Policy Summary: This policy outlines our commitment to tamaiti protection. It includes our protocols when tamaiti abuse is reported to us or suspected by us. It also includes measures to be taken to prevent tamaiti abuse. All staff are expected to be familiar with this policy and to abide by it.
Purpose: We have an obligation to ensure the wellbeing and protection of all tamariki in our care and are committed to the prevention of tamaiti abuse and neglect and to the protection of all tamariki. The safety and wellbeing of the tamaiti is our top priority when investigating suspected or alleged abuse.
We support the roles of Oranga Tamariki and the New Zealand Police Child Protection Teams in the investigation of suspected abuse and will report suspected/alleged abuse to these agencies.
We support whanau/families to understand how to protect their Tamariki
We provide a safe environment, free from physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse.
Applies to: Staff, volunteers and Management of Cloud Kids Educare. “Staff” includes, but is not limited to, any person employed directly by Cloud Kids Educare, any person individually contracted, and volunteers/practicum students working on behalf of Cloud Kids Educare. For the purposes of this policy, “staff” also refers to any Cloud Kids Educare Board members.
References: Child Matters “Creating a safer Organisation”, Child Matters “Safer Organisations, Safer Children”, Oranga Tamariki “Working Together”, Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014, Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education & Care Services 2008 HS31 & 34. Early Childhood Regulations 2008 regulation 56, Cloud Kids Educare Safety Checking Procedure
The interest and protection of the Tamariki is paramount in all actions.
We recognise the rights of the whānau/family to participate in the decision making about their Tamariki
We have a commitment to ensure that all staff are able to identify the signs and symptoms of potential abuse and neglect and are able to take appropriate action in response
We are committed to supporting all staff to work in accordance with this policy, to work with partner agencies and organisations to ensure our approach to tamaiti protection is consistent and of high quality.
We will always comply with relevant legislative responsibilities.
We are committed to share information in a timely way and to discuss any concerns about an individual tamaiti with colleagues or the “Person Responsible” (The Manager and/or Head Teachers in the first instance)
Staff will not assume responsibility beyond the level of their experience and training
The Senior Management Team has a responsibility to ensure that the appropriate authority is notified when a staff member has a belief that a tamaiti has been, or is likely to be, abused or neglected. This extends to ensuring that all known information about the tamaiti, and their whānau is shared in full with the appropriate authority, to determine the most appropriate response.
We are committed to promoting a culture where staff feel confident that they can constructively challenge poor practice or raise issues of concern without fear of reprisal.
Cloud Kids Educare commits to not using “settlement agreements” where these are contrary to a culture of child protection. Some settlement agreements allow a staff member to agree to resign provided that no disciplinary action is taken, and a future reference is agreed. Where the conduct at issue, concerned the safety or wellbeing of a child, use of such agreements is contrary to the culture of child protection at Cloud Kids Educare.
Tamariki Abuse: - Is defined in the Children Young Persons and their Families Act as “the harming (whether physically, emotionally, or sexually), ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation of any tamaiti or young person which has the potential or effect of serious harm to the tamaiti.
Tamaiti: Any tamaiti or young person under 17 years of age.
Whanau: The person (or people) responsible for having the role of providing day to day care for the tamaiti; and may include a biological or adoptive parent, step-parent, partner of a parent of a tamaiti, legal guardian or member of the tamariki family, whanau or other culturally recognised group.
Child Protection: An initiative designed to protect tamariki from any form of harm, particularly arising from tamariki abuse or neglect
Vulnerable Tamariki: Tamariki who are particularly vulnerable to abuse, such as very young tamaiti or those with physical and mental disabilities, however is not limited to.
Using force: Using force for the purposes of disciplining a tamaiti is a criminal offence.
Disclosure: Information given to a staff member by the tamaiti, whanau or caregiver or third party in relation to abuse or neglect.
Notification, Referral, Reporting: Notification, referral, reporting are all terms used to describe making a report of concern to Oranga Tamariki or the NZ Police.
New Zealand Police: The agency responsible for responding to situations where a tamaiti is in immediate danger and for working with Oranga Tamariki in tamaiti protection work, including investigating cases of abuse or neglect where an offence may have occurred.
Core Worker: Core workers are those employed by Cloud Kids Educare who have primary responsibility or authority for working with tamariki.
Non-core Worker: Non-core workers are those employed as office administrators, cleaners, maintenance workers. Non-core workers do not have the responsibility or authority to be working directly with tamariki.
Standard Safety checking: The process of safer recruitment that is mandatory for organisations covered by the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014.
Identifying possible abuse or neglect:
Any act or omission that results in adverse or impaired psychological, social, intellectual and emotional functioning or development. This can include:
Patterns of isolation, degradation, constant criticism or negative comparison to others. Isolating, corrupting, exploiting or terrorising a tamaiti can also be emotional abuse.
Exposure to whanau/family or intimate partner violence.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet the basic physical and/or psychological needs of the tamaiti, likely to result in the serious impairment of the health or development of the tamaiti, such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, or neglect of or unresponsiveness to, a tamaiti basic emotional needs. Neglect can be:
Physical (Not providing food, clothing, housing)
Emotional ( Belittling tamaiti, not providing comfort, attention and love)
Neglectful supervision (leaving tamariki without someone safe to look after them)
Medical neglect ( not taking care of tamariki health needs)
Educational neglect (allowing chronic truancy, failure to enrol in education or inattention to educational needs)
Any acts that may result in the physical harm of a tamaiti or young person. It can be, but is not limited to:bruising, cutting, beating, hitting, biting, burning, causing abrasions, strangulation, suffocation, drowning, poisoning or otherwise causing physical harm to a tamaiti including fabricating the symptoms of, or deliberately causing, ill health to a tamaiti.
Involves forcing or enticing a tamaiti to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the tamaiti is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts and non-physical contact - for example sexual grooming. Sexual abuse may also include involving tamariki in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or encouraging tamariki to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Contact Abuse: touching breasts, genital/and fondling, masturbation, oral sex, penetrative or non-penetrative contact with the anus or genitals, encouraging the tamaiti to perform acts on the perpetrator or another, involvement of the tamaiti in activities for the purposes of pornography or prostitution.
Non-contact abuse: exhibitionism, exposure to pornographic or sexual imagery, inappropriate photography or depictions of sexual or suggestive behaviours or comments.
Tamariki are always affected either emotionally or physically where there is whanau violence, even if they are not personally injured or physically present. Whanau violence covers a broad range of controlling behaviours, commonly of a physical, sexual and/or psychological nature that typically involve fear, intimidation or emotional deprivation. It occurs in a variety of close interpersonal relationships, such as between partners, parents and child, siblings and other relationships where significant others are not part of the physical household but are a part of the whanau and/or are fulfilling the function of whanau.
Physical Clues to Tamaiti abuse:
Physical Abuse Neglect
Unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, abrasions Inappropriately dressed for season/weather
Locations include: Face, lips, gums, mouth Is often dirty or unbathed
eyes. torso, back, buttocks, back of legs May have severe untreated nappy rash or
external genitalia other persistent skin disorders
Bruises of different colours in different stages Inadequately supervised
Shape of suspicious injuries Left with inappropriate caregiver
Teeth marks, handprints, fingertips Has unattended health problems
Imprint of article (e.g. belt) Malnourished
Unexplained burns, small circular burns Inadequate housing
Immersion burns Non-organic failure to thrive
Burns showing a pattern (e.g. iron)
Rope burns on arms, legs, torso Emotional Abuse
Unexplained injuries Bed wetting or bed soiling
Fractures of skull, facial bones, spine Frequent psychosomatic complaints
Dislocations of hip or shoulder Non-organic failure to thrive
Multiple fractures at different stages of Appears pale, emancipated
healing BMI extremely low
Bald patches resulting from hair pulling Dehydration
Any fractures in infants Prolonged vomiting or diarrhoea
Falling behind significant milestones
Sexual Abuse Malnutrition
Unusual or excessive itching or pain in the Dressed differently to, or has deprived
anogenital area physical living conditions to, other children
Torn, stained or bloody underwear in the family
Bruises, lacerations, redness, swelling
or bleeding in the anogenital area Non-organic failure to thrive
Blood in urine or stool Non-organic failure to thrive has traditionally
Pain experienced in urination or bowel been regarded as due primarily to maternal
movement rejection and neglect. However, a more
Sexually transmitted disease balanced view of the mother-tamaiti
Urinary infections relationship should be taken. The basis on
which intervention is made should be direct
Observation of the parent & tamaiti
relationship in as many different
environmental contexts as feasible,
especially during feeding.
Behavioural Clues to Child abuse:
Physical Abuse Neglect
Cannot recall how injuries occurred Developmental lags, possible global delays
Offers inconsistent explanations Demonstrates lack of attachment to carers
Is wary of adults, particular individual Indiscriminate attachment to other adults
May cringe or flinch if touched Is left at home alone or unsupervised
May display vacant stare, watchfulness Demanding of affection or attachment
May be extremely aggressive or withdrawn May steal food
Indiscriminate affection-seeking behaviour Has poor social skills
Extremely compliant or eager to please Has no understanding of basic hygiene
Tries to protect parents or caregiver Discloses
Acts out negative behaviour or language
in play Emotional Abuse
Frequently provokes punishment Developmental lags, possible global delays
Dressed inappropriately to hide bruises Depression, anxiety, withdrawal, aggression
or other injuries Self-destructive behaviour
Afraid to go home Overly compliant
Describes abusive situations Displays extreme attention seeking
Regressive behaviour behaviour
General sadness Extreme inhibition in play
Could have vision or hearing delay Models negative behaviour in play ( e.g.
Is aggressive to animals & other tamaiti spanking, yelling at dolls)
Frequent psychosomatic complaints
Sexual Abuse Nightmares, poor sleep patterns
Age inappropriate sexual play with toys, Antisocial behaviour
Self, others e.g. demonstrates explicit sex Lack of self esteem
acts Obsessive behaviours
Age inappropriate sexual drawings or Appears generally sad
Unusual or sophisticated sexual knowledge
Refuses to go home, or to another's home for
no apparent reason
Discloses or describes sexual activity or hints
Comments like “I’ve got a secret” or “I don’t like
Fear of certain people
Fear of certain places (bathroom, bedroom)
Click search - type in “Working Together guide” - see appendix 1. - pages 59-69
This resource produced by Oranga Tamariki is for people in ECE’s, Schools, healthcare organisations, social service agencies, community and other groups who have close contact with tamariki and whānau/families. It includes useful information about identifying possible child abuse and an assessment framework.
“How Can I Tell?” recognising Child Abuse by Child Matters - Booklets in the Office & Staffroom
Attached to this policy is the Oranga Tamariki “Signs of abuse and neglect chart”. Copies are also available in the office
As outlined in the attached documents:
Responding to Suspected Abuse or Neglect procedure
Tamariki Safe Practice procedures
In addition to guiding staff to make referrals of suspected child abuse and neglect to the statutory agencies (i.e. Oranga Tamariki and the Police), this child protection policy will also help staff to identify and respond to the needs of the many vulnerable children whose wellbeing is of concern. In many of these cases the involvement of statutory agencies would be inappropriate and potentially harmful to whanau/families. Throughout New zealand statutory and non-statutory agencies provide a network of mutually supportive services and it is important for our organisation to work with these to respond to the needs of vulnerable tamariki and whanau in a manner proportionate to the level of need and risk.
Ill Treatment of children (Regulation 56)
The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 encourages employees to disclose and report information about serious wrongdoing in the workplace. This Act provides protection for these employees from criminal and legal retribution and outlines the internal procedure to be followed when investigating the matter.
Where we have reasonable grounds to believe that a person employed or engaged in the service, or any other person, has physically ill-treated or abused a tamaiti or committed a crime against tamariki, or in guiding or controlling a tamaiti has subjected the tamaiti to solitary confinement, immobilisation, or deprivation of food, drink, warmth, shelter, or protection, we will take steps to ensure that the person is excluded from coming into contact with the tamariki participating in the service.
Where the Manager or Board are satisfied that it is necessary to do so to ensure that no tamaiti is ill-treated, we will ensure that the person is excluded from the service and does not enter or remain on the premises where the service is provided while it is being provided.
When to make a Mandatory Report
The Centre Board must immediately report to the Teaching Council when:
A teacher is dismissed for any reason
A teacher resigns from a teaching position, or on the expiry of the teacher’s fixed-term contract, if within the 12 months preceding the resignation the employer advised the teacher it was dissatisfied with, or intended to investigate, any aspect of the teacher’s conduct or competence.
A teacher ceases to be employed by the employer, and within the following 12 months the employer receives a complaint about the teacher’s conduct or competence while he/she was an employee
The employer has reason to believe the teacher has engaged in serious misconduct
The employer is satisfied that, despite completing competency procedures with the teacher, the teacher has not reached the required competence level.
Confidentiality and Information Sharing:
The Privacy Act 1993 and the Children, Young Persons, and their Families Act 1989 allow information to be shared to keep tamariki safe when abuse or suspected abuse is reported or investigated. Note that under sections 15 and 16 of the CYPF Act, any person who believes that a child has been, or is likely to be, harmed physically, emotionally or sexually or ill-treated, abused, neglected or deprived may report the matter to Oranga Tamariki or the Police and, provided the report is made in good faith, no civil, criminal or disciplinary proceedings may be brought against them.
All concerns and information will be recorded factually and held confidentially. All documentation relating to concerns/incidents will be held in the Child Protection folder, in a locked filing cabinet.
Recruitment and employment (Safety Checking)
Safety checking will be carried out in accordance with the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014, ECE Licencing Criteria 2008 GMA7a, and Cloud Kids Educare safety checking procedures.
This will include:
A New Zealand police vet check
Identity verification (including previous identities) one identity document must be photographic
References (from at least one referee)
Information from any relevant professional organisation or registration body e.g. The Teaching Council
A risk assessment
Recording of the safety check
A work history will be sought and previous employers will be contacted. GMA7a will be completed by the employer of all new employees ensuring that a risk assessment is undertaken. If there is any suspicion that an applicant to a position at the centre might pose a high-medium risk to the tamariki, that applicant will not be employed. If the applicant poses a low risk a detailed plan would be documented indicating how the employer will manage the risk. This will be completed before the employee starts work.
All staff employed will undergo three yearly periodic safety checks as per GMA7a.
Training and Supervision and Support
Training, resources and/or advice will be available to ensure that all staff can carry out their roles in terms of this policy, particularly:
Understanding tamaiti abuse and the indicators of tamaiti abuse
How to reduce the risk of tamaiti abuse
Understanding and complying with legal obligations in regards to tamaiti abuse
Working with outside agencies on tamaiti abuse issues
Planning of environment and supervision to minimize risk
Dealing with tamaiti/parents/whānau
This policy will be part of the initial staff induction programme.
All staff will have access to Child Protection training, at a level appropriate to their position, at least once every two years, either with the Child Matters Foundation, Police Child Protection Teams or Oranga Tamariki.
Time will be made available on full pay to attend these training sessions, and costs will be met by Cloud Kids Educare.
All staff training will be recorded on the training record sheets in the Hazard Management system folder.
This policy will be reviewed at least every two years or after an incident where the policy requirements have been utilised.
Effective From: September 2020
Review: September 2022