The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has released the Child Safeguarding Framework to outline the principles, policies and procedures for staff and contracted service providers to safeguard children who receive its services.
The Department all share a responsibility to protect vulnerable children, and the framework outlines its commitment and the steps it will take to safeguard children who receive immigration services from abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Child safeguarding principles
Through the framework’s implementation, children in immigration programmes including across the immigration detention network, will have better consistency of services and care. They will be supported by staff who are appropriately trained to deal with child specific incidents, and through better coordination, they will be placed in the safest possible environment.
Recognising that children are inherently vulnerable, the following nine principles will guide the Department’s actions and attitudes and form the basis of our child safeguarding culture:
- The Department promote a strong, open and proactive culture that encourages awareness of child protection and wellbeing and does not tolerate child abuse.
- Children and their families are included in decision making, where possible.
- The safety and wellbeing of children is the shared responsibility of their parents and families. We work to support their self-agency in parenting.
- The Department and its contracted service providers collaborate to manage the safeguarding and wellbeing of children in its programmes.
- All children, their families and carers understand and are aware of safe and accessible mechanisms to report any complaints, concerns or allegations of child abuse.
- The welfare of a child who has been or is alleged to have been, abused is a primary consideration in decision making.
- All child protection and wellbeing incidents, allegations and complaints are responded to, and reported, consistent with state and territory legislation and internal departmental reporting requirements. All incidents are managed in a timely and effective manner, ensuring appropriate support is provided to all parties in accordance with the triple track approach.
- The Department ensure appropriate care and welfare arrangements are in place for unaccompanied minors who arrive in Australia without a parent or legal guardian.
- The Department and its contracted service providers keep accurate and accountable records to support child safeguarding.