Stewart House is committed to child safety and to the establishment and maintenance of a child-safe and child-friendly environment.
- Is to provide a safe environment where every person has the right to be treated with respect and is safe and protected from harm.
- Is to create and maintain a safe learning environment and safeguard the emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing of children in our care. We recognise that we have a moral and legal duty to protect children from foreseeable harm. This includes the provision of safeguards against mistreatment and timely reporting of child abuse.
Stewart House has an organisational culture of child safety that applies to all people involved in the work of Stewart House including but not limited to:
- Company Directors and Members
- Company employees (permanent and casual)
- Service providers and their staff
- Volunteers anywhere across the site and off-site
- Any other individual involved with Stewart House All staff play a vital role in creating a safe Stewart House environment
All children who stay with us have a right to feel and be safe. The safety and well-being of all children participating in our programs and the welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority. Stewart House is a secure and nurturing environment where all children are valued and should feel safe anywhere across the site and whilst participating in Stewart House sanctioned activities.
All staff and other members of the broader Stewart House community have a responsibility to protect children from mistreatment. Our Chief Wellbeing Officer, Residential Programs Manager, and Principal are the primary points of contact to provide advice and support to children, parents, employees and volunteers regarding the safety and wellbeing of children at Stewart House.
Our Care for Children
Stewart House encourages and respects the views of children who participate in our program. We listen to and act upon, any concerns that children, their home school principals or their families raise with us. We provide students with information on what they can do if they feel unsafe. We ensure that children and their families know their rights and how to access the complaints procedures available to them. We value diversity and will not tolerate any discriminatory practices. We are committed to promoting cultural safety for Aboriginal children, children from a culturally, racially and/or linguistically diverse background and providing a safe environment for children with a disability (where possible within the physical confines of the site). Stewart House has zero-tolerance for child abuse.
Our Child Protection Responsibilities
Caring for children brings additional responsibilities for all adults present on the Stewart House site. All staff and volunteers of Stewart House are responsible for promoting the safety and wellbeing of children by:
- Ensuring the safety and welfare of the child is paramount at all times.
- Treating all children with dignity, equality and respect.
- Adhering to Stewart House’s policies at all times.
- Listening and responding appropriately to the views and concerns of children.
- Taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and protection of children within the organisation and whilst engaged in off-site activities.
- Ensuring children understand their rights and explaining to the child in age-appropriate language what they can expect when participating in an activity or program offered by Stewart House.
- Responding quickly, fairly and transparently to any serious complaints made by a child, home school principal or the child’s family.
- Notifying as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a child or young person has been or is being abused or neglected.
Our Recruitment Practices and Code of Conduct
Stewart House has procedures in place for careful selection of staff, staff training and the implementation of a staff code of conduct to enforce a high level of professional standards. Stewart House takes all reasonable steps to ensure that it engages the most suitable and appropriate people to work with children. We employ a range of screening measures and apply best-practice standards in the screening and recruitment of employees and volunteers.
Stewart House will not knowingly engage anyone who poses an unacceptable risk to children or partner with any organisation or service provider that does not meet Stewart House’s child protection standards.
All employment contracts contain provisions for disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal for any person who breaches the Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct.
Stewart House has a Staff Code of Conduct and individual employment contracts which include guidelines and direction in relation to staff /children contact. Relationship boundaries are clearly explained and staff are directed to avoid behaviours and actions which could place children and staff at risk of harm or of allegations of harm.
The Code of Conduct outlines acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relation to children. All Stewart House employees must certify that they have read, understood this Child Safe Policy, the Child Protection Policies of Stewart House and Code of Conduct and agree to comply with the principles and standards they contain. Employees understand that a breach of the Code may result in disciplinary action including termination of employment.
Additional information, including definitions and strategies, can be accessed in the complete Stewart House Child Safety Policy.