Northside Community Service endorses and supports the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (ratified in Australia in 1990). The Convention recognises that children under the age of 18 years need special care and protection. Northside also endorses and supports the requirements of legislation within the ACT relevant to protecting children, specifically the The Children and Young People Act 2008 and Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011.
In recognition of our support for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we make the following commitments and expectations with the purpose to protect the children, young people and families who access our programs, services and facilities:
Our commitment to children and young people:
- We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people who access any of our programs, services or facilities.
- We are committed to providing children with positive experiences that support their learning and wellbeing.
- We will support families and communities to promote children’s healthy learning, development and wellbeing.
- We will take action to ensure that children and young people are protected from abuse, family violence and neglect.
- We will take action to ensure that children are not exploited, abused or harmed during the time that they are involved with any of our programs, services or facilities.
- We will listen to children and address any concerns that they raise with us.
Our commitment to families:
- We are committed to supporting families to protect their children.
- We will offer assistance that builds on a family’s strengths, is sensitive to their cultural and religious beliefs and empowers them to meet the changing needs of their children.
- We are committed to communicating honestly and openly with families about the wellbeing and safety of their children.
- We aim to be transparent in our decision-making with families as long as doing so do not compromise the safety of children or young people or breaches any confidentiality obligations.
Our commitment to our team:
- We are committed to providing our staff with the necessary support to enable them to fulfill their roles.
- We will put in place a management structure that supports and develops staff in their roles.
- We are committed to providing our staff with appropriate guidance and development.
- We will work to ensure that our staff have access to a senior person to make decisions in relation to any action required to protect children from abuse, bullying and exploitation.
- We will work to ensure that there are safeguards in place to protect our staff from violence or any kind of harassment in their work place.
Our commitment to ensuring a child-safe organisation:
- We are committed to using best practice standards in the recruitment, screening and employment of any staff members.
- We will work to create an environment in which children are safe and feel safe in any of our program activities, events or facilities.
- We will work to ensure that staff members do not harm, abuse or exploit children and young people who are involved with our programs, services or facilities.
Our commitment to maintaining a child-safe culture:
It is a requirement that Northside adopts the Safeguarding Children and Young People Statement as a minimum standard and that Northside become and remain compliant, at all times with, the 7 Standards of the Safeguarding Children Accreditation Program of the Australian Childhood Foundation. The Standards, as set out below, when implemented in their totality, support our organisation to develop and maintain an effective child safe culture across all of its activities, programs and services.
- Standard One – Commitment to Safeguarding Children
- Standard Two – Personnel roles and conduct
- Standard Three – Recruitment and screening
- Standard Four – Personnel induction and training
- Standard Six – Child abuse reports and allegations
- Standard Seven – Supporting a child-safe culture