Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct
ALWS CHILD SAFEGUARDING CODE OF CONDUCT
This Code of Conduct is for ALWS personnel who have not signed the ALWS Code of Conduct. All aspects of this Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct are included in the ALWS Code of Conduct.
ALWS personnel are responsible for maintaining a professional role with children, which means establishing and maintaining clear professional boundaries that serve to protect everyone from misunderstandings or a violation of the professional relationship.
ALWS has developed this Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct to protect children, staff and the organisation by providing the clear behavioural guidelines and expectations below.
I _________________________________________ [insert name], agree that in the course of my association with ALWS, I will:
- not access or use information about children or their families for purposes outside of what I have been specifically requested to do by ALWS
- treat children with respect regardless of their gender, race, colour, language, nationality, religion, political or other beliefs, family background, economic status, physical or mental health, criminal background, or opinions, or those of their family members
- not use language or behaviour towards children that is inappropriate, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative, demeaning or culturally inappropriate
- not engage children under the age of 18 in any form of sexual intercourse or sexual activity, including paying for sexual services. Local age of consent and mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defence
- ensure that another adult is present when working in the proximity of children
- not invite unaccompanied children into my home, unless they are at immediate risk of injury or in physical danger
- not sleep close to unsupervised children unless absolutely necessary, in which case I must obtain my supervisor’s permission, and ensure that another adult is present if possible
- use any computers, mobile phones, video cameras, cameras or social media appropriately, and never to exploit or harass children or access child exploitation material through any medium
- not meet with or communicate with (including by email, phone, social media etc) any child associated with ALWS’ work outside of what is required of me for my work with ALWS
- if my work does require me to communicate with a child by electronic medium or post, I must include the child’s parents (if known) and another ALWS staff member (if electronic) or show another ALWS staff member (if mailing)
- not use physical punishment on children
- not encourage or initiate physical contact with children
- not consume alcohol or illicit drugs in the company of children, not offer them to children and not facilitate children’s access to alcohol or illicit drugs
- not show favouritism towards specific children such as the offering of gifts, special thanks, special treatment or inappropriate attention
- not hire children for domestic or other labour which is inappropriate given their age and developmental stage, which interferes with their time available for education and recreational activities, or which places them at significant risk of injury
- comply with all relevant Australian and local legislation, including labour laws in relation to child labour
- immediately report concerns or allegations of child exploitation and abuse and policy non-compliance in accordance with appropriate procedures (see Child Safeguarding Reporting Procedure and the summary contact details below)
- immediately disclose all charges, convictions and other outcomes of an offence that relates to child exploitation and abuse, which occurred before or occurs during my association with ALWS.
These behaviours are not intended to interfere with normal family interactions.
When photographing or filming a child or using children’s images for work-related purposes, I will:
- take care to ensure local traditions or restrictions for reproducing personal images are adhered to before photographing or filming a child
- obtain informed consent from the child and parent or guardian of the child before photographing or filming a child. An explanation of how the photograph or film will be used will be provided
- ensure images are honest representations of the context and the facts
- ensure photographs, films, videos and DVDs present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner. Children should be adequately clothed and not in poses that could be seen as sexually suggestive.
- ensure file labels, meta data or text descriptions do not reveal identifying information about a child when sending images electronically or publishing images in any form
I understand that the onus is on me, as a person associated with ALWS, to use common sense and avoid actions and behaviours that could be construed as child exploitation or abuse.
I also understand that any breach of this Code of Conduct or the Child Safeguarding Policy is a violation of my obligations and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, termination of services, legal action and/or criminal investigation and prosecution.
Reporting Child Abuse or Exploitation or Code of Conduct non-compliance
The ALWS Child Safeguarding Reporting Procedure provides more detail on reporting concerns related to child abuse and exploitation. However, in summary, if:
- You have concerns that a child may have been abused or exploited or is at risk of abuse or exploitation by an ALWS personnel or personnel of an ALWS partner organisation, or
- You have concerns that an ALWS personnel or personnel of an ALWS partner organisation may have not followed the ALWS Safeguarding Code of Conduct. I.e. issues of policy non-compliance, but not child abuse.
- In Australia, immediately notify the police and within 24 hours notify the ALWS Executive Director (or if the ED not available, the Child Safeguarding Focal Point, or if the report is about the ED, the ALWS Board Chair)
- If overseas, notify the director of the partner agency and within 24 hours notify the ALWS Executive Director (or Child Safeguarding Focal Point or ALWS Board Chair)
ALWS Executive Director
02 6021 5329/0400 409 177
ALWS Child Safeguarding Focal Point
02 6021 5329/0423 192 241
ALWS Board Chair
07 5540 8888
Download this as PDF