Home > Child Protection Policy > Section 3 - Safe Working Practices > Responsibilty of Staff

Responsibilty of Staff

 

In this page:

Responsibilities of Staff
Power and Positions of Trust
Confidentiality
Sharing Concerns and Reporting Incidents
Positive Role Models

Responsibilities of Staff

All adults who work with children have a responsibility to safeguard and promote their welfare. The public, employers, parents and whānau have the right to expect professionals working with children to behave to a certain standard, and to always maintain and protection the safety of children.  When individuals accept a role that involves working with children and young people, they need to understand and acknowledge the responsibilities and trust inherent in that role, and act accordingly.

No guidance or Code of Conduct can provide a complete checklist of what is, or is not appropriate behaviour for adults in all circumstances.  There may be occasions and circumstances in which adults have to make decisions or take action in the best interests of the child or young person which could contravene this guidance or where no guidance exists.  Individuals are expected to make judgements about their behaviour in order to secure the best interests and welfare of the children in their charge. Such judgements should always be recorded and shared a member of the senior management team and with the parent or carer. In undertaking these actions individuals will be seen to be acting reasonably.

 

Power and Positions of Trust

A relationship between an adult and a child or young person is not a relationship between equals. There is potential for exploitation and harm of vulnerable young people. Adults therefore have a responsibility to ensure that an unequal balance of power is not used for personal advantage or gratification.

Adults should always maintain appropriate professional boundaries and avoid behaviour which might be misinterpreted by others. They should report and record any incident with this potential.

 



Confidentiality

Adults may have access to confidential information about children in order to undertake their everyday responsibilities.  This may be highly sensitive and private information about them or their family and whānau.  

Care and consideration must be taken with the sharing of information. It is important that if a child is at risk of, or suffering, abuse then that information is passed to the appropriate person to take action.



Sharing Concerns and Reporting Incidents

Adults should acknowledge their individual responsibilities to bring matters of concern to the attention of senior management and/or relevant external agencies.  This is particularly important where the welfare of children may be at risk.

Individuals should be aware of their organisation’s process for reporting incidents, including concerns that staff may have about colleagues or other professionals. Staff should also be encouraged to self-report any situations that occurred that in hindsight might be viewed as inappropriate.
It is essential that accurate and comprehensive records are maintained wherever concerns are raised about the conduct or actions of adults working with or on behalf of children

Positive Role Models

Adults in contact with children should understand and be aware that safe practice also involves using judgement and integrity about behaviours in places other than the work setting. The behaviour of an adult’s partner or other family and whānau members may raise similar concerns and require careful consideration by an employer as to whether there may be a potential risk to children in the workplace.

A person's dress and appearance are matters of personal choice and self-expression.  However adults should dress in ways which are appropriate to their role and this may need to be different to how they dress when not at work.