Child Protection: Allegations Against Employees

This policy details how the department responds to allegations of a child protection nature made against employees.

Changes since previous version

2020 Aug 21 – updated contact details and formatting.

Superseded Documents

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.

Document History

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.

  1. Policy statement
    1. The department is committed to protecting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of students, ensuring it is responsive to allegations raised about its employees and responds to its legislative responsibilities.
    2. As an employer, the department has a responsibility to:
      • respond to allegations of a child protection nature specifically related to the actions of an employee and ensure appropriate action is taken in relation to the finding, including disciplinary action
      • report to the Ombudsman certain convictions and/or allegations of a child protection nature made against an employee
      • report to the Office of the Children’s Guardian the names of employees found to have engaged in sexual misconduct towards, or seriously physically assaulted, a child.
    3. The department requires principals and workplace managers to report immediately to the Employee Performance and Conduct Directorate (EPAC) allegations of a child protection nature.
    4. EPAC provides direction to principals and workplace managers on initial contact about risk management, preserving evidence, reporting to other agencies and undertaking further enquiries.
    5. The directorate assesses any available information and decides whether to:
      • investigate the matter under the relevant guidelines and where the allegations are reportable, notify the Ombudsman about the allegations within 30 days
      • oversight the local management of the matter in consultation with the workplace manager (See Procedures for the Local Management of Less Serious Allegations in the Area of Child Protection Against DET Employees)
      • refer the matter back to the workplace manager for action with no further EPAC involvement because the matter is not reportable. The workplace manager is expected to take appropriate action which will include speaking to the relevant parties to resolve the matter.
    6. The directorate assesses risk to address the safety of alleged victims, witnesses and students more broadly while an investigation is undertaken.
    7. Investigations involve collecting and analysing the evidence, putting allegations to an employee, providing the opportunity for the person under investigation to respond, reviewing all the information gathered and drafting an investigation report with a recommended outcome.
    8. EPAC and principals/workplace managers will provide victims and employees information about support services available to them. Additional supports may be required where a victim is particularly vulnerable e.g. a student with disability.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all employees including paid employees, contractors, volunteer workers and student teachers on practicums.
  3. Context
    1. The safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people in educational settings are paramount. When responding to allegations against employees the department also has a responsibility to ensure its employees are treated fairly.
    2. This policy reflects the legislative requirements of the department to respond to allegations of a child protection nature against employees. The department has an obligation to children and employees to ensure allegations of a child protection nature are addressed and properly handled. The department also has a duty of care to keep students safe in schools.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Executive Director EPAC/ EPAC Directorate
      • Ensure effective systems are in place to manage allegations against employees
      • Ensure reportable allegations are notified to the NSW Ombudsman and relevant workplace findings are reported to the Office of the Children’s Guardian
      • Determine the type of response that will be made to the allegations
      • Undertake investigations of employees and decide what risk management action will be taken
      • Take appropriate action including disciplinary and remedial action against employees.
    2. Principals and workplace managers
      • Respond to allegations against employees in accordance with the policy and procedures
      • Report child protection allegations against employees to EPAC within 1 business day
      • Ensure the policy and procedures are accessible to all employees
      • Ensure staff have child protection training and receive annual child protection updates
      • Ensure risk management strategies are implemented locally during investigations and students and staff are supported
      • Locally manage less serious allegations under the oversight of EPAC.
    3. 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 or EPAC
      • Maintain confidentiality about the allegations and any investigation in which they are involved.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Executive Director, Employee Performance and Conduct is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness, every three years, or sooner if necessary.
  6. Contact
    1. Director, Systems and Practice
      02 7814 3722
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