Child Protection Policy


Application


This policy applies to all University staff members

Purpose


Certain contracts and funding arrangements for the University to provide children’s services require the University to adopt a child protection policy that complies with section 19 of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 (“child protection policy contracts”). The purpose of this policy is to comply with these requirements

Introduction


This policy outlines the procedures to be followed by University staff members who suspect child abuse in the course of providing children’s services under child protection policy contracts

The procedures in this policy notwithstanding, any person may report suspected child abuse to the chief executive of Oranga Tamariki – the Ministry for Children – or the New Zealand Police under section 15 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

The University complies with its obligations under Part 3 of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 to safety check children’s workers performing regulated services

Note - not all staff members who provide children’s services under child protection policy contracts are required to be safety checked under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

Policy


Child abuse identified in the course of providing children’s services under child protection policy contracts

1.    All University staff members involved in delivering children’s services under child protection policy contracts must be aware of relevant child protection practices and must read this policy

2.    Any University staff member who suspects child abuse in the course of providing  children’s services under a child protection policy contract must promptly report it to any of the following:

  • their line manager or another manager
  • the Registrar
  • the Whistleblower hotline (0800 100 526)

2.    The Registrar will determine whether to report the suspected child abuse to the chief executive of Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children,  the New Zealand Police, or another appropriate agency, and/or appoint an investigator

Note - It is likely that the Registrar would appoint an investigator only if there has been an allegation of child abuse against a University staff member

Internal investigation

3.    Where appointed by the Registrar, the investigator is to:

  • investigate the allegation(s) of child abuse
  • manage all privacy and confidentiality issues
  • gather information as appropriate, including interviews
  • prepare a final report 

4.    The investigator is to report to the Registrar throughout the investigation as directed

5.    All information collected or received during an investigation into child abuse must be treated in confidence, except as necessary to protect the child, for the thorough investigation and resolution of the complaint, to meet the requirements of natural justice or otherwise required by law

Consequences 

6.    When the investigation is complete, the investigator is to submit a final report to the Registrar

7.    Where the investigator’s report supports an allegation of child abuse against a staff member, the Registrar is to (i) refer the matter to the Director HR to determine whether the matter is to be dealt with under the applicable staff disciplinary policy and procedures and (ii) notify Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Children, or the New Zealand Police

8.    In all other cases of alleged child abuse, the Registrar is to determine how the matter is to be dealt with and/or what action, if any, is to be taken

Review

9.    The Registrar is to review this policy within three years of its date of adoption or its most recent date of review

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this document:

Child means a person who is under the age of 18 years

Child abuse means the harm (whether physical, emotional, or sexual), ill-treatment, abuse, neglect, or deprivation of a child

Children’s services means:

(a) services provided to 1 or more children

(b) services provided to adults in respect of 1 or more children

(c)  services provided to adults living in households that include 1 or more children and that

(i)   do or may affect significantly any 1 or more aspects of the well-being of those children; and

(ii) are adult addiction services, adult disability services, adult mental health services, family violence services, services to support adult victims of crime, or other services that have been prescribed by an Order in Council by the Governor-General

(d) services provided in respect of children that have been prescribed by an Order in Council by the Governor-General

Prescribed State services means a prescribed State service as defined in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

Staff member refers to an individual employed or contracted by the University on a full or part time basis

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control


Prepared by: General Counsel

Owned by: Registrar

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor

Date approved: April 26 2018

Review date: April 26 2021