This document includes the following Safeguarding Procedures:
- Reporting Safeguarding Incidents
- Safeguarding in Recruitment, Induction and Training
Reporting Safeguarding Incidents
This procedure covers Safeguarding incidents that involve WorldShare staff members, representatives, associates, supporters and implementing partners.
It does not cover incidents of abuse and exploitation in the countries and communities where WorldShare funded projects and partners operate, perpetrated by individuals who are not affiliated with WorldShare.
What incidents should be reported
A report should be made about any suspected, witnessed or reported behaviour carried out by a WorldShare staff member, representative, associate, supporter and implementing partner who has breached the WorldShare Safeguarding Code of Conduct. This could include (but is not limited to):
- Any incidents of sexual abuse, harassment or exploitation of a child, adult or vulnerable individual
- Possession of exploitative material
- Criminal proceedings being undertaken involving sexual abuse, harassment or exploitation of a child, adult or vulnerable individual
Refer the Code of Conduct for full details.
Who should report an incident?
Anyone can report an incident including WorldShare staff members, partner staff, supporters, contractors and community members.
How to report an incident
For external parties incidents can be reported:
1. By telephoning our office on +612 9712 8222 during business hours;
2. By sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org;
3. By sending a letter to our office at PO Box 84, Chatswood NSW 2057; or
4. By making a complaint in person to our office.
A complaint should be addressed to the Safeguarding Officer unless the Safeguarding Officer is involved in the incident in which case the complaint should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of WorldShare.
A WorldShare staff member who has witnessed or experienced the incident or has received the report of the incident from a third party can report the incident to the Safeguarding Officer or Chief Executive Officer.
When should you report an incident?
An incident should be reported as soon as possible to allow a proper investigation to be launched.
Information to include in a report
- Name and contact details of person reporting the incident
- Date(s) of the incident
- Name of organisation involved
- Alleged offender’s details including name, occupation and relationship to WorldShare or Partner organisation
- Details of alleged incident(s)
- Whether local law enforcement has been involved
- Whether local community leaders have been involved
- If the incident happened during a WorldShare activity or WorldShare funded activity the name of the activity
- Steps taken
- Any other relevant information
Guidance for WorldShare staff and those recording an alleged incident
- Ensure you have a caring attitude towards the complainant and assure them that you are willing to listen and assist them
- Reassure them that it is right to come forward
- Listen carefully to what the complainant says
- Reassure the complainant that you are taking them seriously
- Ensure that the complainant understands that a report will be made to the necessary authority and that the complainant coming forward will assist in addressing this issue
- Do not panic or display negative emotions such as anger
- Do not make promises you cannot keep
- Do not ask leading questions
Reports of Safeguarding Incidents should be kept private and not discussed with other staff members, partners or supporters except in the context of an official investigation of the allegations.
Handling of reported incidents
In every matter, the best interest of the vulnerable person will be the overarching concern, matters will be dealt with in as timely a way as possible, and natural justice will be pursued to ensure fairness of process.
The following steps will be taken when responding to allegations of a Safeguarding incident
- Safeguarding Officer and/or CEO are notified of safeguarding incident.
- Safeguarding Officer or CEO to record the report in the Incident Log.
- Safeguarding Officer and CEO meet to review the incident report and determine appropriate action, including investigation.
- The CEO must report all incidents and action taken to the HR, Audit and Risk Sub Committee of the board within five days of receiving the report.
- The CEO must report any incidents that occur overseas or affect our partner organisations to the Partnerships Sub Committee of the board within five days of receiving the report.
- All incidents and action taken must be included in the quarterly board report
- Where appropriate staff involved in incident investigations may be put on suspended leave while the investigation is conducted.
- A report of investigation findings and actions will be submitted to the board once the investigation is completed.
- Once the investigation is complete a meeting will be held with the staff member or WorldShare representative involved to notify them of the findings and outcomes of the investigation. Possible outcomes of the investigation may include:
- Further education on the Safeguarding policy and Code of Conduct
- Formal warning and monitoring
- Transfer to other duties
- Performance management
- Disciplinary action, suspension or termination for WorldShare staff
- Partnership funding suspension / termination
- Report to police
- For criminal activities law enforcement agencies either in Australia or in the country where the incident took place will be notified.
- Any incidents involving the Safeguarding Officer or CEO should be submitted to the Board Chairperson who will review the report and determine an appropriate course of action, including investigation.
Safeguarding in Recruitment, Induction and Training
This procedure covers the Safeguarding measures to be used in the recruitment, induction and training of WorldShare staff members, representatives, Australian contractors, volunteers and short-term team members (referred to as WorldShare staff and representatives). This procedure does not cover WorldShare in-country Partners.
Safeguarding must be included in the advertising, interview and reference check processes in the recruitment of WorldShare staff and representatives.
All advertisements for WorldShare staff or representative positions will include the following statement:
“WorldShare is committed to safeguarding and maintaining an environment free from abuse, harassment and exploitation. The recruitment process will include safeguarding checks and questions. WorldShare staff and representatives are required to provide a Police Check and Working with Children Check”
All interviews for WorldShare Staff and representatives need to include safeguarding questions. Some examples of Safeguarding questions are:
- Have you even been convicted of an act of abuse or harassment (including against a child)?
- Have you worked with children in the past? What did you like about it and what did you find difficult?
- What is your understanding of child protection?
- What boundaries are important when working with children and vulnerable people?
- If you were concerned about the actions or behaviour of a co-worker towards a child or vulnerable person how would you respond?
A safeguarding question must be included in reference checks. Some examples of safeguarding questions for reference checks are:
- As far as you know has any complaint ever been made against (name) for any form of sexual misconduct, abuse or harassment? If so, can you describe the circumstances?
- From a Child Protection perspective would you have any concerns with (name) working with children or vulnerable people?
During induction all WorldShare staff and representatives will be given a Safeguarding pack which includes:
- WorldShare Safeguarding and PSEAH Policy
- WorldShare Safeguarding Procedures
- WorldShare Safeguarding Code of Conduct
- Information on how to get a Police Check and Working with Children Check
The staff or representative needs submit the following items to the safeguarding officer or to their team leader or manager who will submit it to the WorldShare Safeguarding Officer:
- Signed Safeguarding Code of Conduct
- Police Check
- Working with Children Check
These should be provided within one month of joining WorldShare
Safeguarding training is required for all WorldShare staff. Safeguarding training is required for WorldShare representatives that:
- Come into contact with children or vulnerable people or
- Have access to child beneficiary information or images via the WorldShare Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System or document storage systems.
Short Term Team members must take part in safeguarding training.
The WorldShare Safeguarding Officer must keep the Safeguarding training presentation up to date. The training should include:
- An overview of safeguarding and why it is important
- WorldShare safeguarding policies and procedures
- Who to contact about any questions or concerns regarding Safeguarding
Every WorldShare staff member and relevant representatives must complete the Safeguarding training within one month of joining WorldShare.
A refresher training on Safeguarding must be carried out for staff once every two years.
The Safeguarding Officer must keep records of the dates trainings were conducted and those in attendance at the training session.
In Country Contractors
All in country contractors will be provided with a WorldShare Safeguarding pack and required to sign the WorldShare Safeguarding Code of Conduct and the Safeguarding Code of Conduct of the partner organisation before they begin their assignment. Contractors will be accompanied by partner staff at all times if they are visiting communities.