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The Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group (GWRRG) ABN 68 272 158 677 operating as Resource Recovery Gippsland

Child Safe Screening, Supervision, Training & other Human Resources Practices Policy

1. Policy Purpose

To ensure all Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group (GWRRG) employees, contractors and volunteers complies with the Victorian child safe standards and the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act).

GWRRG will ensure that recruitment processes are in place to manage and reduce the risk of child abuse. In addition, it must ensure that processes are in place to ensure that there are appropriate staff induction programs, staff professional development and staff supervision arrangements to ensure a child safe environment.

2. Definitions

Assessment Notice - as defined in the Act which states that the person to whom the Notice has been issued has passed a working with children check.

child abuse includes
(a) any act committed against a child involving
(i) a sexual offence; or
(ii) an offence under section 498(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (grooming); and

(b) the infliction, on a child, of
(i) physical violence; or
(ii) serious emotional or psychological harm; and
(c) serious neglect of a child.

Children - any persons under the age of 18 years.

Child related work - work authorised by the GWRRG and performed by an adult while children are present or reasonably expected to be present. For example, the work related to facilitating the ResourceSmart Schools initiative that usually involves contact with a child or children.

Child safety - encompasses matters related to protecting all children from child abuse, managing the risk of child abuse, providing support to a child at risk of child abuse, and responding to incidents or allegations of child abuse.

Contact - any contact between a person and a child/ren that involves face-to-face contact or, contact by post or other written communication, or contact by telephone or other oral communication, or contact by email or other electronic communication.

Staff - directly engaged or employed by GWRRG; a volunteer or a contracted service provider (whether or not a body corporate or any other person is an intermediary).

Working with children check - the process for assessing or re-assessing whether a person is suitable to work in child related work.

Working with Children Card - a card issued pursuant to the Working with Children Regulations 2016 which evidences that the holder has been given an Assessment Notice.

3. Policy Statement

This policy applies specifically to GWRRG employees, contractors and volunteers engaged in child connected work such as the facilitation of the Victorian Government’s ResourceSmart Schools initiative.

This policy ensures GWRRG’s compliance by ensuring any persons engaged to undertake child related work and have direct contact with children have been appropriately screened, supervised and trained in their child safety obligations.

4. Policy Implementation

4.1 Child connected work positions
Each role that involves child connected work will have a clear statement that sets out:

  • the role’s requirements, duties and responsibilities regarding child safety; and
  • the role occupant’s essential or relevant qualifications, experience and attributes in relation to child safety.

This information is specified in the position descriptions for ResourceSmart Schools Facilitators and Coordinator.

All applicants for jobs that involve child connected work will be informed about the GWRRG child safety practices (including the code of conduct). Successful applicants will be inducted into Gippsland WRRG’s child safe practices.

4.2 Child safe screening
GWRRG will make reasonable efforts to gather, verify and record the following information about a person whom it proposes to engage to perform child-connected work:

  • Working with Children Check (WWC) status, or similar check;
  • proof of personal identity and any professional or other qualifications;
  • the person's history of work involving children; and
  • references that address the person's suitability for the job and working with children.
  • It is a condition of employment, specified in the position description for ResourceSmart Schools Facilitators and Coordinator, that the incumbent satisfies these requirements including holding a current Working with Children Card throughout their employment.
  • GWRRG employees, contractors and volunteers are responsible for applying for and renewing their Working with Children Card.
  • A working with children check is different to a police check. Where necessary, a police check may be requested separately.

4.3 Exemptions specific to GWRRG employment
A person who is currently registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) is exempt from the check. However, if that person’s VIT registration is suspended, cancelled or expired they are no longer exempt and must apply for a working with children check.

That person must notify Gippsland WRRG in writing within seven days of any suspension, cancellation or expiration or their registration.

4.4 Working with Children Check Register
Gippsland WRRG will maintain a Working with Children Card register of all persons engaged by the organisation. The register will include when an individual’s card requires renewal. GWRRG is responsible for ensuring the register is monitored and kept up-to-date to comply with the Act.

All WCC will be verified by review of the details through the Department of Justice and Regulation’s online “check status” function available at the following link: (https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/wwccu/checkstatus.doj).

The working with children card detailed will then be verified using the WWC status checker every six months to confirm the validity of the working with children cards held by staff.

4.5 Monitoring of suitability for child connected work
GWRRG will ensure that appropriate supervision or support arrangements monitoring and assessing a job occupant's continuing suitability for child-connected work.

4.6 Reporting on child safe practices
Practices must be implemented that enable the Board to be satisfied that people engaged in child-connected work perform appropriately in relation to child safety. An annual report will be provided confirming the effectiveness of Gippsland WRRG’s child safe practices.

5. References

Development of this policy has been guided by:

  • Victorian Child Safe Standards
  • Ministerial Order
  • Working with Children Act 2005
  • Working with Children Regulations 2016
  • Working with Children Check: General information Guide

6. Policy Review Process

This policy will be reviewed annually, or more frequently, if required, to keep up-to-date with changes to laws, government policy etc, by the Board, Audit, Risk and Finance Committee and senior staff.

Endorsed by the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee on 21 June 2018.

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