This Policy has been written to demonstrate the strong commitment for employees of this practice to child safety and establishing and maintaining a child safe and child friendly environment.
This policy complies policy complies with the child safe provisions of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.
This policy applies to all employees, volunteers, children, young people, parents, carers, and other individuals involved in the organisation.
All children and young people who come to the practice have a right to feel safe and be safe. Our organisation is committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people accessing our services.
The following code of conduct relates specifically to the relationship between employees of this medical practice and children and young people. Children and young people, for the purpose of this code are defined as being up to 18 years of age. This code will be used in conjunction with the AMA Code of Ethics 2004 (Editorially revised 2006).
All employees must adhere to this code, and if any employees are found to be non-compliant, they may face disciplinary action depending on the severity of the matter.
This practice will, in relation to this interaction with Children and young people, ensure the following from all staff:
Our practice takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the most suitable and appropriate people for working with children and young people are recruited. This includes applying best practice methods in the recruitment and screening process and in accordance with CHILD SAFETY (PROHIBITED PERSONS) ACT 2016. We also ensure ongoing support and training for new and existing staff to continue to provide a child safe environment.
Position descriptions are provided to all staff on commencement and reviewed with all staff appraisals annually. These are also made available within our Practice Hub program. Prior to commencement at GMC, staff are interviewed, and reference checks are completed. Prior to commencement, all staff required by law to have a valid Working with Children Check (WWCC) must provide proof of current certificate and these are to be renewed every 5 years. All employees commence a probationary period, over which time on-the-job observations are taken.
All staff sign an acknowledgement of having read and understood policies and procedures via the Practice Hub program.
The Department of Human Services Screening Unit will be advised immediately of any information including any serious criminal office, child protection information or disciplinary or misconduct information.
GMC provides requests via the screening unit portal to employees requiring renewal WWCC’s.
All staff have annual performance appraisals.
Practice Hub has a copy of the Mandatory Reporting information booklet for all staff to access. On commencement, all staff must acknowledge and sign they have read the booklet and the Child Safe Environment policy.
Regular practice meetings are held at GMC, at each meeting, a topic is covered for all staff as a ‘refresher’ training. Child Safety & a briefing on mandatory reporting is one of these topics.
This practice fosters a safe and welcoming environment where everyone is treated equally and without discrimination. All staff are actively encouraged to be involved with the continual improvement process and suggestions on how to further develop improvement are welcomed by contacting the Practice Manager.
To suspected harm or risk of harm to children and young people.
Our practice is aware of the mandatory reporting obligations required under Chapter 5, Part 1, Section 31 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and provides opportunities for all employees to attend training and information sessions on mandatory reporting.
Information about making appropriate reports of harm, abuse or neglect is available from the South Australian Department of Child Protection website: https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/reporting-child-abuse
Goolwa Medical Centre will not tolerate incidents of harm or risk of harm to children and young people. All employees are mandated notifiers and 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 or young person has been harmed or is at risk of harm or SA Police on 000 if there is immediate risk.
Employees have obligations under the South Australian Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 to:
If an employee in our organisation is suspected of causing harm/risk of harm to a child or young person, following a report being made to authorities, we will ensure the ongoing safety of children and young people by ensuring the employee has no further contact with children and young people may be suspended from duties until an investigation by the appropriate authority has been completed.
(Note: It is paramount that where a complaint is made or suspicion is raised, that all involved ensure that the principles of confidentiality and natural justice applies. The Partners and Practice Manager are to keep any information received in a locked file where access is only for both.
Supporting Children, Young People and Their Families Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility. This Practice 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:
Verbal complaints are handled either by senior reception staff or the practice manager, who takes the patient to a quiet area to discuss their problem. Written complaints are discussed with the practice manager and practice principal/s and a response, written or verbal will be prepared.
Our complaints handling process aims to minimise patient anxiety or hostility, which may lead to litigation. We follow these steps:
Our practice manager and practice principals are responsible for investigating and resolving complaints. We actively encourage patients to communicate in person, via email or phone call.
When receiving and responding to feedback or complaints from patients and others, we acknowledge and document the feedback and discuss it with the parties concerned. We will also discuss the outcome with the patient, log their response, and amend practice policies or procedures as required. This approach assists with our accreditation process.
Whether an informal or more formal response process has been followed, all complaints will be well documented and kept in a folder separate to patient medical records. If someone other than the patient makes a complaint, the consent of the patient or their legally authorised representative must be obtained before discussing the patient’s treatment with them.
Risk Management Process is the systematic application of management policies, procedures, and practices to the task of identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating and monitoring risk.
(AS/NZS 4360-Risk Management Standard).
Analysing the Risk
Risk - High, Medium, Low
This practice has put in place a Risk Management Plan to minimise the occurrence of harm when a Doctor is consulting with a child/youth.
All staff who are directly involved in activities that carry a risk have been trained regarding the Risk Management Plan (Refer to Appendix 1) and their responsibility. This Risk Management Plan is also Included during the induction of new staff.
All policies, procedures, code of conduct and legislative requirements are communicated with employees upon induction and are signed and agreed upon. Our Practice Hub program provides all details of policies and procedures, and all staff have a login for this information to be accessed.
Children and young people and families have access to our child safe environment policy via our website. Our welcome information for patients, includes details on where our child safe environment policy can be located. Signage is displayed within our practice stating our child safe environments policies and procedures are available on request.
Any requirements that arise due to new legislation are communicated by further training, practice meetings and updates via our Practice Hub program.
GMC encourages and respects the views of children and young people who access our services. We involve children and young people in making decisions that affect them. We listen to and act upon any disclosures, feedback, or complaints that children, young people or their families/carers raise with us.
GMC run a ‘Children’s Consultation Clinic’ daily.
GMC ensures that children, young people and their families/carers know their rights and how to access services, advice and the complaints processes available to them.
Previous policy updated in its entirety. GMC will lodge a new child safe environment compliance statement with Department of Human Services each time this policy is reviewed. New document as per below.