It is our legal responsibility to report indications of sexual or physical abuse if we have a reasonable suspicion. This should be discussed with the centre coordinator, who will follow up with the appropriate authorities. Guidelines for dealing with suspected abuse follow.  Concerns should be documented and confidential. A copy of our Child Protection Policy can be found here.

GUIDELINES

•         Keep detailed observations regularly

•         Address concerns to the coordinator.

•         Tell coordinator immediately if there are “reasonable grounds”.

•         Meet with co-workers to discuss the legal aspects and confidentiality.

•         Meet with management.

•         Make the notification.

•         Keep documentation confidential.

•         Continue to make observations and reassure the child seek help or  support form community services if necessary

•         Keep communications between the coordinator and the department.

•         Fill in all documentation for Chabad Creche in the folder kept in the office.

Other forms to be kept on the permissions folder. Photocopy if necessary and file away in a confidential place.

MANDATORY REPORTING PROCEDURE

Under the new legislation, as mandatory notifier, qualified staff of Chabad Malvern Creche are obliged to notify Child Protection Victoria when we believe (based on reasonable grounds) that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of physical, emotional, sexual or negligent abuse and/or the child’s parents have not protected, or are unlikely to protect the child from such harm.

It may help to think of a belief as an indication to accept rather than reject the proposition that a child has been abused and to think of “Reasonable grounds” as the observations, opinions or facts which induce the belief in staff.

STAFF HAVE REASONABLE GROUNDS TO NOTIFY WHEN:

•         A child tells staff they have been physically or sexually abused. (Often they are talking about themselves).

•         When someone such as a relative, friend, acquaintance or sibling of the child that they know or believe that the child has been physically or sexually abused.

•         Staff observes signs of Physical or sexual abuse.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT:

•         Staff do not need to provide proof that the abuse has taken place. Staff only need to have reasonable grounds for their belief.

•         Staff do not need permission from parents or caregivers to notify, nor do staff need to inform them that they are notifying.

•         If staff made a notification in good faith and feel they have reasonable grounds for their beliefs, they cannot be held legally liable, regardless of the outcome of notification.

•         It is a requirement of the Children and Young Persons Act that the identity of the notifier remain confidential.  However, staff may give Child Protection Victoria written permission to identify themselves as the notifier, or may inform the child and/or the family of the notification themselves.

•         If staff’s report to Child Protection Victoria becomes the subject of a protection application to the Children’s Court, then staff may be required to give evidence. In these circumstances, it is sometimes difficult to keep the identity of the notifier confidential.

•         Qualified staff at Chabad are mandatory notifiers and failure to notify any belief when they have “reasonable grounds” constitutes an offence under the Mandatory Reporting amendment to the Children and Young Persons Act and incurs a penalty of $1,000.00.

•         To make notification of suspected child abuse, contact will be made to the local Child Protection Victoria office as soon as possible.

Child Protection Line                 13 12 78 (toll free)           (24 hour service)

 

WHEN MAKING A NOTIFICATION, A WORKER FROM THE LOCAL OFFICE WILL ASK:

1.       The child’s name, age and address.

2.      Your reason for suspecting that the injury or behaviour is the result of an abuse.

3.      Your assessment of the immediate danger to the child.

4.      Your description of the injury or behaviour observed.

5.      The current whereabouts of the child and suspected abusers.

6.      Any other information you have about the family