Child Protection

Safe and supportive environment

St Joseph’s Catholic College is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for both students and staff. All staff in our college are expected to strive to work together to create a culture and environment characterised by mutual respect, justice and life-giving relationships. At St Joseph’s Catholic College all staff are expected to promote child safety by having a clear understanding of their legal child protection responsibilities and to act in accordance with those responsibilities.

Responding to risk of harm

St Joseph’s Catholic College staff are required to maintain professionalism in their interaction with children and young people and exercise appropriate duty of care. Members of staff receive guidance and professional development in relation to appropriate interactions with students and how to maintain professional boundaries. All college staff are mandatory reporters.

Concerns relating to our child protection responsibilities are taken very seriously and are communicated to the college Principal. School staff will inform the Principal if they are concerned that a child may be at risk. In making a report the Principal will consider all the information and seek appropriate advice from the Catholic School’s Office Child Protection Team. Any information about a child at risk is kept confidentially by the Principal.

There may be occasions when the college suspects a student is at risk of significant harm due to possible abuse or neglect by a parent/carer or another adult. In such cases the college Principal will exercise his/her responsibility as a mandatory reporter and notify the relevant authorities including the Catholic Schools Office Child Protection Team.

In situations where a child is considered to be at risk the college will work with the child and family to assist them as much as possible. If you have concerns about a child who you consider may be at risk, please discuss your concerns with the Principal as soon as possible and maintain confidentiality.

Addressing complaints of inappropriate behaviour by employees

Any complaints or concerns about an employee’s alleged inappropriate behaviour toward any child or young person are handled differently from general complaints in the school environment. There are very specific legal obligations which must be fulfilled when responding to allegations of a child protection nature against employees. If you have concerns about alleged inappropriate behaviour by a staff member toward any child or young person it is important you discuss your concerns with the Principal. The Principal is then required to contact the Child Protection Team at the Catholic Schools Office to determine whether or not the complaint involves an allegation of ‘reportable conduct’ (and therefore must be reported to the NSW Ombudsman) and advice regarding how the complaint must be handled to ensure legal compliance.

Employment screening

Background screening checks are conducted for all employees of the Catholic Schools Office Diocese of Broken Bay upon application for classification to work within the diocese. Applicants seeking to work within the college must produce a classification personal identification number together with an employment screening reference number issued by the CSO payroll to verify that screening checks, such as the Working with Children Check have been completed, complied with and current. Information regarding recruitment and selection practices and how to apply for a Working With Children Check can be obtained from the Principal.

Volunteers

At St Joseph’s Catholic College all people working in our school, including volunteers, are appropriately screened for working with children. It is important that all volunteers are aware that they are subject to child protection legislation and college procedures for volunteers. Volunteers are considered as ‘staff’ for legal purposes and need to be aware that complaints about their inappropriate behaviour towards any child or young person must be investigated.

 

In The Spirit of Mary MacKillop

St Joseph's Catholic College

Contact Details

PO BOX 4041
Russell Drysdale St. East Gosford
NSW 2250, Australia
P: 02 43 244022 F: 02 43 233512
sjcc@dbb.catholic.edu.au