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"Child Safety", what does it mean?

Child safety is a critical part of working in the Aquatic industry. All staff that are in contact with children must have a Working with Children Check and in some cases a Police Check. However, when articles arise in the media about certain situations it can be upsetting and traumatising. How can you gain further knowledge and help protect the children and young people in your care.

The topic of Child Protection can sometimes be confusing but with The NSW Government Austswim have helped to put together some helpful information.

Failure to Report Offence

All adults in NSW are required to report information to Police if they know, believe or reasonable ought to know that a child (under 18 years of age) has been physically or sexually abused. Failing to report information to police without a reasonable excuse in an offence punishable by up to five years imprisonment in the most serious cases, or seven years imprisonment in the person seeks, accepts or agrees to accept a benefit in exchange for failing to report.

A person will not be guilty of the offence if he or she has a ‘reasonable excuse’ for not reporting the information to Police. Some examples of what constitutes a reasonable excuse include if

  • The offence has already been reported under mandatory reporting obligations, such as to the Child Protection Helpline or to the Ombudsman under the Reportable Conduct Scheme, or the person believes on reasonable grounds that another person has reported it.

  • The person believes on reasonable grounds that the information is already known to Police

  • The victim is now an adult and doesn’t want the offence reported

  • The person fears for his or her or another person’s safety if he or she reports

  • The information was obtained by the person when he or she was under the age of 18 years. The offence will only apply where the person knows, believes or reasonable ought to know they have information about a child abuse after the commencement date (31 August 2018).

Failure to Protect Offence

An adult working in an organisation that employs adult workers to engage in child-related work will commit an offence if he or she knows another adult working in the organisation poses a serious risk of abusing a child (under 18 years of age), he or she has the power to reduce or remove the risk, and he or she negligently fails to do so.

The offence is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment. ‘Child-related work’ is defined in the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012. Organisations doing child-related work but are not limited to:

  • Sporting clubs

  • Child care services

  • Education services

  • Residential care services

Note: an adult worker includes employees, contractors and volunteers

Office of the Children’s Guardian – has free elearning

Topics covered include

  • Policies and procedures

  • Organisational culture

  • Risk management

  • Reporting allegations

  • Recruitment processes

  • The Working With Children Check

Visit the website for more details

Support for survivors is available through

Lifeline 13 11 14

1800 Respect 1800 737

Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380

Men’s Line Australia 1300 789 978

NB: Please be advised the above is NSW government specific we would encourage to check with your state or territory as information may differ.

We would like to thank Austswim for the above

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