All staff, affiliates, volunteers and relevant third parties who work with children and young people are required to:
- obtain the relevant documentation
- comply with reporting requirements
- adhere to all Child Protection behaviours.
Staff, affiliates and volunteers
All staff, affiliates and volunteers who work with children and young people are required to have both a:
- National Police Certificate
- Working with Children/Vulnerable People Check in the relevant state or territory in which they perform the activities involving children and young persons, (including online or in person).
Depending on the activity being undertaken, Responding to Abuse and Neglect Training and/or certification and basic First Aid qualifications may also be required. Check with the Child Safe Officer on relevant requirements.
All relevant requirements must be obtained before the commencement of the work or activity involving children or young people.
CSIRO requires third parties, and their staff/sub-contractors, contracted to work with children and young people to comply with this policy, the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework[Link will open in a new window] and where applicable the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Child Protection Policy[Link will open in a new window]. This requirement is as an express term of all contracts with CSIRO where any third party works with children.
Reports by staff, CSIRO affiliates and volunteers
All staff, affiliates and volunteers who work with children and young people are required by law to report suspected child abuse and harm.
If a staff member, affiliate or volunteer has a reasonable suspicion or belief, arising from any CSIRO activity or program, that a child or young person has been, or is being, abused or harmed by any person, they must notify the Child Safe Officer by emailing [email protected]. The Child Safe Officer will assist in determining whether the matter needs to be referred to the law enforcement agencies.
A reasonable suspicion or belief may arise, when:
- a child discloses that he or she has been abused
- someone close to a child (e.g. sibling, relative, close friend) discloses abuse on behalf of that child
- abuse, or evidence of abuse, is witnessed
- other circumstances to be assessed on their merits under this policy.
The Child Safe Officer will assess the matter having regard to the applicable legislation and will report or assist the staff member, affiliate or volunteer to report, the matter to the relevant authorities and/or law enforcement agencies.
If the staff member, affiliate or volunteer is working overseas on a DFAT funded program or activity and has a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or exploitation they must immediately report this suspicion to the Child Safe Officer. For more information, see the DFAT Child Protection Policy[Link will open in a new window].
All staff, affiliates and volunteers have additional obligations under the CSIRO Code of Conduct and must report any conduct issues including any inappropriate behaviour by staff, affiliates or volunteers, observed while working with children and young persons. Matters involving the conduct of staff will be managed in accordance with the Workplace Issues Resolution Procedure.
Reports by children, young people and their families
We encourage and respects the views of all children and young people. We will listen to and act upon any concerns children, young people or their families raise and will ensure that children involved in our activities and programs know what they can do if they feel unsafe.
Any child or young person or member of their family may report any concern to the Child Safe Officer, [email protected].
Complaints about staff, affiliates or volunteers can also be reported to [email protected].
Reports by other persons
Any person can make a report or complaint in relation to our activities or the conduct of staff, affiliates or volunteers in relation to work with children and young people. Reports and complaints should be made to the Child Safe Officer, [email protected] or Conduct Complaints, [email protected].
Any third party contracted by CSIRO for a DFAT funded program or activity must immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or exploitation (including possession of child exploitation material) that occurs overseas to the Child Safe Officer, who will report to DFAT. For more information, see the DFAT Child Protection Policy[Link will open in a new window].
Responding to reports
In response to any report arising out of any CSIRO activity or program concerning child abuse or harm of any child, we will undertake protective actions as required to ensure the safety of children and young people involved in any CSIRO programs.
Any reports or allegations of suspected child abuse or harm reported to us will be referred to the relevant law enforcement agency.
Reports or allegations of suspected child abuse or harm involving the conduct of staff, affiliates or volunteers may also be dealt with internally under the relevant CSIRO process or procedure, including for example under our Workplace Issue Resolution Procedure.
Reports of allegations of inappropriate behaviour that do not constitute suspected child abuse or harm will be appropriately handled internally under the relevant CSIRO process or procedure. This may result in action being taken under the relevant agreement or under the applicable CSIRO procedure, including, for example, our Workplace Issue Resolution Procedure.
In some cases, it may be necessary to refer reports or allegations to an Authorised Internal Recipient under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (Cth)[Link will open in a new window], see the Public Interest Disclosure Scheme.
CSIRO recognises that where a report is made, we may have a role in supporting the child or young person. This support may include:
- referring the child, young person or their family to external services including CSIRO’s Employee Assistance Provider
- displaying information regarding services that may assist children, young people and their families (such as the Kids Helpline and Youth Healthline) in areas accessed by children, young people and their families.
We will also ensure support is available for staff, affiliates or volunteers who report suspected abuse or harm of a child or young person.
CSIRO is committed to ensuring staff, affiliates and volunteers are supported to comply with this policy. This will include tailored recruitment practices, providing ongoing training and supervision and conducting continuous risk assessments of activities.
These support mechanisms are designed to facilitate awareness and compliance with this policy, the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework[Link will open in a new window] and relevant legislation and promote the establishment and maintenance of a child safe environment for our activities involving children and young people.
CSIRO Statement of Compliance October 2021.
Our recruitment practices are appropriately tailored to ensure only the most suitable and appropriate people are hired by CSIRO to work with children and young persons.
Any position involving work with children or young people will require the applicant to meet the requirements outlined in this policy. Meeting the requirements is an inherent pre-requisite for all positions involving work with children or young people.
Support and training for current staff, affiliates and volunteers
We provide access to supervision, support and training to any staff, affiliates and volunteers who work with children or young people. This includes:
- ongoing training on this policy and trauma informed principles and practices
- providing access to relevant information resources, both internal and external
- Code of Conduct training, which includes a Child Safe component, upon commencement and every two years thereafter.
We will undertake a risk-based approach for all programs or activities involving work, or potential work, with children and young people.
For both current work and work yet to commence, the relevant manager must complete the ‘Risk Assessment Form’ to assess the child protection risk. The ‘Risk Assessment Form’ requires the manager to identify the specific risks to children and young people presented by the activity or project. These risks must then be documented and controls implemented to remove or reduce the risks to children and young people, [see Risk Assessment Form]. The Risk Assessment Form is in addition to the requirements of the Risk Management Procedure for HSE.
Risk Assessment Forms must be reviewed and updated regularly during the life of the activity. This review should be incorporated into existing activating planning and risk management processes and occur at least once every six months.
The Child Safe Officer will assist the relevant manager to complete the Risk Assessment Form, as required.
CSIRO’s Risk Team will also conduct an annual review of the completed risk assessments to inform the organisation's risk profile.
Information and privacy
We handle all information including personal information in accordance with the applicable laws, including the Privacy Act[Link will open in a new window], applicable child safety legislation and discrimination legislation.
Review of the Child Safe Policy
This policy and the associated guidelines will be reviewed every two years and updated as required, including in relation to any relevant legislative changes. We value community feedback on this policy. Feedback and suggestion can be provided by emailing [email protected].