Risk Management Strategy for Child Protection

Michelle Gleeson
Director, Entomologist & Presenter, Bugs Ed.       
PO Box 446
The Gap, QLD 4061
Email: michelle@bugsed.com

ABN: 983 919 040 77

Blue Card Number:  337386/8  
Expiry Date:  15th April 2023

Statement of Commitment

Bugs Ed. is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people who use its services.  I and my workers will treat them with respect and understanding at all times, whilst striving to educate and inspire them in a positive and supportive environment.  To ensure that children and young people are kept safe from harm, I and all employees of Bugs Ed. will conduct ourselves in accordance with the following risk management strategies.  We will:

  • Strongly implement our requirement that a qualified staff member/members be present at all times during our workshops, as outlined in our terms and conditions
  • Ensure we are unaffected by the use of substances which may compromise the appropriate supervision of children at all times
  • Gain consent from teachers, parents or carers before photographing or videoing any child and gain appropriate written permission from teachers, parents or carers to use any of this material for promotional purposes
  • Not support bullying or harassment by anyone to anyone, including among children
  • Notify the principal of any behaviour by either the students or supervising teacher/teachers that we feel is inappropriate or harmful during our time with the children

Code of Conduct for interacting with children and young people

I and all employees of Bugs Ed. will:

  • Foster mutual respect between ourselves and children and young people regardless of cultural identity and cultural practices/behaviour
  • Understand children and young people, their ages, stages of development, special circumstances and special needs
  • Use language which is age/stage appropriate, clear, non-threatening and non-sexual
  • Use physical contact only where it is completely necessary during the course of our business-related duties and where permission from the child and the child’s teacher has been gained in that instance
  • Willingly listen to a child or young person’s concerns/issues
  • Openly listen to teacher/child/parent suggestions, feedback and complaints
  • Employ corrective practices which are not punitive, humiliating or aggressive

Teachers also have responsibilities.  They should:

  • Ensure that they or another qualified member of staff is present throughout the entire duration of our workshop, including set up and pack up
  • Be observant and involved with both the children or young people and the presenter during the workshop
  • Work with myself or my employees to provide a positive learning experience for the children or young people, especially with regard to the behaviour of students
  • Administer appropriate corrective practices in the event of bad behaviour
  • Immediately raise any issues or concerns with myself of my employees
  • Provide the necessary resources/requirements relevant to the workshop as requested
  • Ensure the classroom/venue is set up according to our requirements and in a way that will not endanger the safety of the presenter, children or young people, or our equipment

As the business operator, I and all of my employees have the right to:

  • Cease our workshop activities with a child or young person who is consistently non-compliant or obstructive, in which case the supervising teacher will be notified immediately
  • Raise any concerns we may have with a child, teacher or parent/guardian
  • Expect that a child/teacher/parent make concerns know to us as soon as they arise so that a resolution can occur as quickly as possible
  • Cease our workshop activities if a qualified member of staff is not present at all times, or if we feel they are not adequately supervising the workshop
  • Report disclosures and suspicions of harm (as described below), or any breaches of our requirements stated in our terms and conditions

Children and young people have the right to:

  • Feel safe
  • Be listened to
  • Be involved in decisions that affect them
  • Have their cultural values respected
  • Have their best interests considered
  • Be respected
  • Be understood
  • Be free from harassment, bullying or abuse of any kind, and
  • Ask if they don’t understand something.

Teachers have the right to:

  • Ask questions or raise concerns about our workshop activities
  • Make complaints as per the procedures outlined below

Procedures for making complaints

If you have a concern or complaint with myself or any of my employees, please contact me as soon as possible so I can respond as quickly as possible.

Arrange a time at the end of the workshop or during any break periods to discuss any issues.

Ensure only relevant parties are present when a complaint is being discussed.  If possible, it should not be discussed within hearing range of the child or young person.

Recruitment, training and management procedures for staff

To ensure that all employees of Bugs Ed. comply with our child protection policies, all staff members will:

  • Be supplied a copy of our Child Protection Policy, including a Code of Conduct and outlines of their Roles and Responsibilities
  • Be required to sign a agreement to comply with our Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct
  • Be required to hold and maintain a current Blue Card
  • Be subject to random supervision and assessment of their workshops to ensure their conduct is in compliance with our policy and code of conduct
  • Be able to contact myself to discuss any issues, complaints or to put forth ideas to include in our policy and code of conduct
  • Immediately report to me any disclosures of harm or inappropriate behaviour towards a child or young person by either a teacher or another child

Reporting guidelines and directions for handling disclosures and suspicions of harm

If confronted with a disclosure of harm from a child or young person, we will respond professionally and in the best interests of the child or young person subjected to the alleged harm.

Reporting of disclosures and suspicions of harm will be made in accordance with procedures recommended by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian.

In summary:

  • We will document the disclosure or suspicion of harm in a non-judgemental and accurate manner as soon as possible
  • We will notify the Department of Child Safety if we suspect or are told that a child is being harmed at home
  • We will notify the Queensland Police Service if we suspect or are told that a child is being harmed outside the home
  • We will notify the Queensland Police Service if we are concerned that a child is self-harming, and
  • Any reports or documentation on disclosures of harm will be kept confidential and secure, with access strictly limited and on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Policy for managing breaches of the risk management strategy

As the director of Bugs Ed. I will ensure that all employees are made aware of their obligations towards, and comply with our Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct.

Breaches of this risk management strategy or our code of conduct may result in:

  • Changes to the running of future workshops, including extra supervision to ensure the staff member is complying with the code of conduct
  • Termination of the employee’s contract
  • Notification to external authorities if a breach is considered critical.

Policies and procedures for compliance with blue card legislation

As director, I will review this strategy at least annually and record the date of review on the current version of this strategy.

Strategies for communication and support

A copy of my current risk management strategy will be made available on my website www.bugsed.com.

This will be revised and updated annually on the website and teachers will be encouraged each year to revisit and review the document in case of any changes.

In developing this risk management strategy, I have used a number of risk management-related resources offered by the Queensland Family and Child Commission.  These resources can be viewed at the Commission’s website, at https://www.qfcc.qld.gov.au/search/site?keywords=child+protection+policy&facet=solr

If you have any concerns about our risk management strategy for child protection, please contact me at michelle@bugsed.com to discuss.

Michelle Gleeson
Director, Entomologist & Presenter
Bugs Ed.

Last updated 1st July, 2020.