09 November 2011 - Alice Springs Workshop
This one day seminar brings together experts in the field of child safe organisations to explore the issues, conundrums and best practice approaches to ensuring the protection of children and young people by employees or volunteers with a role to care or support them.
Steve Kinmond, NSW Deputy Ombudsman (Human Services) and Community and Disability Services Commissioner. Steve has legislative responsibility for reviewing and promoting improvements in community services; reviewing child deaths; handling complaints about government and non-government community service providers; and ensuring relevant agencies within the child-related employment field appropriately respond to allegations of child abuse made against their ‘employees’. Prior to 2004, Steve was the Assistant Ombudsman (Police) for eight years. His responsibilities included leading the office’s response to the NSW Royal Commission into Police Corruption. This involved working with senior police and other key stakeholders in overhauling the police complaints system, including developing a new legislative framework and devising a model for distinguishing outcome focussed investigations from those which need to be evidence based. Steve has close to 30 years of investigative experience, and extensive involvement in the community services field. Since 2004, he has conducted over 100 major child protection investigations and led the Office of the Ombudsman’s response to the 2007 Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW.
Dr Joe Tucci, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Childhood Foundation. Joe is a social worker and psychologist. He has completed a PhD in emotional abuse and uses post-modern and narrative ideas in research, counselling and training. He has a particular interest in the impact of abuse related trauma on brain development and the implications for practice. Joe has extensive experience in the provision of consultancy, clinical supervision and program development and evaluation. Joe has undertaken research into the abuse of children within organisations. He has supported numerous organisations and community groups to develop safeguarding children approaches, policies and practices. He has acted as an expert witness in legal matters involving the abuse of children and young people by professionals and volunteers.
Craig Hemsworth, Manager, Safeguarding Children Program, Australian Childhood Foundation. Craig is a social worker with more than 20 years experience in child protection. He has expertise in auditing organisations to ensure that they are undertaking effective epolicies and procesures in relation to protecting children from harm or exploitation by staff and volunteers. He has acted as a crisis debriefer for organisations following critical child abuse incidents. He is currently resourcing a number of organisations across Australia to improve their capacity to develop and implement a child safe culture and child centred practices.
Background to workshop
There is increasing recognition that children and young people can be exposed to abusive or exploitative experiences by staff, volunteers and other service users whilst they access or participate in a service, program or activity run by organisations and community groups.
For example, research has demonstrated that organisations can be vulnerable to the subversion by adults intent on harming children. Between 1988 – 1996, the Victorian Child Exploitation Squad found that 43% of sex offenders gained access to child victims through children’s organisations (Petratis and O’Connor, 1999).
A Queensland Crime Commission investigation in 2000 highlighted numerous deficiencies in the approaches of organisations to the protection of children and young people from abuse. For example, less than one third of sporting, scouting and youth organisations contacted undertook any screening of employees and volunteers. Half of the 66 non-government schools involved in the survey had no guidelines in place for dealing with allegations of abuse involving a school employee. Only three out of 51 community groups had formal policies for reporting allegations of child abuse involving employees or volunteers. More than half of these groups said they would not involve the police in an allegation of child abuse (Project Axis, 2000).
Recently, the NSW Ombudsman (2010) reported that in a sample of 101 sexual offence matters against school students by school employees between 2001-2009, 92% involved grooming prior to the sexual offence. In 31%, the grooming behaviour had been reported prior to the conduct escalating to a sexual offence. Of these, 39% of reports were not acted upon at all. Some action took place in 42% of matters, however, only 19% were deemed to have been appropriate action. In more than half of the reported matters, the response included ineffective warning of the perpetrator.
- Learn about the four key risk factors that reduce the capacity of organisations to effectively protect children and young people
- Identify ways in which their organisations can implement a safeguarding operational framework benchmarked against a set of evidence based standards
- Understand the continuum of risky behaviour engaged in by staff and volunteers
- Learn more about the ways in which technology is being used to communicate, prepare and harm children and young people by staff and volunteers
- Develop an understanding of the principles underpinning effective management of allegations of abuse and exploitation by staff and/or volunteers
Cost of the seminar:
The cost of the seminar is $220 (GST Inclusive) and includes lunch and refreshments.
Where are the workshops?
Darwin Workshop: 9.30am - 4.30pm on Monday 7/11/11
Crowne Plaza Darwin, 32 Mitchell St, Darwin
Alice Springs Workshop: 9.30am - 4.30pm on Wednesday 9/11/11
Crowne Plaza Hotel Alice, Springs, 82 Barrett Drv, Alice Springs
Who should attend?
This seminar is relevant for all staff, managers, HR managers and representatives from not for profit organisations, community groups and state government agencies who provide services, activities or programs which involve children, young people and families. This seminar is particularly relevant to staff involved in responding to allegations of child abuse made against their employees.