Children at Macquarie University

Children at Macquarie University

SUMMARY

The Children at Macquarie University Policy establishes principles relating to children at Macquarie University in order to ensure the University meets legislative obligations for the protection of children involved in any University-related activity; and provides services and alternative arrangements to support, and ensure equality of opportunity for, staff and students with carer responsibilities. The Procedure outlines roles and responsibilities relating to:

  • Working with Children Checks (WWCC);
  • Handling Child Abuse Allegations; and
  • Obtaining Permission to Bring a Child on Campus.

POLICY

Purpose

To state the principles related to children at Macquarie University so that the University:
  • meets its legislative obligations for the protection of children involved in any University-related activity
  • provides services and alternative arrangements to support, and ensure equality of opportunity for, staff and students with carer responsibilities.

Overview

The University aims to provide an environment which protects the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children and young people in the University’s community.

The University is aware that a carer’s responsibilities and commitments can sometimes have a significant impact on employment and outcomes. The University aims to provide carers with appropriate support.

DEFINITIONS
Child / young person: person under the age of eighteen.

Child abuse: includes, but is not limited to,:
  • any sexual offence or sexual misconduct, assault, ill treatment or neglect, exposing a child to behaviour that psychologically harms a child, and/or
  • accessing and downloading child pornography, and/or
  • making inappropriate contact with people under the age of eighteen via the Internet.
Carer: a staff member or student who is responsible for the care of a child or young person.

Scope

This policy applies to:
  • all staff employed by the University
  • students who care for children and young persons
  • volunteers at Macquarie University.
It is of particular relevance to staff who work with children.

Policy

CHILD PROTECTION OBLIGATIONS
The University is required to:
  • protect any person under the age of eighteen associated with a University-related activity, including but not limited to, employment, internship, practicum, traineeship, care, or study
  • notify the Commission for Children and Young People of any decision not to engage a person as a result of the findings of a Working with Children Check (WWCC)

Staff who care for, teach or provide research or services to children will be required to undergo a WWCC.

The University will not allow a person to either work or seek work in a position primarily involved with unsupervised direct contact with children if that person:
  • has been convicted of a serious sex offence, or
  • has been convicted of the murder of a child or child-related personal violence, or

Staff are required to report any allegations of child abuse to the Director, Human Resources. This applies regardless of whether the allegation is trivial, minor or whether or not the assertion is made with proof.  The Director, Human Resources will maintain confidentiality at all times.

APPROVALS
Staff and students must obtain permission from the relevant supervisor or academic before bringing children into University teaching or office spaces.

Supervisors are required to give due consideration to requests for permission to bring children on campus, in line with the Flexible Work Policy.

CARER’S RESPONSIBILITIES
A carer is required to:
  •     accompany and supervise children on campus at all times
  •     take all reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety of the children in their care while on campus

A carer is not permitted to bring children to work on a regular basis in lieu of childcare.

Children on campus must not disrupt other people or any University activity. If a child becomes unreasonably disruptive, the carer and child may be asked to leave the campus.

Children will not be permitted to enter some areas of the University that are hazardous or inappropriate for children, such as workshops and laboratories.

Staff are not expected or required to supervise children of carers.

COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this policy applies breaches this policy (or ay of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact OfficerManager Employee Relations, Human Resources
Date Approved24 October 2011
Approval AuthorityDirector, Human Resources
Date of Commencement24 October 2011
Amendment Historyn/a
Date for Next ReviewOctober 2014
Related Documents

Children at Macquarie Procedure (see tab above)
Flexible Work Policy / Procedure

Legislation
Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW)
Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW)
Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 (NSW)
Ombudsman Act 1976 (Cwlth)

Working with Children Check Policy, Department of Education and Training 2010 (NSW)
Policies / Rules Superseded by this Policy

This is a new policy

KeywordsCarers, child protection, child abuse, confidentiality, children

PROCEDURE

PurposeTo outline the roles and responsibilities related to children at Macquarie University.

Procedure

This procedure requires actions by the following: This procedure covers the following activities:
  • Determine Whether a Staff Member requires a Working with Children Check (WWCC)
  • Obtain a Declaration Form
  • Apply for a WWCC
  • Process a WWCC Request
  • Handle a Child Abuse Allegation
  • Obtain Permission to Bring a Child on Campus

Supervisor

DETERMINE WHETHER A STAFF MEMBER REQUIRES A WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECK (WWCC)
Perform a WWCC for:
  • existing or prospective staff members whose position involves unsupervised contact with children
  • volunteers who work in high-risk roles, for example, where a volunteer mentors disadvantaged children in family-like relationships or provides intimate personal care.
  Note that you are not required to perform a WWCC for:
  • academics who teach or tutor students under the age of eighteen years (generally first year students)
  • volunteers of the University who work in low-risk roles.

Seek advice from a Staffing Advisor before a new role is advertised, to determine whether a WWCC is required. If so, include a statement in the job advertisement to advise prospective applicants of this requirement.
A Letter of Offer is subject to a satisfactory WWCC. You may complete a check for a staff member once they have signed a Letter of Offer and before they commence employment.  

Staffing Advisor

OBTAIN A DECLARATION FORM
Prospective Staff Member
Send a prospective staff member an Applicant Declaration and Consent form with the Letter of Offer.

Prospective Volunteer
Send a volunteer who is in a high-risk position the Applicant Declaration and Consent form.

Send a volunteer who is not in a high-risk position a Volunteer Declaration form. 

Receive and file completed forms from prospective staff and volunteers.

Supervisor

Existing Staff Member and Volunteer
Provide an existing staff member or volunteer who is in a high-risk position with an Applicant Declaration and Consent form.

Provide a volunteer who is not in a high-risk position with a Volunteer Declaration form.

Contact your Faculty/Office Human Resources (HR) representative for assistance where necessary.

\Staff Member/ Volunteer (in high-risk position)

APPLY FOR A WWCC
Complete an Applicant Declaration and Consent form.

Complete a Proof of Identity for WWCC form. Have your identification (ID) documents certified and dated, in your Faculty/Office.

Forward forms, and certified copies of your ID, to your Faculty/Office HR representative.
Volunteer (in low-risk position)

Complete a Volunteer Declaration form.

Forward the form to the Faculty/Office HR representative.

Faculty/Office HR representative

PROCESS A WWCC REQUEST
Check the Proof of Identity for WWCC form or Volunteer Declaration form to ensure that sufficient and appropriate forms of ID have been provided.

Sight the certified copies of the ID documents.

Send the ID documentation and completed Applicant Declaration and Consent form to the Staffing Advisor to complete the background check.

Send the ID documentation and completed Volunteer Declaration form to the Staffing Advisor for filing.

When notified by the Staffing Advisor, advise the supervisor and the applicant of the outcome of the background check.

Staffing Advisor

Request Background Check
Receive Applicant Declaration and Consent form and copies of ID documents.

Complete an Employer Request for Background Check  to request a WWCC.

Scan and email to esumail@bkesu.det.nsw.edu.au the following completed documents:
  • Employer Request for Background Check
  • Application Declaration and Consent
  • WWCC spreadsheet including the details of the new staff member.

Stamp hard copies of the Application Declaration and Consent form, the copies of ID and the Employer Request for Background Checkwith “Scanned and Emailed [Date]” and file in the staff member’s file.
Once the background check has been completed, notify the Faculty /Office HR representative and the staff member of the outcome.

Escalate any issues with the WWCC to the Director, Human Resources.

Manager, Strategic Resourcing and Talent

Perform Risk Assessment
Perform a risk assessment where a prospective staff member’s check reveals any matter that should be taken into consideration prior to engagement with the University.

Submit a report to the Director, Human Resources on the assessed level of risk of employing the prospective staff member.

Take proactive measures to minimise any risk to any child or children identified in an allegation of child abuse.

Staff Member

HANDLE A CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATION
Report Child Abuse
Report any matter relating to the safety of a child in the University’s care to your supervisor, ensuring all subjects of allegations are identifiable (i.e. both the alleged victim and the person accused of child abuse).
SupervisorReport any child abuse matter to the Director, Human Resources.

Director, Human Resources

Determine the nature of an allegation and comply with the mandatory reporting requirements in relation to allegations of child abuse, as follows:

Maintain Confidentiality
Maintain the confidentiality of the parties. Details of the allegation should only be made available to the external bodies listed above, investigators nominated by the University and/or the Police. This will protect both the rights of the child and te staff member involved.

Staff Member

OBTAIN PERMISSION TO BRING A CHILD ON CAMPUS
Request Permission
You should always obtain permission from your supervisor before a child is brought into the workplace.

You may only make a request to bring a child into the workplace due to unexpected changes to normal family/childcare arrangements, and not in lieu of having ongoing childcare arrangements in place.

When discussing with your supervisor, you would normally be expected to have explored alternative options to bringing a child on campus, such as:
  • utilising time in lieu
  • taking time off on the understanding the time will be made up at a later time
  • using personal leave or annual leave
  • working from home, where possible.

Student

Obtain permission for a child to attend a University class from the staff member in charge of that class, prior to the commencement of the class.

If a child is unreasonably disruptive during the class, the staff member in charge may ask you and the child to leave the class.

Supervisor

Review and Approve a Request
Review and approve a staff request in accordance with the Flexible Work Policy.

If you are a staff member in charge of a class, approve or decline a student request at your discretion.

Procedure Information

Contact OfficerManager Employee Relations, Human Resources
Date Approved24 October 2011
Approval AuthorityDirector, Human Resources
Date of Commencement24 October 2011
Amendment Historyn/a
Date for Next ReviewOctober 2014
Related DocumentsChildren at Macquarie Policy (see tab above)
Flexible Work Arrangements Policy / Procedure
Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement

Forms
Applicant Declaration and Consent
Employer Request for Background Check
Proof of Identity for WWCC
Volunteer Declaration Form

Legislation
Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW)
Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW)
Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 (NSW)
Ombudsman Act 1976 (Cwlth)
Working with Children Check Policy, Department of Education and Training 2010 (NSW)
KeywordsCarers, child protection, child abuse, confidentiality
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