CREATE’S COMMITMENT TO CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SAFETY
As an organisation set up to promote the voices of children and young people who have experienced abuse and neglect, CREATE is passionate about promoting children’s safety and well-being throughout our organisation.
Our commitment is demonstrated by:
- Our work to achieve our mission of creating a better life for children and young people in care. To achieve our mission we:
- Connect children and young people to each other, to CREATE, and to their Community; to
- Empower children and young people to build self-confidence, self-esteem, and skills that enable them to have a voice and be heard; to
- Change the care system, in consultation with children and young people, through advocacy to improve policies, practices, and services, and increase community awareness.
- Creating and upholding a child-safe environment within CREATE where all children are safe, respected, and encouraged to participate in decisions that affect their lives, and supported to have a say.
All children and young people have an equal right to be protected from abuse regardless of their gender, race, religious beliefs, age, disability, sexual orientation, or family or social background. Children should also be able to seek support from services and feel safe in the company of professionals and service providers.
What does it mean for CREATE to be child-safe?
CREATE is committed to being a Child Safe organisation, but what does this actually mean?
CREATE asked this question to our Youth Advisory Groups around Australia. Young people told us that being “Child Safe” means that CREATE staff are accessible, approachable, take concerns seriously, have knowledge about working with those who have experienced trauma, and actively care about the safety and well-being of the children and young people around them. Young people also told us that CREATE needs to make sure its offices and spaces where it hosts events are safe for children. They also said that CREATE needs to keep advocating with young people to ensure the whole care system is a safe place.
What Children and Young People can expect from CREATE
Children and young people can expect that CREATE will provide them with information on how to access our services. We will support children and young people to gain an understanding of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to their involvement with CREATE.
CREATE makes the following promise to all children and young people who are members of clubCREATE and/or attend a CREATE activity or program:
- We will show you care and respect; this means doing everything we can to ensure you are not harmed while participating in CREATE activities, and we will respect your rights and your opinions.
- If you tell us something that worries us about your (or someone else’s) safety or well-being we will do something about it. This might involve talking to your carer, caseworker, or making a report to child safety authorities. We will talk with you about how we handle our worries and what will happen next.
- Your feedback is most welcome, and you can always tell CREATE your opinions, share your experience, and make a complaint. We value your contribution and no matter what, you are welcome at CREATE.
- Children and young people have the right to provide feedback, make a complaint, and get the necessary support to be able to help them do so. All complaints will be dealt with in a confidential and timely way, in line with CREATE policy. You can request a copy of CREATE’s Complaints and Feedback Policy by phoning 1800 655 105, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting https://create.org.au/feedback-complaints/
- CREATE keeps some personal information about children and young people with a care experience and their caregivers to keep them safe, and so that we can let children and young people known about opportunities to participate in our programs. CREATE will make sure that:
- We will only collect information about you that helps us to ;
- Contact you about opportunities at CREATE;
- Help us to support you by keeping you and others safe while you are doing activities and other work with CREATE.
- All records containing children and young people’s personal information are in password protected locations on CREATE’s computers and databases. Only CREATE staff who need to can look at and use your information. All CREATE staff must sign a “confidentiality agreement”, that means they promise to keep your information private unless we have worries about your safety or the safety of others (see the point below).
- If you are not comfortable in providing your information to CREATE we will talk with you about which CREATE activities you can do safely.
- We will only collect information about you that helps us to ;
- No matter where you are from or who you are, CREATE staff will do their best make you feel comfortable and welcome. CREATE works hard to make sure our programs are accessible for all young people.
- CREATE is committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, and those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds.
- CREATE also is committed to providing a safe environment for children with a disability to participate and have a say in meaningful ways.
- CREATE staff are trained in how to create and maintain a child-safe environment. This includes not only the physical safety of our offices, but also encompasses how staff behave around and towards children and young people. CREATE has strict recruitment, screening, and induction processes for staff and volunteers to make sure those who work with children and young people on our behalf are compliant with our commitment to offering a “child safe” environment, and have the ability to identify and respond to safety concerns for children and young people.
What is expected from the CREATE staff and Volunteers
Working in a child safe manner is a shared responsibility between CREATE’s employees, and volunteers.
Everyone working at CREATE Foundation is responsible for the safety of children and young people and are required to report information about suspected child abuse. Refer to CREATE’s Child Protection Policy for further information.
According to CREATE’s Code of Conduct, all staff involved in the support of children on behalf of CREATE will:
- Work towards the achievement of the aims and purposes of the organisation;
- Be responsible for services, programs, and activities in their area of responsibility;
- Maintain a duty of care outlined in Risk Assessments towards others involved in these programs and activities;
- Establish and maintain a child-safe environment in the course of their work;
- Treat children and young people with respect and value their ideas and opinions;
- Act as positive role models in their conduct with children and young people;
- Respect the privacy of children and young people, and their families, and only disclose information to people who need to know;
- Operate within the policies and guidelines of CREATE.
CREATE Board, Management, staff, and volunteers will not:
- Shame, humiliate, oppress, belittle or degrade children or young people;
- Unlawfully discriminate against any child or young person;
- Engage in any activity with a child or young person that is likely to physically or emotionally harm them;
- Initiate unnecessary physical contact with a child or young person, or do things of a personal nature for them that they can do for themselves;
- Be alone with a child or young person unnecessarily
- Develop a “special” relationship with a specific child for example, showing favouritism
- Show favouritism through the provision of gifts or inappropriate attention;
- Arrange contact, including online contact, with children or young people outside of the organisation’s programs and activities;
- Photograph or video a child or young person without the consent of the child and his/her parents or guardians;
- Work with children or young people while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;
- Engage in open discussions of a mature or adult nature in the presence of children;
- Use inappropriate language in the presence of children;
Those who breach the above Code of Conduct will face disciplinary action, including and up to termination of employment, or cessation of engagement with the organisation. If you are aware of a CREATE staff member, or volunteer who has breached the above, please email email@example.com or call 1800 655 105; you may want an adult to help you with this. If you don’t want to contact CREATE, you can talk to your carer or caseworker or contact the relevant government department in each state and territory, which you can find at the bottom of this document and discuss your concerns with them.
Something’s not right, Speak Up!
CREATE works with children and young people with a care experience who are likely to have experienced abuse or neglect before entering the care system. Unfortunately, children and young people with a care experience sometimes experience further harm whilst within the care system or after they have left care.
If this is the case children and young people should discuss with an adult they can trust and / or contact the Child Protection Department in their state/territory to report their concerns.