Encounter Youth require all volunteers to understand and acknowledge our Child Protection policy and the steps to responding to any situation surrounding abuse with a child or young person. If you need more information on what Child Abuse is or terms surrounding reasonable grounds, please CLICK HERE
and read this document.
Responding to Abuse: Encounter Youth (EY) will not tolerate the abuse of children and directs all involved in any form of work, paid, voluntary, full or part time, or contractors to at all times report suspected or known cases of child maltreatment.
The Children’s Protection Act 1993 clearly identifies individuals who are required by law to report suspected or known abuse of children/young people. It is the clear view of EY that even those who may not be “Mandated Notifiers” have a moral and ethical responsibility and a “Duty of Care” to at all times report suspected, or known cases of child abuse.
Reports of known or suspected abuse must be immediately reported to the 24 hour Child Abuse Report Line (C.A.R.L) on 13 14 78. It is imperative that the EY CEO, or in his/her absence the delegated person, is immediately informed of the circumstances and report.
Encounter Youth Reporting
When a child/young person under 18 years of age makes a direct disclosure or allegation:
- Volunteer informs Team Leader
- Team Leader supports volunteer to fill out form and make call to CARL
- Team Leader informs Support Leader ASAP and passes on report form
- Support Leader informs Project & Volunteer Manager and passes on report form
- Project & Volunteer Manager informs CEO ASAP and passes on report form for them to store securely
- CEO and board manage any resulting procedures as required upon advice of CARL or SAPOL
Support for volunteer and any other persons involved can be coordinated by the Project & Volunteer Manager.
AT NO TIME should an alleged perpetrator be confronted or advised of the allegations and subsequent report by the volunteer.
This is a complex issue so below is a quick guide to help you if you find yourself in this situation:
YOU ARE NOT AN INVESTIGATOR. IT IS NOT UP TO YOU TO PROVE THE CASE!
- Listen to the child/young person
- Do not ask leading questions
- Reassure the child that you believe him/her
- Reassure the child that what has happened is not his/her fault
- Reassure the child that telling you was the right thing to do
- As soon as possible after the disclosure, document the child’s disclosure
- When documenting the disclosure use the same terminology as the child
- Do not make promises you are unable to keep, such as confidentiality
- Reassure the child that you know people who can help to protect them
In cases where victims who were subject to abuse of a criminal nature at 17 years of age or younger do not disclose abuse until they have reached 18 years of age, they should be immediately referred to, and assisted in making a formal report to SA Police.
Consideration must be given to the fact that whilst the person making the disclosure may not be at further risk of harm, other children/young people may continue to be at ongoing risk. As a result, those who form the view that this is, or is likely to be, occurring should report the matter with or without the consent of the person making the initial disclosure to the appropriate agency