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Safeguarding Training

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Obligations for Diocesan workers and helpers

The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted the importance of workers being given knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through training.

The Diocese is legally obliged to comply with the NSW Child Safe Standards and is also committed to meet the complementary National Catholic Safeguarding Standards that have been endorsed by the Australian Council of Bishops and Catholic Religious Australia. 

NSW Child Safe Standard Seven says:

A child safe organisation promotes continuous learning and provides regular ongoing education and training. Staff continually build their abilities to keep children safe.

National Catholic Safeguarding Standard Seven says:

Ongoing education and training.  Personnel are equipped with knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and adults safe through information, ongoing education and training

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has implemented a comprehensive safeguarding training regime to ensure that diocesan workers have the appropriate level of knowledge, skills and awareness to assist in safeguarding children:

  • As a part of their induction, all new employees are introduced to the Diocese’s safeguarding framework, including the central role of the Office of Safeguarding (OoSG).
  • Diocesan employees participate in annual safeguarding refresher presentations, as part of their local work groups.
  • Unpaid helpers (volunteers) receive safeguarding training as part of their induction to the Diocese.
  • Staff in child-related work are required to attend a specialist safeguarding training course within six months of starting employment with the Diocese.
  • Advanced safeguarding training is mandatory for staff in child-related work in diocesan schools, early education centres and welfare services as part of a cycle to updating and reinforcing the Diocese’s safeguarding practices.
  • Diocesan clergy participate in safeguarding training as well as receiving advanced and specialist safeguarding training with the Director of Safeguarding.
  • Targeted safeguarding training for work groups or workplaces identified as having or potentially having a deficit in safeguarding knowledge, practices or culture.

Safeguarding training is compulsory and is provided free to all diocesan workers.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Diocesan workers who are able to evidence that they have completed the standardised child protection training CHCPRT001: Identify and respond to children and young people at risk, in the 12 months prior to working with the Diocese may request an exemption from:

  • Online safeguarding induction for volunteers
  • Course 1:  Safeguarding for employees in child-related work
  • Course 2:  Safeguarding in parishes.

The Office of Safeguarding is able to grant a ‘new worker’ exemption for RPL on provision of written evidence of the worker’s attendance/completion of the training.  Workers have no right of appeal should their request for RPL be denied. 

Granting an RPL obligates the worker to independently review the Diocesan Safeguarding Framework Policy, with an emphasis on section 10 ‘Reporting to the Diocese’.

Online Information modules

Informational modules are brief online training opportunities developed by the OoSG..  These modules are largely passive presentations of information, in written form presented through audio-visual material.

The drop-down menu below summaries the standardised safeguarding training modules designed to provide baseline knowledge for all diocesan workers (whether in child-related work or not).  Diocesan employees will be assigned the Safeguarding Induction module and the Annual Refresher modules in mnpeople.

In the following descriptions of the information modules, the term child-related work refers to any diocesan worker who is required to hold a NSW WWCC (working with children check) as a condition of their employment with the Diocese.

Prerequisite:      
Nil

Target groups:   
All Paid workers, irrespective of whether they are in child-related work or not

Frequency:         
Once — as part of commencing employment with the Diocese

Exemptions:       
Nil

Duration:            
45 minutes approximately

Description:       
An online global introductory informational package describing diocesan safeguarding structures, including the Diocese’s Commitment Statement to Safeguarding. The module will briefly introduce:

  • diocesan safeguarding framework policy and procedures (including e-safety)
  • diocesan code of conduct
  • reporting obligations
  • safeguarding risk management
  • complaints handling policy and procedures

This package is an audio-visual module with written information presented through mnpeople.  It includes a competency assessment quiz at the completion of the presentation.

Prerequisite:      
Nil

Target groups:   
Volunteers and Contractors in child-related work other than those in parishes       

Frequency:         
Once — ideally as part of a volunteers induction but otherwise, within six weeks of commencing

Exemptions:       
Available for recognised prior learning — apply to Office of Safeguarding

Duration:            
45 minutes approximately

Description:        
A more detailed online induction module to introduce volunteers and contractors to the indicators of abuse and neglect and ensure that they are aware of their reporting obligations and the supports available to them.  The module will briefly address:

  • diocesan safeguarding framework, policy and procedures (including e-safety)
  • diocesan code of conduct
  • reporting obligations
  • safeguarding risk management
  • complaints handling policy and procedures
  • indicators of abuse and neglect and how to support a child to disclose to a staff member
  • contributing to child-safe cultures

This module can be accessed online by the individual or facilitated in a group setting by a member of the local school, early education centre or social service programme who has been familiarised with the content.  It is interactive and includes a competency assessment quiz at the completion of the audio-visual presentation.

Prerequisite:
Safeguarding induction for new employees

Target groups:
All employees, (i.e. those in child-related work and those who are not) and volunteers in the Diocese

Frequency:
Annually

Exemptions:
Nil

Duration:
45 minutes approximately

Description:
A brief online annual refresher module to be completed online by the individual or in a group setting at staff meetings, as part of an in-service or pupil free professional development day.  The module will briefly review:

  • diocesan Safeguarding framework, policy and procedures (including e-safety)
  • diocesan code of conduct
  • reporting obligations
  • safeguarding risk management
  • complaints handling policy and procedures

This module involves audio-visual material with written information presented through mnpeople and includes a competency assessment quiz at the completion of the module.

Training courses

Safeguarding courses are more in-depth training packages, developed by the OoSG and presented by OoSG staff.  The training courses are interactive, including audio-visual material with written information presented through PowerPoint, and analysis and discussion of practice scenarios reinforcing key learning.

The drop-down menu below summarises the safeguarding training packages designed to provide targeted, specialised knowledge and support for employees in child-related work.

Employees who are required to attend the safeguarding training courses must register via mnpeople.  The course details, set out in the drop-down menus, specifies which groups of employees attend which courses.

In the following course descriptions, the term child-related work refers to any diocesan employee who is required to hold a NSW WWCC (working with children check) as a condition of their employment with the Diocese.

Self -care with potentially confronting content:

Safeguarding the children and vulnerable persons of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is our priority.  Our courses are tailored to ensure you, as workers of the Diocese, receive all the information and support you need to be able to comply with your legal and moral obligations to report any concerns for children and vulnerable persons.  Our approach to training is a holistic one. The course content will include a brief history on the legacy of historic child sexual abuse in our diocese.

For some, this content can be confronting.  If you are concerned for your possible response to the material, speak with your manager before the training day to discuss potential alternatives.  If during the presentation of the course you start to feel distressed, please use your own judgement and make sure that you are safe.  It is okay to withdraw yourself from the training if you need to, physically or psychologically.  If you would like to speak directly to someone from the Office of Safeguarding before or after this training day, please call 4979 1390 or email oosgtraining@mn.catholic.org.au

Please remember the Diocese has an Employee Assistance Program available to all staff and their families, if you need support please reach out to either The Rosewood Centre on 1800 613 155 or email hello@rosewoodcentre.com.au, or AusPsych on 4926 1688 or email admin@auspsych.com.au

For Registrations:

Diocesan employees are to self-enrol via mnpeople.

Volunteers who require assistance in registering for a course in mnpeople contact Human Resources:

E:   HR-Training@mn.catholic.org.au –

For Any Other Information:

For information regarding the currency of your training or confirmation of which course you are to attend please contact the Office of Safeguarding directly:

P: 4979 1390

E: oosgtraining@mn.catholic.org.au

Prerequisite:
Safeguarding induction for new employees

Target groups:
All paid workers in child-related work, other than those who work in parishes

Frequency:
Once — within the first six months of appointment (reasonable provision available)

Exemptions:
Available for recognised prior learning — apply to Office of Safeguarding

Duration:
Full day course (approx. six hours)

Description:
A primary training package designed to highlight the global concepts and state legislation relating to child protection as well as introducing “new” workers to their obligations under the Diocese’s safeguarding processes.  The training course will address in detail:

  • the Diocese’s Safeguarding Framework Policy
  • indicators of abuse and neglect
  • responding to disclosures
  • reporting obligations
  • information sharing and records keeping
  • contributing to child-safe cultures

This course will be presented by one or more members of the Office of Safeguarding.  The package includes audio-visual material with written information presented through PowerPoint, and analysis and discussion of practice scenarios reinforcing key learning.

Prerequisite:
Safeguarding induction for new employees [employees only]

Target groups:
All parish workers (employees and volunteers)

Frequency:
For employees – within the first six months of commencing duties and then every six years thereafter
For volunteers – every six years

Exemptions:
For newly started workers – recognised prior learning available – apply to Office of Safeguarding

Duration:
4 hours (half a day)

Description:
A particular training package designed to support paid and unpaid helpers undertaking a broad range of ministries in church facilities and out in the community. The training targets the safeguarding needs of faith communities. The training course will address:

  • the Diocese’s Safeguarding Framework policy
  • indicators of abuse and neglect
  • responding to disclosures
  • reporting obligations
  • information sharing and records keeping
  • contributing to child-safe cultures

This course will be presented by the Office of Safeguarding. The package includes audio-visual material with written information presented through PowerPoint and analysis and discussion of practice scenarios reinforcing key learning.

Prerequisite:
Course 1: Safeguarding for employees in child-related work.  ‘Reasonable provision’ exception available for paid workers who have recently joined the Diocese.

Target groups:
Employees in child-related work in diocesan systemic schools, Catholic Schools Office and St Nicholas Early Education Centres and OOSH programs

Frequency:
Every six years

Exemptions:
Nil

Duration:
Full day course (about six hours)

Description:
A secondary or enhanced training package designed for employees who are familiar with working for the Diocese in an educational setting (inclusive of early, primary and secondary) and an understanding of their safeguarding obligations as diocesan workers.

This course will be presented by one or more members of the Office of Safeguarding. The package includes audio-visual material with written information presented through PowerPoint.

There is a heavy emphasis on in-depth analysis and discussion of practice scenarios calibrated to suit.  The scenarios used will deal with situations in the relevant context for the trainees, e.g. early education centres, primary and secondary schools.

Prerequisite:
Course 1: Safeguarding for employees in child-related work.  ‘Reasonable provision’ exception available for employees who have recently joined the Diocese.

Target groups:
Employees in child-related work in CatholicCare Social Services and other community or welfare related programs within the Diocese.

Frequency:
Every six years

Exemptions:
Nil

Duration:
Full day course (about six hours)

Description:
Secondary or enhanced training, designed for employees who have a degree of familiarity working for the Diocese in the area of social services and an understanding of their safeguarding obligations as diocesan workers.

This course will be presented by one or more members of the Office of Safeguarding.  The package includes audio-visual material with written information presented through PowerPoint.

There is a heavy emphasis on in-depth analysis and discussion of practice scenarios calibrated to suit the social services and community welfare context.