We are committed to protecting the rights, safety and wellbeing of all children and young people who participate in programs facilitated by APRA AMCOS.
We regularly engage with children and young people through our membership activities and events and through our schools programs, including our SongMakers program.
The Child Protection Policy is intended to protect and empower children and young people who are vital and active participants in APRA AMCOS programs.
1.1 The Australasian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA) is committed to protecting the rights, safety and wellbeing of all children and young people who participate in programs facilitated by APRA.
1.2 We regularly engage with children and young people through our membership activities and events and through our schools programs, including our SongMakers program.
2.1 This policy is intended to protect and empower children and young people who are vital and active participants in APRA programs.
2.2 This policy seeks to:
- demonstrate the ongoing commitment of APRA to:
- the safety and wellbeing of children and young people involved in our programs;
- creating an organisational culture where workers and children and young people feel confident to discuss with APRA any concerning conduct or allegation of abuse of a child or young person;
- maintaining physical and online environments that are safe for children and young people; and
- ensuring that any and all suspected abuse, allegations, safety concerns and disclosures of abuse are reported and investigated,
- foster and maintain an organisational culture of safety for children and young people;
- provide guidance to all Workers on action that should be taken where they suspect any abuse or have concerns for the safety of a child or young person in the course of their work for or with the organisation; and
- provide a clear statement to Workers forbidding any conduct which risks the safety of a child or young person.
3.1 For the purpose of this policy, a child or young person is any person under the age of 18 years or as those terms are defined by law in each Australian state and territory.
This policy applies to:
- all employees employed by APRA who work with children or young people in their role at APRA and
- board members, volunteers, contractors and sub-contractors engaged by APRA who also work with children or young people in their engagement with APRA (Workers).
3.2 All children and young people who participate in APRA programs have a right to feel safe, empowered and respected. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, including the cultural safety of First Nations children and young people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those with disability.
3.3 We have no tolerance for abuse of children or young people. Any allegations made regarding a child or young person’s safety and/or safety concerns will be investigated and treated extremely seriously. We will contact authorities when required. Any behaviour that contravenes this policy and/or law will be reported through appropriate channels, including the police, depending on the severity and urgency of the matter.
If you believe a child or young person is in immediate risk of harm, phone 000.
3.4 We do not tolerate bullying, discrimination or any other conduct that might be a risk to the health and safety of children or young people. We promote diversity and acceptance at APRA and welcome people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds.
3.5 In particular, we aim to:
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of First Nations children and young people;
- promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children and young people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds; and
- ensure that children and young people with a disability are safe and can participate equally.
4 CHILD-SAFE RECRUITMENT
4.1 We aim to ensure that any Workers engaged by APRA to work with children or young people are appropriately skilled people, which includes carrying out police and reference checks.
4.2 During recruitment for these roles, our selection criteria and advertisements aim to demonstrate our commitment to child and young person safety and an awareness of our social and legal responsibilities.
4.3 All Workers who are employed with or engaged by APRA to work with children or young people are required to hold a current Working with Children Check (WWCC) and to provide evidence of this check. Where a Worker’s WWCC is due to expire during the course of their employment or engagement with APRA, the Worker is required to renew and resubmit a current WWCC number for validation.
4.4 Before we award contracts or sub-contracts to individuals or organisations for work that might reasonably bring them into contact with children or young people, we require individuals and organisations to acknowledge and sign APRA’s Third Party Service Providers Commitment to Shared Professional Standards and complete a WWCC.
4.5 Additionally, all Workers covered by this policy must read and acknowledge in writing that they understand and will abide by this policy by signing the Declaration of Commitment attached to this policy.
4.6 All recipients of grants from our cultural fund whose activities under the grant would reasonably involve working with children or young people must:
- sign APRA’s Third Party Service Providers Commitment to Shared Professional Standards, and
- have a current child safety policy in addition to complying with this policy.
5 TRAINING AND SUPERVISION
5.1 APRA Workers who are identified as mandatory reporters under relevant legislation for their state or territory must complete relevant training required for mandatory reporters.
6 FAIR PROCEDURES FOR WORKERS
6.1 We aim to ensure that the decisions we make in relation to Workers when recruiting, assessing incidents and undertaking disciplinary action are thorough and transparent.
6.2 If an allegation of abuse or a safety concern is raised in relation to a Worker, APRA may in its absolute discretion suspend the Worker from their work with or in connection with children or young people while the matter is under investigation and until it is resolved. Where appropriate, we will provide updates to the Worker, the child or young person and their family or guardians on any related progress or actions taken by APRA in response to the allegation.
6.3 Failure to adhere to this policy may result in the suspension of a Worker’s work with children and young people and/or disciplinary action, including dismissal or termination of their agreement or arrangements with APRA or a party or organisation connected with APRA.
7 REPORTING RESPONSIBILITIES
7.1 Subject to notifying police if there is an immediate threat to a child or young person’s safety, all APRA Workers must immediately bring any concerning behaviour to the attention of their supervisor, or program manager, at the earliest opportunity and take appropriate action as determined by the supervisor and/or nominated child safety and wellbeing officer.
7.2 In the case of disclosures made during the course of programs taking place off-site, for example in a school, our Worker will immediately notify the supervising teacher if it is in the child or young person’s interest to do so, and/or the school principal, before also alerting their relevant supervisor or program manager.
7.3 Workers who work directly with children or young people may be mandatory reporters. Therefore, they may have the obligation to make a report where they have reasonable grounds to suspect there is a risk to the safety of a child or young person. As these requirements vary between the states and territories, the Worker must follow the requirement of the relevant authorities in that state or territory. For further detail, please refer to the Resources listed the end of this policy.
8 RISK MANAGEMENT
8.1 Organisations that work with children and young people are required to protect them from risks to their health and safety.
8.2 APRA is committed to preventing abuse of children and young people by identifying risks early and removing and reducing these risks.
8.3 We aim to identify, assess and take steps to minimise risks to children and young people, including risks posed by physical environments, online environments and in our published materials.
8.4 In the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic, APRA Workers must rigorously adhere to social distancing, isolation following COVID-19 symptoms or overseas travel and recommended personal hygiene practices.
8.5 In line with legislation and recommendations from health authorities, APRA will deliver some programs online, including to the SongMakers program, to minimise the risk of the spread of COVID-19. To ensure the safety of children, young people and Workers online, APRA will, as far as possible:
- ensure videoconferencing sessions are protected by passwords or sign-ins;
- provide videoconferencing links only to parties directly involved in the program facilitated by APRA;
- refrain from sharing a child or young person’s personal information during recorded videoconferences or chats;
- obtain parental consent and clearly inform parents/guardians of the use of videoconferencing and recording of videoconferences; and
- follow videoconferencing service provider security guidelines.
10 COMMUNICATION OF THIS POLICY
10.1 APRA will make this policy available on our external website (https://apraamcos.com.au) and the satellite website of our school program SongMakers (http://songmakers.com.au) during recruitment and induction processes and in training related to this policy.