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.
At St Therese’s, we believe all children have a right to a safe environment 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 paid and volunteer work.
For more information, please visit the website of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle (link: http://www.mn.catholic.org.au/agencies-services/child-protection).
Office of Safeguarding
This division of the Catholic Schools Office works closely with schools, staff and children to ensure our students and adults are protected and safe. It is aligned with the external provider, Catholic Professional Standards Limited team (CPS).
The CPS came about for three may reasons.
- In response to the royal commission, the CPS was to provide safeguarding and protection for children and adults.
- To provide training around the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS). There are 10 standards. They are then broken down into matching “criteria” and then “indicators”.
Highest Level = STANDARDS
Middle Level = CRITERIA
Lowest Level = INDICATORS
- There are 111 indicators and some of these do not apply to schools but rather the entire community within the CSO. These indicators allow schools to ensure they are creating safe and protected environments and procedures for the children and staff within their community.
The Office of Safeguarding offers support and advice to schools and will provide schools with current policies and procedures for child protection. St Therese’s is committed to teaching the themes and lessons from a child protection program Protective Behaviour, and the Office of Safeguarding supports this extra information and support provided to our students.