Child Protection Policy
Communified (Inc) provides services to families with a child who has a serious illness or disability at times of great vulnerability, and it is imperative that the safety of these children come before all other concerns. We consider child abuse unacceptable under any circumstances, and are committed to taking all possible and necessary steps to safeguard the children we work with from harm.
This responsibility, as outlined by Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) extends to the prevention, identification and timely response to concerns regarding “…all forms of physical and mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse”, and our decisions and actions in response to any such concerns will be guided by Article 3, such that “…the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”.
Adherence to this policy is mandatory for all staff and volunteers of Communified (Inc).
Communified (Inc) aims to minimise the risk of child abuse occurring in its programs and activities through the implementation of this Policy. Our recruitment process includes rigorous screening to minimise the possibility of anyone who may pose a risk to children being employed or enlisted as a volunteer by the organisation.
We aim to create an open and aware environment where concerns for the safety and wellbeing of a child can be raised and managed in a fair and just manner, which protects the rights of all. This Policy explains the actions to be taken in circumstances where abuse is suspected or when allegations of child abuse are made against staff or volunteers.
Code of Conduct
- Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity in keeping with your position as a representative of Communified (Inc)
- At all times prioritize the safety and well-being of children.
- Be punctual, courteous, and appear neat and tidy.
- Contact the family as soon as possible before your agreed meeting time if you or anyone in your family is unwell, or if you have been in contact with chicken pox, measles, or shingles within a three week period prior. Many of the children we help are severely ill and/or have suppressed immune systems, and parents will advise if they consider it safe for you to attend.
- Respect any request to leave and vacate the premises promptly and with good grace. The condition of a seriously ill child may change without warning, leaving little if any time for explanations.
- Discuss all concerns, issues or problems with a Communified (Inc) staff member as soon as possible.
- Ensure that any allegations or suspicions of child abuse, discrimination or harassment are recorded and acted upon as appropriate.
- Wherever possible, ensure that another adult is present when in contact with children.
- Treat everyone with respect regardless of gender, race, religious or political beliefs, age, physical or mental health, sexual orientation, family and social background and culture, economic status or criminal background.
- Spend time alone with a child, unless you are cleared by Communified (Inc) as a volunteer Carer and have the full knowledge and consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
- Take photos of children without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
- Engage in inappropriate physical contact with a child.
- Use vulgar, inappropriate or sexualized language, even as a joke.
- Consume alcohol, non-prescription or illicit drugs whilst representing Communified (Inc).
- Smoke while undertaking any volunteer duties for Communified (Inc)
- Disclose any confidential information of which you become aware, except where such disclosure is required by law.