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We want your feedback before we finalise our Child Safe Plan and associated documents.

Please read the sections below and provide your feedback.

Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

All children have the right to be safe.

 

 Pulse Climbing is committed to the safety, wellbeing and empowerment of all children with whom we interact.

 

We have zero tolerance of child abuse. We will treat seriously all allegations and safety concerns, in line with our robust policies and procedures.

 

We will be responsive to the needs of all children and young people, including the cultural safety and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with disability, LGBTQIA+ children and children with prior trauma.

 

We will ensure children’s voices, and those of their families and carers, are heard about decisions that affect them.

 

We will ensure that child safety and wellbeing is embedded in our organisational culture, reflected in our policies and procedures, and understood and practised at all levels of our work.

Child Safe Policy


Purpose

 

The purpose of this Policy is to keep children and young people safe by minimising the risk of abuse, misconduct and misuse of positional power and to inform our community of their obligations and responsibilities in keeping children safe.

 

 

Scope and Audience

 

This policy applies to all members of our Pulse community, including:

  • Board members.
  • People in leadership roles.
  • Staff members.
  • Volunteers.
  • Contractors.
  • Children and young people.
  • Families, carers and community members.

 

It applies to all our activities that involve children, or that may involve children.

 

 

Responsibilities of personnel

 

Management team

 

  • Embed child safety into everything we do.
  • Model child safe behaviours and openness to feedback.
  • Seek feedback on risks, practises and policies related to child safety. 
  • Ensure the ongoing education of staff and community regarding acceptable behaviour and our policies and procedures.
  • Take seriously all feedback, complaints and reports, and keep records associated with these. 
  • Comply with laws regarding child safety. 
  • Comply with the Child Safe Standards.
  • Report to the relevant authorities in accordance with the law and our policies.
  • Focus on child safety when recruiting new employees.
  • Manage risks in accordance with the Child Safe Risk Management Plan.

 

Staff 

 

  • Attend child safe training.
  • Comply with all child safe policies and procedures. 
  • Ask for help if you are unsure about anything at all in relation to child safety.
  • Report all risks and concerns regarding child safety. If you see something, say something.
  • Prioritise child safety.

 

Families

 

  • Become acquainted with our Child Safe Policy. 
  • Provide feedback.
  • Comply with Code of Conduct.
  • Report all risks and concerns regarding child safety. If you see something, say something
  • Prioritise child safety.

 

Children/Young People

 

  • Become acquainted with our Child Safe Policy (or the child and young person friendly version of our Child Safe Policy).
  • Provide feedback.
  • Comply with Code of Conduct (or the child and young person friendly version of our Code of Conduct).
  • Report all risks and concerns regarding child safety. If you see something, say something.
  • Prioritise their own safety, and the safety of other children and young people.

 

Other Pulse Climbing community members

 

  • Respect all child safe policies and procedures.
  • Provide feedback.
  • Help Pulse Climbing be a child safe business.
  • Report all risks and concerns regarding child safety. If you see something, say something.
  • Prioritise child safety.

 

 

Definitions

 

Child

A child is defined as any individual under the age of 18 years. 

Child contact

Child contact is defined as the various forms of engagement with a child, including:

  • Physical contact.
  • Face-to-face contact.
  • Oral communication.
  • Written communication.
  • Electronic communication (for example, email, instant messaging, social media and video chats etc.)

Child harm and abuse

Child harm is defined as any action, or lack of action, that significantly harms the child’s physical, psychological or emotional health and development. Forms of child harm and abuse include:

  • Physical abuse

The intentional use of physical force against a child that results in – or has a high likelihood of resulting in – harm for the child’s health, survival, development or dignity.

  • Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse refers to a parent or caregiver’s inappropriate verbal or symbolic acts towards a child and/or a pattern of failure over time to provide a child with adequate non-physical nurturing and emotional availability.

  • Neglect

Neglect includes both isolated incidents, as well as a pattern of failure over time on the part of a parent or other family member to provide for the development and wellbeing of the child – where the parent is in a position to do so – in one or more of the following areas: (i) health, (ii) education, (iii) emotional development, (iv) nutrition, and/or (v) shelter and safe living conditions. 

  • Sexual abuse

The involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared, or else that violates the laws or social taboos of society. Children can be sexually abused by both adults and other children who are – by virtue of their age or stage of development – in a position of responsibility, trust or power over the victim. This includes grooming (defined below). 

  • Grooming

The term ‘grooming’ refers to behaviours that manipulate and control a child, as well as their family, kin and carers, other support networks, or organisations in order to perpetrate child sexual abuse. The intent of grooming is to: (i) gain access to the child or young person to perpetrate child sexual abuse, (ii) obtain sexual material of the child or young person, (iii) obtain the child or young person’s trust and/or compliance, (iv) maintain the child or young person’s silence, and/or (iv) avoid discovery of sexual abuse. This can occur online or in-person. Online, grooming is achieved through the internet or other technologies such as phones, social media, gaming, chat and messaging apps.

Children’s rights

Children’s rights is defined as a child’s entitlement to thrive, develop and be safe, participate in decisions that affect them, be free from discrimination and to have their best interests as a primary consideration in all actions concerning them. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Australia ratified in 1990, sets out children’s rights in detail.

Child Safe Code of Conduct 

 

General

All Pulse Climbing staff must:

  • Comply with this policy and prioritise the prevention of harm to children and young people.
  • Uphold the rights of children and actively empower them to participate to the best of their ability.
  • Provide a safe and inclusive environment free from discrimination or harassment.
  • Report any breach (of this policy, procedure or Child Safe Code of Conduct) to their manager.
  • Take steps to ensure all children can actively contribute to the organisation regardless of their ability, race, gender or cultural background.

 

The following table gives examples of behaviour which is acceptable and unacceptable. 

Adults and staff at Pulse must behave towards children and young people in an acceptable way and must not act in an unacceptable way. 

 

ACCEPTABLE UNACCEPTABLE

Touching

(With child’s permission) to provide first aid. Any unwarranted or unwanted touching.
(With child’s permission and if necessary) to assist with fitting harnesses. Facilitating situations that unnecessarily result in close physical contact with a child or young person, such as wrestling or tickling.
Initiating, permitting or requesting unacceptable physical contact with a child or young person, such as massages, kisses, or sitting on lap.

Language/Communication

Using positive, non-offensive language Using offensive language – swearing, using racial, cultural, homophobic or sexist slurs.
Remaining calm Teasing/Jokes that could be offensive or belittling
Listening carefully and addressing issues with a positive and helpful attitude. Mentioning sexual/adult matters in front of children
Flirting
Asking for contact details

Other actions

Emails/phone calls/messaging should go through parents, except where parents have requested otherwise Direct private communication between a coach/staff member and a child/young person (except where the young person is a staff member and is being contacted strictly about work-related matters).
Photographs of children are only taken/shared if written permission has been given by the parents and the child also consents. Photographs taken or shared without permission.
Establish and maintain professional boundaries when working or interacting with children. Bullying or aggression, ignoring or isolating
Showing or sharing inappropriate images, videos or music
Anything that is illegal or may harm children
Be alone with a child unnecessarily

 

Child Safe Reporting Policy

Purpose

To help keep children safe, we must create, maintain and improve our child safe reporting practices to ensure they remain effective. Everyone in our organisation must:

  1. know what to report, who to report it to and how to report it
  2. report any concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or young person immediately
  3. feel confident that concerns and allegations will be dealt with honestly and fairly
  4. feel confident in reporting unacceptable behaviour around children and young people
  5. ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child is paramount when an allegation is made.

 

 

What to report

All complaints and concerns should be reported. This includes:

  1. criminal conduct
  2. risk of significant harm (ROSH)
  3. disclosures of abuse
  4. unacceptable behaviour around children and young people that breaches our Child Safe Code of Conduct
  5. suspicion of harm or abuse to a child or young person 
  6. reportable conduct.

 

 

Who can report

Everyone in our organisation has the right to make a genuine complaint and won’t be punished if they do. This includes children and young people, staff members, climbers and visitors, and volunteers. Reporting abuse is mandatory and encouraged – it is never obstructed or prevented.

 

Who to report to

Reporting criminal conduct

Contact NSW Police on 131 444 for anything you consider could be a criminal offence. This includes sexual assault, physical assault, grooming offences, and producing, disseminating or possessing child abuse material.

Note: It is a criminal offence for adults not to report to police if they know or believe that a child abuse offence has been committed. In addition, people employed in child-related work may be subject to a criminal offence if they fail to reduce or remove the risk of a child becoming a victim of child abuse. 

 

Reporting risk of significant harm 

Any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm (ROSH) can report to the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) on 132 111 (this is a 24-hour service). 

 

Reporting allegations and convictions

Relevant entities must notify the Office of the Children’s Guardian of reportable allegations or convictions (that is, reportable conduct). This includes sexual offences, sexual misconduct, ill-treatment of a child, neglect of a child, an assault against a child, failure to protect a child or failure to report if a child has been harmed, as well as any behaviour that causes significant psychological harm to a child. 

 

Reporting Breaches of our Child-Safe Policy and/or Code of Conduct

All breaches must be reported to a gym manager or directly to our Operations Manager.

 

QR code links to our complaints and feedback form are displayed prominently at all our facilities. This form can be used to report. If a person would prefer to report in another way, they can do so and staff will complete the form.

 

What happens when a report is made

Reporting risk management

To ensure the immediate and ongoing safety of the child:

  • establish the welfare and safety of the child and take steps to ensure the child is removed from the risk 
  • reassure them and remain calm
  • listen carefully without interrupting
  • don’t ask leading questions or any additional questions once you’ve established there is a genuine concern (to not compromise future investigations by NSW Police or DCJ)
  • support them, reassuring the child that they have done the right thing, that you believe them and that the abuse is not their fault
  • explain what will happen, including timeframes
  • don’t make promises you can’t keep
  • don’t confront the alleged perpetrator
  • seek guidance if you are unsure about what to do.

It is the child safety officer’s role to conduct a risk assessment after receiving an allegation, to ensure the safety of all people involved and maintain the integrity of the investigation.

 

Procedural fairness and privacy

Any allegation of abuse or unacceptable conduct will be treated in a fair, transparent and timely manner. Workers subject to an allegation will be notified when a disciplinary hearing will take place and what will occur at the hearing. We follow the obligations defined under the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth), and relevant reportable conduct investigations are conducted with the OCG’s Reportable Conduct Directorate.

 

Additionally: 

  • all information is recorded on our reporting form for complaints and allegations
  • all reporting forms for complaints and allegations are stored securely and only accessed by those in the organisation with responsibility for oversight of the investigation
  • information may be exchanged under Chapter 16A of the Child and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, with other agencies who have responsibilities relating to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of children or young people 
  • our organisation maintains the privacy of those involved in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 
  • if an incident is found to be substantiated, likely outcomes or responses will be determined by HR or from advice given by relevant authorities (police, DCJ or OCG).

 

Process

Once a complaint has been made, we use this step-by-step process to make sure it’s appropriately followed up:

  • steps taken to remove child from harm
  • incident recorded
  • reporting obligations met
  • investigation conducted, keeping everyone involved up to date with what’s happening
  • offering ongoing support to the child as needed
  • reviewing the incident and updating the organisation’s child safe policies, if necessary.

Child Safe Recruitment, Induction and Training Policy

These recruitment, screening and training requirements have been developed to provide a fair, safe, consistent, and comprehensive process to engage personnel at Pulse. 

 

We assess which roles are Child-Related Positions (A Child-related position means a position that involves or may involve regular contact with Child/Young People, either under the position description or due to the nature of the role).

 

Our job advertisements, position descriptions and selection criteria for Child-Related Positions will all emphasise the primacy of child safe behaviours, for example “Must be able to demonstrate an understanding of appropriate behaviours when engaging with Child/Young People”.

 

Our interview process will include questions related to the suitability of the candidate for work with children and their understanding of child-safe practices.

 

All adult candidates for Child-Related positions must have their WWCC verified by Pulse before being offered employment.

 

Pulse will check the reference of all candidates for Child-Related positions and will ask the referee questions related to child safety before being offered employment.

 

Our training and induction process includes:

  • Reading and signing our Child-Safe Policy;
  • Understanding our Code of Conduct;
  • Understanding our reporting obligations;
  • Completing the Child Safe Sport e-learning module provided by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian.

Child Safe Risk Management Plan

Identified Risk Risk Rating Preventative Actions/Strategies
Lack of focus on child safety Low Implement Child Safe Policy.

Inform our community about child safety.

Educate our staff. 

Opportunities for coaches to develop close relationships with children

Unclear expectations about child/staff relationships

Medium Code of Conduct is very clear about expectations.

All coaches complete child-safe training.  

Parents are welcome to stay for training sessions.

Training occurs in groups, not one-on-one.

Competitive cultures can discourage athletes from speaking up and can normalise emotionally abusive practises. Medium Leaders and staff champion a set of core values that inform the organisation’s approach to child safety.

Leaders demonstrate attitudes and behaviours that prioritise the safety of children through the behaviours and practices they reward and challenge.

Code of Conduct and Reporting Policy must be signed by all staff.

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