Child Protection: Allegations Against Employees
Directions and guidance on how the department responds to allegations of a child protection nature made against employees.
Changes since previous version
2023 Sept 29 - updated implementation document, Responding to allegations against employees in the area of child protection. Updated links and minor word changes at section 4 and 9.3.1 to align with the introduction of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2022.
2021 Oct 11 - updated the policy statement and its implementation document- Responding to allegations against employees in the area of child protection, to:
- align with legislative changes that are in operation
- simplify the language and processes
- refer to the Children's Guardian's definitions rather than reproducing them within the procedures.
Retired the implementation document 'Procedures for the Local Management of Less Serious Allegations in the Area of Child Protection Against DET Employees' as the process no longer applies.
2020 Aug 21 - updated contact details and formatting.
Changes relate primarily to updating the name of the department and departmental positions.
2010 - updated to reflect legislative changes.
2005 - updated to reflect legislative changes.
Changes to Child Protection Legislation and Subsequent Reporting of Child Protection.
Leading and Managing a School.
Matters Relating to Departmental Employees.
Policy for Protecting Children and Young People.
Professional Responsibilities of Teachers.
Revised Procedures for Reporting Concerns about Suspected Risk of Harm to Children and Young People.
- Policy statement
- The department is committed to protecting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of students, complying with legislative responsibilities and ensuring it is responsive to allegations raised about its employees.
- An allegation of a child protection nature is an allegation of misconduct by an employee, which involves conduct with, towards, about or in the presence of a child or a young person.
- The department is required to have robust child protection systems that uphold high standards of child safe practices. Read this policy in conjunction with the department's Code of Conduct and other relevant policies, which together reflect the department's legislative responsibilities to protect student safety, welfare and wellbeing.
- The Responding to Allegations Against Employees in the Area of Child Protection (PDF 391 KB) implementation document sets out the procedures to be followed if allegations are made against employees of the Department of Education in the area of child protection.
- As an employer, the department must:
- respond to allegations of a child protection nature made against employees
- take appropriate risk management action
- ensure employees are treated fairly and the rights of individuals are respected during an investigation and disciplinary process
- report to external agencies including the Department of Communities and Justice, NSW Police and the Independent Commission Against Corruption when appropriate
- report to the Office of the Children's Guardian (Reportable Conduct Unit) reportable allegations and convictions against an employee
- report to the Office of the Children's Guardian (Working With Children Unit) the names of employees found to have seriously physically assaulted a child or engaged in sexual misconduct towards a child.
- Principals and workplace managers must report allegations of a child protection nature immediately to Professional and Ethical Standards (PES). Refer to the PES Reporting Guide for further information.
- PES is required to assess and address allegations in line with the Responding to Allegations Against Employees in the Area of Child Protection implementation document and the Guidelines for the Management of Conduct and Performance.
- Audience and applicability
- All employees including paid employees, contractors, volunteer workers and student teachers on practicums.
- The safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people in educational settings are paramount.
- When responding to allegations against employees, the department must provide procedural fairness.
- This policy reflects the department's legislative requirements in addressing allegations against employees under the Children's Guardian Act 2019.
- This policy forms part of the department's response and commitment to the Child Safe Standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
- This policy supports the department's high standards of conduct set out in the Code of Conduct by providing procedures for addressing alleged employee breaches of the Code relating to children and young people.
- Responsibilities and delegations
- Principals and workplace managers:
- respond to allegations against employees in accordance with the policy and procedures
- report child protection allegations against employees to Professional and Ethical Standards (PES) within one business day
- take direct management action when PES refers matters back
- ensure risk management strategies are implemented during investigations
- ensure the policy and procedures are accessible to all employees
- ensure staff have child protection training and receive annual child protection updates.
- Executive Director, Professional and Ethical Standards (PES)/PES directorate:
- ensure effective systems are in place to manage allegations against employees
- ensure reportable allegations and relevant workplace findings are reported to the NSW Office of the Children's Guardian
- undertake investigations of employees and decide what risk management action to take
- take appropriate action, including disciplinary and remedial action against employees.
- All employees:
- are aware of and comply with the policy and procedures
- identify allegations of a child protection nature raised about employees
- report allegations to the principal, workplace manager
- maintain confidentiality about the allegations and any investigation in which they are involved.
- Principals and workplace managers:
- Monitoring and review
- The Executive Director, Professional and Ethical Standards monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.
Director, Strategic Initiatives and Projects, Professional and Ethical Standards
02 7814 3722