Muse Academy

Child Protection Policy

 

This policy reflects Muse Academy’s commitment to provide a safe environment where every person has the right to be treated with respect and is safe and protected from harm.

 

It complies with our obligations under the Children’s Protection Act 1993, including:

    • Section 8B – 8D – child safe environments and criminal history assessments for people working with children; and

    • Section 11 – Mandatory reporting.

 

It also complies with the Child safe environments: Principles of good practice and Child safe environments: Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children issued by the Chief Executive. (Section 8A, Children’s Protection Act 1993).

 

This policy, from the date of endorsement, applies to all people involved in the organisation, including:

 

    • employees (permanent and casual)

    • work experience students

    • any other individual involved in this organisation

 

All children who enrol with Muse Academy have a right to feel and be safe.  We are committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people accessing our services and the welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority. We aim to create a child safe and child friendly environment where all children are valued and feel safe.

 

Muse Academy encourages and respects the views of children and young people who access our services.  We listen to and act upon any concerns that children, young people or their families raise with us. We teach children what they can do if they feel unsafe.  

 

We ensure that children, young people and their families know their rights and how to access the complaints procedures available to them.  

 

We value diversity and do not tolerate any discriminatory practices.

 

Muse Academy takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children. We conduct criminal history assessment for people working with children, as set out in Section 8B of the Children’s Protection Act 1993.  Criminal history assessments are required for anyone within our organisation that:

  • has regular contact with children and is not directly supervised at all times; 

  • works in close proximity to children on a regular basis and is not directly supervised at all times; or 

  • supervises or manages persons who: 

    • have regular contact with children or 

    • work in close proximity to children on a regular basis; or 

  • has access to sensitive records relating to children or young people.

 

We ensure that criminal history information is dealt with in accordance with the Child Safe Environments: Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children, issued pursuant to Section 8A, Children’s Protection Act 1993.

 

All members are made aware of, and must abide by, our Code of Conduct.  Our Code of Conduct was developed in collaboration with all our employees, volunteers, the children who use our services and their parents.

 

Muse Academy seeks to attract and retain the best employees and volunteers.  We provide support and supervision so people feel valued, respected and fairly treated.  We ensure that employees/volunteers who work with children have ongoing supervision, support and training so that their capacity is developed and enhanced to promote the establishment and maintenance of a child safe environment.

Strategies we have implemented include:

    • All new employees undergo induction and receive a copy of our child safe policy and code of conduct.

    • All employees receive regular supervision sessions that include a focus on ongoing learning about child protection and other matters that affect children and young people.

    • A child safety officer has been appointed as a first point of contact for all child protection matters.

 

Muse Academy will not tolerate incidents of child abuse.  

 

All employees and volunteers understand their obligation to notify the Child Abuse Report Line on 13 14 78 as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a child has been, or is being, abused or neglected.  From time to time we provide opportunities for employees to attend information sessions about these mandatory reporting obligations (Note:  offering formal training for staff and volunteers is not a legal requirement).  We also ensure that employees have access to relevant information resources such as:

 

We ensure that support is also available for the employee making the report, particularly where an ongoing service is provided to the child, young person and their family.  

 

Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility. Muse Academy recognises that even where a report is made, we may still have a role in supporting the child or young person.  This support may include:

  • Referring the child, young person or their family to other appropriate services

  • Displaying information about services that can assist children and their families (such as the Kids Helpline and Youth Healthline) in areas accessed by children and their families.

 

In addition to making a report to the Child Abuse Report Line, employees and volunteers must also report to Niamh Byrne if reasonable suspicion is formed that a child has been, or is being, abused or neglected by another member, employee, or volunteer.  

 

In response to any report to management concerning a member, employee or volunteer of this organisation, management may determine to take disciplinary action. 

 

Other protective actions may also be introduced to ensure the safety of children and young people within our organisation.  

 

Muse Academy opposes all forms of harassment, discrimination and bullying.  We take this issue seriously and encourage anyone who believes that they, or another person, has been harassed, discriminated against or bullied to raise this issue with the principal Niamh Byrne.