Manual of Policies and Procedures

A/8.11 Child protection

Contact Officer

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

Approval Date

17/11/2020

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

30/11/2023

8.11.1 Purpose
8.11.2 Application
8.11.3 Roles and responsibilities
8.11.4 QUT Statement of Commitment
8.11.5 Promoting child protection
8.11.6 Responding to disclosure and reporting a suspicion of harm
8.11.7 Standards of behaviours towards children
8.11.8 Photography and social media
8.11.9 Research involving children
8.11.10 International students
8.11.11 Regulated child-related work
8.11.12 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

8.11.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline QUT’s commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people; to outline our approach to preventing harm to children in the course of providing activities or services; and to establish processes for responding to and reporting disclosures or suspicions of harm.

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8.11.2 Application

This policy applies to all members of the University community including all staff, committee members, students, visitors, and volunteers when interacting with children or young people in their QUT capacity.

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8.11.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position Responsibility

All staff

  • provide a safe environment for children and young people receiving services of QUT or engaging in activities offered or facilitated by QUT

Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

  • approves and implements a Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy including measures to support child protection
  • establishes processes for responding to and reporting suspicions of harm to a child or young person
Director, Office of the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
  • appointed as the Child Protection Coordinator and the principal point of contact for child protection matters
  • facilitates processes for responding to and reporting suspicions of harm to a child or young person

Heads of organisational areas

  • identify and manage risks associated with activities involving children and young people
  • ensure QUT policies and procedures for child protection are understood and implemented within their area
  • ensure that QUT blue card processes are implemented within respective areas when required for relevant staff, students, and volunteers
  • ensure managers and supervisors adhere to the above
Staff, volunteer, or student entering ‘regulated child-related work’
  • must comply with the requirements of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 including:
    • attain a working with children clearance when required, maintain blue card currency, and link blue card from external organisations, where applicable  
    • notify QUT and Blue Card Services (BCS) of any change in police information
    • advise BCS of a change in personal circumstances, employment circumstances or a lost or stolen card
Faculties and schools
  • inform students of blue card requirements and manage course requirements for blue cards
  • ensure that HiQ blue card application processes are implemented prior to students undergoing placements or undertaking other regulated child-related work, as required
Director(s), Student Business Services and HiQ and Library
  • ensure that relevant blue card processes are implemented for all students, as required

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8.11.4 QUT Statement of Commitment

QUT is an inclusive and safe environment in which all staff contribute to the development, learning, and wellbeing of children and young people.

QUT is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people who interact with members of the University community and will:

  • take a proactive approach to the prevention of harm to children by identifying possible exposures and risks early and removing and/or reducing any risks to children or young people
  • take prompt and appropriate action in response to any allegation or suspicion of child harm
  • provide appropriate guidelines, processes, and support services for the reporting and handling of disclosures and suspicions of harm
  • promote best practices in relation to child safety
  • promote a culture of child safety and respect.

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8.11.5 Promoting child protection

All members of the University community are responsible for promoting a culture of safety and wellbeing for children and young people by:

  • treating children and young people with respect
  • complying with all relevant laws, regulations, policies, processes and guidelines
  • reporting instances of suspected harm to a child or young person following QUT reporting processes and other mandatory reporting obligations where applicable
  • complying with any child safety training, registration or accreditation requirements which may be relevant to their University duties or activities
  • undertaking risk assessments when planning interactions with children or young people in accordance with the QUT Risk Management Framework; and
  • developing relevant strategies to mitigate or manage the risks identified.

Where appropriate, the University will ensure that information is presented to children and young people in an age appropriate manner.

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8.11.6 Responding to disclosure and reporting a suspicion of harm

All members of the University community have a responsibility to respond to a disclosure or suspicion of harm to a child by following QUT reporting processes and other mandatory reporting obligations where applicable.

The University’s Child Protection Coordinator is the principal point of contact for child protection matters, and is responsible for facilitating processes for responding to and reporting suspicions of harm to a child or young person.

The University’s Child Protection Coordinator is the Director, Office of the Vice President (Administration) and University Registrar.

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8.11.7 Standards of behaviour towards children

Members of our community are often in positions of trust and influence in the community including with children and young people. QUT expects that all members of the University community will act in a manner to ensure the safety, wellbeing and protection of children in any interactions they may have as part of their role at QUT.  

When interacting with children or young people, all members of the University community must never engage in inappropriate actions or behaviours, including:

  • using language or behaviour towards children that is harassing, abusive, sexually provocative, demeaning or culturally inappropriate
  • causing harm to a child or young person in any way including physical, psychological or emotional harm
  • sexually abusing, exploiting or harassing children in any way
  • engaging in unauthorised personal contact with children, including sexual or other inappropriate touching or invasive acts, or through social networking sites
  • using physical force including beating, shaking, hitting, burning, biting, grabbing, throwing or strangling; or
  • developing special relationships that could be seen as favouritism.

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8.11.8 Photography and social media

All members of the University community are required to ensure that photography (and related multi media such as sound and video), and social media are used appropriately and in accordance with the:

The QUT Privacy Protocol 1: Use of photographic images and video recordings, outlines QUT’s requirements regarding consent to take photographic images or recordings including photographic images of children.

Organisational areas using photography and related multi media, and social media, in connection with children or young people are responsible for establishing and implementing guidelines or processes to ensure the use of technology and social media is not detrimental to the child or harmful to the child’s safety.

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8.11.9 Research involving children

A member of the University community undertaking research involving children or young people is required to obtain approval from the University Human Research Ethics Committee (UHREC) in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and comply with University policy and other legislation for safety of children and young people.  Where research may have a likelihood of causing an inconvenience, discomfort or harm to a child the UHREC ensures that adequate management strategies for addressing risk of harm are in place to mitigate and/or manage the risk and that the benefits of participating outweigh or justify the risks before approval to proceed is given.   

The research may also be required to adhere to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Child Protection Policy 2017.

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8.11.10 International students

QUT is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of international students under the age of 18 and will endeavour to provide a safe environment so that the student can successfully pursue their academic and personal development. The University will ensure appropriate accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements for the safety and wellbeing of these students.

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8.11.11 Regulated child-related work

Where QUT staff or students engage in regulated child-related work, for example when providing a QUT service or activity within a school or health facility, or undertaking research that involves persons under the age of 18, QUT will  promote the protection of children by:

  • ensuring awareness of and compliance with relevant working with children legislation
  • ensuring relevant procedures and processes are in place to ensure working with children clearances are identified, attained and renewed where required; and
  • early identification of any new or existing activities or services that pose an exposure or risk to child protection and removing and/or reducing the exposure or risk through appropriate controls and mitigations.

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8.11.12 Definitions

Child/children means a person(s) under the age of 18 years as defined by section 36 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1954.

Harm means any detrimental effect on a child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. Harm can be caused by physical, psychological or emotional abuse, neglect, and/or sexual abuse or exploitation whether intended or unintended. Harm can be caused by a single act, omission or circumstance or a series or combination of acts, omissions or circumstances (Child Protection Act (Qld)1999, s9).

Mandatory Reporting is a term used to describe the legislative requirement for selected groups of people to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to government authorities.

Regulated child related work means work that falls into a category of regulated employment as defined by Blue Card Services Qld.

University community (in accordance with B/8.1.2), means for the purpose of this policy namely:

  • employees of the University
  • members of QUT Council or other University committees whether they hold office by election, nomination or appointment
  • visiting and adjunct academics, or other academic or research collaborators
  • volunteers who contribute to or act on behalf of the University
  • individuals who have been granted access to QUT property, services or infrastructure
  • consultants and independent contractors undertaking services for QUT
  • students of the University.

Young person/young people for the purposes of this policy means a person(s) under the age of 18 and is at an age normally associated with secondary education.

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Related Documents

A/8.10 Sexual harassment and sexual assault

A/8.5 Resolution of sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination related complaints

B/10.1 Staff complaints

B/4.1 Recruitment and advertising

B/4.2 Selection and appointment

B/8.1 QUT Staff Code of Conduct

B/8.3 Public interest disclosure management

B/8.5 Disciplinary action for misconduct and serious misconduct - senior staff

D/2.6 QUT Code for responsible conduct of research

E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

E/9.2 Grievance resolution procedures for student related grievances

F/1.11 Acceptable use of information and communications technology resources

F/6.2 Information privacy

QUT Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy (QUT staff access only)

ISS Homestay and U18 Supervision program: Risk Management Strategy

OREI Classroom research

OREI Internet and social media

OREI Participants and illegal activity

Pre-Service Teachers – Working with Children

Protocol for responding to student disclosures of sexual harassment and assault (QUT staff access only)

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) (QUT staff access only)

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff) (QUT staff access only)

QUT Privacy Protocol 1: Use of photographic images and video recordings (QUT staff access only)

QUT Privacy Protocols (QUT staff access only)

QUT Risk Management Framework (QUT staff access only)

QUT Social Media Guidelines for Learning and Teaching (QUT staff access only)

Students – Get Work Experience: Blue Cards (QUT staff and student access only)

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020

Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Child Protection Policy 2017

Department of Justice and Attorney-General Blue Card Services, Child and Youth Risk Management Strategy Toolkit

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research

Queensland Government – Blue Card Services

Victoria State Government, Education and Training, Child Safety Standards ‘Guidance for Universities in meeting the Standards’ 2016

Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld)

Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth) and National Code Part D, Standard 5

Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening Regulation 2011 (Qld)

Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld)

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
17.11.20 All Vice-Chancellor and President Revised policy
22.10.19 All Vice-Chancellor and President New policy

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