Policy

Child Safety Policy

HULA HIPS Child Safe Policy and Code of Conduct

Hula Hips believes that:

  • The welfare of children and young people are vital.
  • All children and young people, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse.
  • All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
  • All staff (paid/voluntary) working in Performing Arts have a responsibility to report concerns to the appropriate officer.

Policy Statement:

Hula Hips has a duty of care to safeguard all children and young people involved in dance from harm. All children and young people have a right to protection. Hula Hips will ensure the safety and protection of all children and young people involved in dance through adherence to the Child Safety Policy.

Child – means a person who is under the age of 16 years.

Young person – means a person who is aged 16 years or above but who is under the age of 18 years.

Defined by CHILD PROTECTION ACT 1999 (QLD).

Policy Aims:

  • The aim of Hula Hips’ Child Safety Policy is to promote good practice.
  • To Provide children and young people with appropriate safety and protection.
  • Allow all staff/volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.

Commitment to child safety:

Hula Hips is a Child Safe Organisation. As a school, we are committed to and focused on providing a safe community for all students and family members always. We want our students to feel safe, supported, respected, happy, empowered and have fun.

The welfare of the children in our care will always be our priority and we have a zero tolerance to child abuse. This policy demonstrates the strong commitment of the Principal and staff to child safety and provides the policies and practices developed to keep everyone safe from any harm, including abuse. It applies to all staff, volunteers, children and individuals involved in our school.

Children’s rights to safety and participation:

Hula Hips staff encourage children to express their views. We listen to their suggestions, especially on matters that directly affect them. We actively encourage all children to ‘have a say’ about things that are important to them.

We teach children about what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, or their parents/carers, raise with us.

Valuing diversity:

We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices. To achieve this, we:

  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children and their families
  • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families
  • welcome children with a disability and their families and act to promote their participation
  • seek appropriate staff from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Recruitment and Selecting Staff:

Hula Hips takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children.

All teachers employed by Hula Hips are required to have a current Working with Children Check (QLD) that has been verified by the principal. It is also recommended that all teachers have up to date First Aid and CPR.

Promoting Good Practice:

Hula Hips will encourage the following:

  • Always working in an open environment.
  • Treating all young people equally, and with respect and dignity.
  • Always putting the welfare of each young person as priority.
  • Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with dancers within reason manual/physical support.
  • Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust which empowers children to share in the decision-making process.
  • Making dance fun, enjoyable and promoting fair play.
  • Keeping up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance in dance.
  • Involving parents/carers wherever possible.
  • Being an excellent role model.
  • Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Recognising the developments/ needs and capacity of young people – avoiding excessive training or competition and not pushing them against their will.
  • Having consent forms from parents/guardians in relation to administrating first aid and/or other medical treatment and media release/photos.
  • Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.

The following should never be sanctioned:

  • Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay.
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
  • Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
  • Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
  • Do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.
  • Invite or allow children to stay at your home unsupervised.

Responding to Suspicions/Allegations of Abuse:

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in Hula Hips in a paid or unpaid capacity to take responsibility or to decide whether child abuse has taken place. However, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.

Hula Hips will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is or may be abusing a child/young person.

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the principal teacher who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

Reporting a child safety concern or complaint:

All Hula Hips teachers, students and families are supported to raise any concerns or complaints regarding any risks to a child’s safety or any signs of abuse.

All concerns or complaints should be made directly to Juanita Lia-Norris and will be resolved as soon as possible. Support will be offered to all people involved.

Please remember that if you believe a child is at immediate risk to call 000 as soon as possible.

Internal Enquiries and Suspension:

Hula Hips will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be suspended pending further police and CYJMA investigation. Irrespective of findings Hula Hips will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated. The welfare of the child/young person should remain of paramount importance throughout.

Strategies to Minimise Risk:

  • Taking images of children – Authorisation is given by caregiver to have images taken of their child/ren and occasionally will be used to display on our website.
  • Supervision of children – Children are supervised always in class by the responsible teacher assigned to that class. The studio does not take responsibility for children outside of the premises. This responsibility lies solely with the caregiver.
  • Physical contact – Some physical contact may be deemed necessary to demonstrate exercises and for personal correction; or if a member of staff needs to administer first aid.
  • Protecting privacy and confidentiality- All information given to the studio is strictly confidential. Information is given to the child’s teacher where it is in the best interest of the child.

Action regarding Bullying:

  • Take all signs of bullying very seriously.
  • Encourage all children to speak and share their concerns.
  • Help the victim to speak out and tell the person in charge or someone on authority.
  • Create an open environment.
  • Investigate all allegations and act to ensure the victim is safe.
  • Speak with the victim and the bully/ies separately.
  • Reassure the victim that you can be trusted and will help them, although you cannot promise to tell no one else.
  • Keep records of what is said (what happened by whom, when etc).
  • Report any concerns to the Principal.
  • Talk with the bully/ies explain the situation and try to get the bully/ies to understand the consequences of their behaviour.
  • Seek an apology to the victim/s.
  • Inform the bully’s parents.
  • Insist on the return of borrowed items and that the bully/ies compensate the victim.
  • Provide support for the teacher of the victim.
  • Impose sanctions as necessary.
  • Encourage and support the bully/ies to change behaviour.
  • Hold meetings with the families to report on progress.
  • Inform all appropriate members of the action taken.
  • Keep a written record of action taken.

Reviewing this policy:

This policy will be reviewed every year and we undertake to seek views, comments and suggestions from students, parents, carers and staff.