to the care and safety of a child while at Shira Hadasha, is to report concerns to the President of Shira Hadasha immediately. The President will determine the appropriate course of action. In the event where the President is not considered to be an independent party to the investigation, the Executive will appoint an independent investigator to investigate any alleged incident. In the event where criminal offences are suspected, the Victoria Police will be contacted immediately.
Any incident reported will be documented at the earliest possible time. The privacy and confidentiality of all involved in the alleged incident, including the reporter of the alleged incident, will be respected however all relevant information must be provided to any investigation arising from a report of an alleged incident.
Any employee/volunteer/contractor being investigated will be automatically suspended from work duties whilst under investigation. If the matter is referred to police and the employee/volunteer/contractor is ultimately found guilty of committing sexual abuse (either by an internal investigation or by a court), their employment/work duties will be automatically terminated.
The Child Protection Policy will be displayed on the Shira Hadasha noticeboard and emailed yearly to the parents of children who regularly attend Shira Hadasha services/programs.
The Child Protection Policy will be reviewed by the Secretary annually to ensure that it is compliant with all relevant child/vulnerable person legislation.
Last reviewed: November 2015