Child and Youth Protection Policy
Keeping our members safe in all our activities is our number one concern
Naturally as a parent or caregiver you will have concerns over the care of your child when they attend any activity outside of your home. As an organisation working with children and adults at risk of harm St John will promote their general welfare, health, wellbeing and development and take every reasonable precaution to minimise risk while providing demanding, challenging and enjoyable activities.
That’s why we have a policy developed by key people within St John and approved by Child Matters. The policy outlines all the things we do to ensure the safety and well-being of the young people in St John and includes everything from appropriate conduct to managing hazards effectively.
This policy firmly emphasises that the welfare and interests of the young people in our care must come first, and that their safety and protection is paramount. St John members must follow the systems and processes in place to ensure a safe and secure environment for both adults and young people.
As a parent or caregiver you will have concerns over the care of your child when they attend any activity outside of your home. Our policy outlines all the things we do to ensure the safety and well-being of all people in St John and includes everything from appropriate conduct to managing hazards.
The best strategy we have developed and continue to strengthen in St John Youth is a culture where everyone is commited to safety first. Leaders understand the importance of doing everything in their power to keep themselves and young people safe.
Alongside informed parents, we believe this is the most effective and proven way of minimising harm to the young people in our care and the leaders delivering our programmes.
These are volunteers who are carefully selected on their suitability and skills in interacting with young people. All leaders go through a robust recruitment process and must meet the requirements of our Child Protection Policy.
All our volunteers are carefully selected on their suitability and skills in interacting with young people. All our leaders go through a robust recruitment process and must meet the requirements of Human Resources and Child and Youth Protection polices which include but not limited to:
- Interview, character references and proof of identity
- Police checks of every leader every three years
- Ongoing training in working with young people
- Appointed through a process of identifying the "best person" for the role.
We also have a culture where inappropriate actions and behaviours are openly challenged by other leaders as well as have strong reporting lines in our management team..
A safe environment in all our activities
Activities outside of the regular meetings at division such as visits and weekend activities offer a great opportunity for young people to develop and challenge themselves. For this reason we encourage all members to attend and get involved.
Parents and caregivers are advised:
- Your Divisional Manager is your first point of contact for all event related information.
- If you have not been notified of these activities from St John (either directly through a leader, newsletter or flyer) then it is not a St John activity
- Young people cannot attend these events without written consent from their parent or caregiver
- Each activity has procedures in place to manage the safety and well-being of all participants.
St John Youth is a safe place for everyone. Bullying can take many forms and St John has zero tolerance on all forms of bullying.
Bullying can occur across a young persons many environments. Therefore, alongside our zero tolerance policy, we also help develop healthy strategies for young people to both stand up to bullying, as well as report it.
Reporting and member support
Leaders must report any allegations of abuse, misconduct or non-adherence of our policy to Oranga Tamariki (formerly Child, Youth and Family). In cases of emergency, this is direct to the Police or Oranga Tamariki.
Supporting our members
St John also has a Member Assistance Programme that is accessible to all our members for help in difficult or challenging times in their lives. This is handled by external services to get expert assistance and ensure that this is kept confidential.
St John is committed to child protection
We acknowledge that it is impossible to have a completely safe environment (if it were that easy our leaders and teams wouldn’t have to work so hard!) St John and its members are 110% committed to doing things right, improving how we operate and learning from any weakness in our policy and procedures.
Everything we do in St John Youth is guided by this policy.