A safe environment for everyone: protecting children and vulnerable people in our community

Goodman Crescent - North Terrace Campus

Making our campuses safe spaces for everyone in the University community is an ongoing responsibility all of us share.

Our community frequently encourages and welcomes children and vulnerable people to engage in University activities.

Before this happens, the risks to the safety of children and vulnerable people must be understood and actively managed in accordance with the University’s Safe Environments for Children and Vulnerable People Policy.

Know the risk

Where contact with children is anticipated or possible, responsible area managers should conduct a risk assessment to establish whether the environment and the activities are appropriate and safe. Individual local areas and business units are responsible to manage the risk in accordance with the University’s Risk Management Policy.

The risk of harm to children and vulnerable people will depend on the frequency and nature of interactions in any given activity or environment.

Organisers will need to determine the likelihood that the activity will involve contact with children or vulnerable people – whether that is direct physical contact, face to face, or verbal, written or online communications. They will also need to consider risk factors arising from the specific circumstances, such as the level of supervision, vulnerability, isolation, risk of grooming and access to personal information.

Manage the risk

Once you have an understanding of the potential risk of harm, controls or treatments may be applied to reduce the level of risk. This may include screening staff and volunteers, increased supervision, and ensuring children are aware of how to report concerns.

A working with children check (WWCC) will likely be required where interactions with children are probable or frequent. The law requires that a WWCC be confirmed and documented by an area supervisor before an individual commences work in a role involving contact with children. For more information about screening refer to the Employment Screening Procedure and the Human Resources website.

The child-safe risk assessment tool provides some examples of controls and treatments, and includes a risk assessment template. The tool is designed to guide and support you to identify and manage specific risks to children, and will assist you to meet your obligations under the Safe Environments for Children and Vulnerable People Policy.

Further resources

Tagged in child safety