• 83 Girven Rd, Mt Maunganui
  • 07 575 5009
  • admin@girvenfp.co.nz
  • Mon-Fri: 8-5pm

Child Protection Policy

Purpose:

To provide a framework of principles, standards, and guidelines to recognise vulnerable children in our care, recognise and respond to abuse, ensure safe recruitment of staff and training in our responsibilities and accountabilities. Under the Vulnerable Children Act the Girven Family Practice has a responsibility to safeguard children from harm and clearly define what is required in relation to the protection of children. This shows that Girven Family Practice takes its duty and responsibility of care seriously.

Parties:

This policy applies to all employees of and contractors to Girven Family Practice.
This policy covers but is not limited to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and neglect:
Girven Family Practice
• Will ensure that the safety of the child is or prime consideration at all times
• Is committed to the prevention of abuse and to the well-being of children and young people and acting in their best interest.
• Is committed to dealing with abuse, suspected abuse or disclosure of abuse in a timely fashion.
• Acknowledges that in a case of suspected abuse, support for families is important
• Recognises that the family’s primary role in caring and protecting the child should be valued and maintained, however the child’s well-being takes priority.
• Will provide training and support for their staff
• Is committed to complying with all relevant legislation
• Will ensure that disclosure of alleged abuse to appropriate authorities is acknowledged and action is taken to ensure the safety of the child or children who make disclosures.
• A training register is kept and monitored monthly for when staff are due their police vetting, also the PHO sends a monthly staff register advising when a staff member is expiring.

If a complaint of abuse is made, or there is a suspicion of abuse Girven Family Practice will:

• Ensure the safety of the child
• Ensure any suspicion of abuse will be reported to the Practice Manager who will investigate the matter.
• Ensure all suspicions and information will be recorded factually and held confidentially. Opinions or personal concerns will be recorded as that.
• Consult with Oranga Tamariki and family to clarify whether notification of concern should take place
• When child abuse is suspected the clinical director to inform Oranga Tamariki or the Police.
• Ensure staff members may contact Oranga Tamariki if they have concerns regarding the safety and protection of a child.
• Notify the parents or care giver, if appropriate
If a complaint of alleged abuse is made against an employee of or contractor to Girven Family Practice will:
• Respond to suspicions and allegations with the same seriousness as suspicions or allegations made against any other person and ensure the child’s safety.
• Will not act alone and will refer all suspected situations of child abuse to the Police or Child, Youth and Family.
• Ensure the safety of the child.
• Enable the staff member to seek legal and professional advice and be informed fully of their rights.
• Abide by the employer obligations under the Employment Relations Act.
• Provide separation of the roles, so that the person managing child abuse allegation will not be managing the employment issue.
• Ensure the suspected staff member will be prevented from having unsupervised access to children during the investigation.
• In the case where a criminal investigation is undertaken, the staff member may be suspended, without prejudice, as a precautionary measure. It is important that no internal investigation is undertaken, and no evidence is gathered that might prejudice the criminal investigation.
• If there is insufficient evidence to pursue a criminal prosecution, then a disciplinary investigation may still be undertaken if there is still “reasonable cause to suspect” that abuse may have occurred. The allegation may represent inappropriate behaviour or poor practice.

Responsibility for safety checking rests with Girven Family Practice and we choose to exercise due diligence when relying on checks undertaken by others.

 

Resources:

Children’s workers safety checking

Children’s Act Requirements

Medical Council of New Zealand 

Nursing Council of New Zealand 

New Zealand Police Vetting Service