Care of children

What are schools’ responsibilities concerning reporting of suspected abuse, ill treatment or neglect to CYF or the Police?

The Ministry of Education with the NZSTA and CYF has drafted a protocol for reporting cases of suspected abuse.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • The child’s safety should always be the paramount consideration in the notification process.
  • No decisions or actions in respect of suspected or actual child abuse are to be made by any staff member in isolation unless there are concerns for the immediate safety of the child.
  • A consultative approach is essential to ensure the safety of the child and the staff member. Staff must discuss their concerns with the principal or nominated person/advocate. Where applicable follow the board’s complaint policy.
  • Decisions about informing parents or caregivers should be made after consultation between the school and CYF.

If you suspect abuse or are worried about a student CYF can be contacted at any time.

A person making a report of suspected abuse is protected and no civil, criminal, or disciplinary proceedings can be started against any person unless the information was disclosed or supplied in bad faith. The person whom the report is made to must investigate the alleged abuse, and may report back to the informant, and or pass the case onto a care and protection co-ordinator.

Updated: June 2017

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