Child Protection

Child Protection or Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are committed to providing safe environments for students.  Whilst we have a legal obligation to protect children, this commitment is central to our Catholic beliefs. All schools in NSW are required to meet the statutory obligations of legislation relating to child protection and schools in this diocese are required to uphold the policies and guidelines set out by the Catholic Schools Office. All Catholic Schools also implement the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards that constitute a framework which articulate the requirements of Catholic entities to promote the safety of children through the implementation of policies and activities to prevent, respond to and report concerns regarding child abuse. 

At St Joseph’s, we believe that all children have a right to a safe environment which is free from any form of abuse or harm.  We believe that relationships between adults and children are governed by trust and Gospel values.

On 15 June 2013, The Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 made under The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 came into force. The Regulation applies to any person working in child related employment including both paid and and some volunteer work. 

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an absolute and abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children. The agency known as Office of Safeguarding provides child protection services for all of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct assists to clarify the parameters of appropriate and inappropriate conduct for Catholic school employees who work in child-related employment. It also assists in providing a safe and supportive school environment for students, employees and the school’s broader community.

Responsibility of Principal

For people starting paid work at St Joseph's College, the Diocese HR Business Partner will verify the Working with Children Check (WWCC).  Volunteers starting at St Joseph's, who are not exempt from obtaining a WWCC, must submit a copy of their Working with Children Check to the Principal before commencing work at the school.  The Principal or delegate will forward this to The Office of Safeguarding (formerly Zimmerman Services) who will then verify the WWCC number.  The potential volunteer will subsequently be informed as to whether they can commence working at the school as a volunteer.

All new staff members, volunteers, contractors (including external tutors/coaches) are inducted into the school in a thorough manner that includes making them aware of our Code of Conduct and Child Protection (Safeguarding) standards.  Every staff member undergoes refresher induction at the commencement of each year.

The Working With Children Check

On 15 June 2013, The Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 made under The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 came into force. The Regulation applies to any person working in child-related employment, including both paid and volunteer work. After 15 June 2013:

  • If you are starting a new paid job in child-related work, you must apply for a Working with Children Check (WWCC) before you start work.
  • As of 1 January 2017, all secondary school teachers & support staff must have a WWCC.
  • If you are self-employed, you do not need to apply for a WWCC until your Certificate for Self Employed People expires. If it has already expired, you must apply for a WWCC before you start any new child-related jobs. This ruling for self-employed people would apply, for example, to external Music Tutors who are not employed by the school but who use the school facilities to earn money by tutoring students.
  • If as a close relative of a child at the school and you intend to do volunteer work at St Joseph's, in most cases you will need to complete a Statutory Screening Selection Tool for Volunteers in Schools Form and engage in an Induction Process before you can commence your voluntary work. Please refer to the notes below under the "Requirements for Volunteers" heading.  Note that for volunteers who wish to obtain a Working With Children Check there is no cost for the WWCC.

    Requirements for Volunteers

  • The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement provide a sound framework for supporting the volunteer sector in Australia. They are recognised within Australia as the best practice for volunteer involvement. The Standards are - Leadership & Management; Commitment to Volunteer Involvement; Volunteer Roles; Recruitment & Selection; Support & Development; Workplace Safety & Wellbeing; Volunteer Recognition and Quality Management and Continuous Improvement. 

    We take Safeguarding very seriously therefore all volunteers undergo the appropriate form of screening. To assist with the screening process, the Diocese has developed a Summary Classification Table of Unpaid Helpers in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. This classifies volunteers as follows - Visitor; Incidental Helper, Parishioner - Helper; Volunteer (Close Family Member); Volunteer (General); and Volunteer (Spiritual Officer). 

  • The Volunteer (Close Family Member) classification is specific to schools. A person who has a genetic or legal relationship with a school student enrolled at the school in which the person is volunteering needs to be provided with the Volunteer Handbook, complete Module 2 - Induction for Volunteers; participate in a Site specific WH&S induction; complete the Volunteer Declaration Form and Volunteer Registration Form; provide proof of identity and complete a National Police Check Consent Form.

  •   A Volunteers Induction Handbook can be downloaded from the Catholic Schools Office website.  Once all documentation has been approved by the Office of Safeguarding, the volunteer's name will be recorded in the Diocesan Child Protection Declarations & WWCCs Register of Active Volunteers. No volunteer is allowed to work at St Joseph's College unless their name appears on that register.

    Thank you for taking the time to become a volunteer at St Joseph's College - your commitment to supporting the school is highly valued.

  • STAFF USING VOLUNTEERS

    Staff who are planning to use volunteers to assist in any aspect of school related activity must ensure that all such volunteers have a valid and current Working With Children Check (WWCC) if applicable or have completed a Statutory Screening Selection Tool for volunteers in school and appear on the Diocesan Child Protection Declarations & WWCCs Register of Active Volunteers, available at the Main Office.  Staff must sight the WWCC clearance to check that it is still valid - check the expiry date.  It is not sufficient to simply check the Active Volunteers register.

    The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an absolute and abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children. The agency known as Office of Safeguarding provides child protection services for all of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.