Why consider SafeHere/ChildSafe?
Because it works
The system is applicable to any organisation working with children and young people - schools, clubs, sporting groups, churches and so on BUT it can equally well be used when working with adults or a mix of ages. As a system, it scales to suit both large and small organisations. There are national organisations using these resources across Australia and New Zealand, sometimes involving thousands of workers and, sometimes, in small community churches and groups adopting the system for a handful of people.
Endorsements for ChildSafe
Because it's a system
|The original ChildSafe system looked like this - SafeHere resources have similar updated content.
People with different levels of responsibility access the various elements of our system to work safely with children and young people or with adults.
The three key elements are:
Because it addresses the issues
ChildSafe has always had two key thrusts: Child Protection and Safety (Risk) Management. The system has a strong emphasis on preventing the maltreatment of children, and responding appropriately when child abuse comes to light. SafeHere assists the organisation to plan safe activities and programs using a risk management framework, whatever the age group. The system covers a broad range of topics such as:
- Screening and recruiting.
- Duty of care issues, with a code of practice for working with children and young people, applicable also to those working with adults.
- Supervision and work within a safe team.
- Signs and indicators of child abuse, responding sensitively to disclosure of abuse of any kind.
- Dealing with suspicions, disclosures and allegations relating to child protection and other abuse issues.
- Transportation and water-based activities as a particular risk focus.
- Hygiene, medical safety, infection, food handling.
- Accident and incident reporting, processing and analysis.
- An Emergency Response process.
Levels of Responsibility
The system is based on an interconnected series of levels, designed so that people within the organisation have the right information and resources to undertake their role.
There are separate SafeHere Publications for each of the four levels described below. Safety Management Online provides different functionality and access for each of these levels.
These roles form a hierarchy, where each level is accountable to the level 'above', and responsible for the level 'below'.
Team Members are all people working with program participants.
They work within a broader team, and have limited responsibilities.
Team Leaders are people given responsibility for leadership of a discrete program or event.
Coordinators are often members of an organisation's staff who are given the task of coordinating a set of programs.
Risk Management Officer (described within the publication 'A SafeHere Organisation')
Risk Management Officers are appointed by the organisation to oversee safety and care across operations. They deal with serious matters and emergencies, and ensure that SafeHere/ChildSafe protocols are adhered to.
Permission to Proceed
The 'glue' that holds the SafeHere/ChildSafe system together is a process we have named
'Permission to Proceed'.
It is important to understand this concept in order to grasp the way we have addressed issues of accountability and responsibility.
Within a SafeHere organisation, every program (or event) involving children, young people or adults requires 'Permission to Proceed'.
To gain permission, the Team Leader of the program prepares a plan that provides to their Coordinator:
A record of who is part of the team for this program. These people must each have been appointed via the organisation's appointment process. SafeHere requires this to include the relevant police and referee checking and a suitable application form.
The safety plan for the program, using the template provided. This includes details of when and where the program operates, emergency contacts and an overall risk management plan.
Information about specific activities occuring within the program, where the Coordinator would like further details and a specific risk management plan for that activity.
A list of participants, in cases where this is known such as residential camping programs.
A program of events, detailing times and dates.
The Team Leader submits these details to their Coordinator, who assesses whether the planned program is suitable to operate under the banner of the organisation. To be suitable, the risks must be assessed as having been minimised to an acceptable level, with sufficient emergency plans in place, and lying within the constraints of the organisation's insurance cover.
The Coordinator can either grant 'Permission to Proceed', delay Permission pending some adjustments to the plan, or refuse Permission. The organisation mandates 'Permission to Proceed' as a requirement for all Team Leaders prior to commencing activity with children, young people or adults.
Why 'Permission to Proceed'?
An organisation can only take responsibility for programs and events that it knows about. Many community organisations are not aware of all the activities that occur 'in their name'.
For people in leadership roles within an organisation, responsibility for an untoward event will be to some extent theirs. The buck stops with them. These people therefore have a right to know what is planned, and to approve it taking place.
For Team Leaders, it is a great comfort to know that your program has been checked out by the organisation and approved. You should then be assured that in the event of a difficulty arising you will receive the support and backing of the organisation, provided you have followed the processes you put in your 'Permission to Proceed' materials.
The process often helps clarify when an organisation is taking responsibility for a program. There are "grey area" situations where it is unclear to participants, Team Members, the Team Leader or the organisation whether the activity that is occurring is the organisation's reponsibility. When an organisation decides whether or not the 'Permission to Proceed' process applies, it is making a determination about whether the program is 'theirs' or not.
Dr Thrill Says... "Grab your mates and bring them along to help out. Who needs the paperwork?"
Disclaimer: Dr Thrill knows nothing about safety and care. Ignore the man if he attempts to give you advice.
A comprehensive Training Package is part of the SafeHere/ChildSafe system. Training is provided at each of the SafeHere/ChildSafe levels, with an additional level of materials for training an organisation that wants to implement the SafeHere/ChildSafe system.
The Training Package is provided in several formats:
Within the Team Member pocket guide and Team Leader guide as Training Workbooks and Tests.
As PowerPoint and Word documents on the Resource CD provided as part of a SafeHere/ChildSafe Kit.
As Online Training modules within Safety Management Online.
Dr Thrill Says... "Training - who needs it? I already know everything"
Disclaimer: Dr Thrill knows nothing about safety and care. The only person he impresses is himself.