The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has released its Child Safeguarding Framework which outlines the Department’s principles, policies and procedures for staff and contracted service providers to safeguard children who receive its services.
The Department recognises that children are inherently vulnerable and the Framework is designed to provide consistency of services and care to children in immigration programs, including those in the immigration detention network.
The Framework 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.
Principles of protecting and safeguarding children
Safeguarding children in accordance with relevant domestic and international child protection standards is part of the Department’s priority. These guiding principles inform all aspects of the Department’s work, including the actions of all people who may come into contact with children in the delivery of immigration programmes.
What are the Department’s child safeguarding principles?
Recognising that children are inherently vulnerable, the following principles guide the Department’s actions and attitudes and form the basis of the Department’s child safeguarding culture.
1. The Department promotes a strong, open and proactive culture that encourages awareness of child protection and well-being and does not tolerate child abuse.
2. Children and their families are included in decision making, where possible.
3. The safety and well-being of children is the shared responsibility of their parents and families. The Department works to support their self-agency in parenting.
4. The Department and its contracted service providers collaborate to manage the safeguarding and well-being of children in their programmes.
5. 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.
6. The welfare of a child who has, or alleged to have, been abused is a primary consideration in decision making.
7. All child protection and well-being 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.
8. The Department ensures appropriate care and welfare arrangements are in place for unaccompanied minors who arrive in Australia without a parent or legal guardian.
9. The Department and its contracted service providers keep accurate and accountable records to support child safeguarding.
Further information is available on the Department’s website.