Child Safety & Wellbeing

Zero tolerance for child exploitation and abuse

  1. MWF promotes best practice in relation to the work that its representatives undertake in the support, nurturing and education of children.
  2. This policy relates specifically to the protection of children from any type of exploitation and abuse in the delivery of these activities (whether virtual, online or in-person) and recognises that exploitation and abuse are met with disciplinary sanctions as well as criminal penalties under Australian law.
  3. This Policy is guided by the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (2019) and adheres closely to key principles adopted by the AusAID Child Protection Policy.
  4. This policy applies to all staff, guests, participants and contractors, and volunteers operating under the umbrella of and/or representing MWF, as well as members of the MWF board. It relates specifically to the work undertaken by individuals in relation to their contact with children
  5. MWF will not tolerate any form of child exploitation or abuse when its representatives are in contact with children, the engagement of children for any form of sexual activity and/or the possession of, or access to child pornography or child exploitation material. Any such actions will be addressed according to the appropriate local, criminal, civil and disciplinary sanctions.
  6. MWF aims to ameliorate the risk of any possible child exploitation or abuse by training its representatives in relation to their child-related obligations.
  7. MWF will not knowingly engage any person who either directly or indirectly poses any form of unacceptable risk to children.

Recognition of the best interests of the child

  1. MWF recognises the vulnerability of all children, especially those who as a result of circumstance or disability may place their trust in or rely more significantly upon the actions, support and decisions of those charged with their care.
  2. In this regard, MWF is committed to upholding the rights of children and its obligations toward them.

Sharing responsibility for child protection

  1. MWF has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of children and to promote the practice of educational support that will positively contribute to a child’s healthy physical/emotional development and well-being.
  2. In its endeavour to ensure the safety and protection of MWF representatives and the children within their care or under their instruction, MWF will:
    a. Formalise, implement and regularly assess appropriate contracting, recruitment and operationalisation processes that build in regulatory checks such as a Working With Children Check offered by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (or similar checks dependent upon the location and context of work being undertaken);
    b. Provide child protection awareness training to MWF representatives who may not be directly involved with the care or instruction of children, but who may be working indirectly with them within a service or centre where children are present; and
    c. Implement a child protection report and response plan and ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibility to report an act of misconduct relating to child safety and wellbeing.

Risk management approach

  1. MWF is committed to the regular undertaking of institutional and
    program/project risk assessments to ameliorate the potential for risks to children.
  2. This includes regular risk assessments when undertaking reviews of any of MWF’s workplaces.

Procedural fairness

  1. MWF will exercise due diligence and adhere to the principles of natural justice when addressing issues such as child safety and wellbeing, which may have the potential to affect a person’s rights or interests.
  2. Reporting systems associated with allegations of child abuse or exploitation ensure that both the rights of the alleged victim as well as the rights of the alleged offender are respected.
  3. At all times, MWF representatives will be required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Code of Conduct.