At Sahara Services, we are committed to upholding the safety and well-being of all children we work with. We recognize that the responsibility of preventing, supporting, and caring for victims/survivors of child abuse is not solely placed on child service agencies, but is the responsibility of each member of society. We acknowledge the existence of child abuse in society and the impact that it has on victims/survivors but will not tolerate any form of abuse, violence, maltreatment, or exploitation towards children where we can prevent it.
We pledge to confront and redress any systemic structures, institutions, or individuals that fall short of their responsibility towards protecting children. At Sahara Services, we prioritize the voices of children and will not tolerate any minimization or disregard of their experiences. We are committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment for every child we serve.
Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility. It is also mandatory for the protective care of all children in the disability sector. Sahara Services is wholly committed to child safety and continuously reflecting on the ways in which children and their parents and carers can prioritise child safety and safeguarding.
It involves more than responding once an allegation has been made. It involves minimising the possibility of child abuse occurring in the first place. This can be achieved by the ongoing supply of information and materials to Sahara staff, our community members and parents of children accessing services as well as the provision of any necessary support, training and education.
The benefits of a comprehensive child protection policy include the education and support of Disability Support Workers, parents and the broader community in implementing appropriate systems and procedures to ensure that children and staff are safe.
Sahara Services demonstrates its commitment to child safety through a multistage safeguarding process covering:
- training and development
- review cycles for all staff,
- comprehensive probity checks prior to engagement,
- regular review of child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures,
- discussion with teams responsible for the care and support of children,
As well as specific targeted feedback sessions with staff and children to ensure children’s voices are considered in the planning of supports, development of care plans and to ensure that children are afforded regular opportunities to provide their feedback and/or raise concerns.
Spaces accessed by children will be subjected to initial risk assessment to ensure all areas are safeguarded and frequent reviews undertaken confirming the efficacy of risk mitigation strategies.
In all aspects of children’s services children and their parents will be central to decision making and consulted when changes are required.
Sahara Services is committee to ensuring child safety by:
- Working with children to voice their understanding of safety and trust their feelings.
- Holding all staff to an established code of conduct
- Listening and responding to children when they express concerns.
- Include children in decision making when it directly affects them
- Promote cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those with disabilities
- Acknowledge the responsibility we hold under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child and the Human Rights Commission Australian Child Safety Principles
- Taking allegations of misconduct, abuse or neglect seriously and discharging our duty under the relevant child protection and safeguarding legislation
- Engage meaningfully with families about their child’s care, support and wellbeing
Sahara Services is committed to ensuring that all staff are supported in their role supporting children through the provision of training and development, supervision and support and Employee Assistance Program – Acacia.
Complaints and allegations will be taken seriously and investigated fully, including the legislative requirements for investigations under the reportable conduct scheme in NSW. For more information about our complaints process please visit our website Feedback and Complaints – Sahara Services
Blog Author – Kira Luther (Risk & Quality Manager)