Wandr is a child-safe institution that consciously and systematically creates conditions that reduce the likelihood of harm to children, creates conditions that increase the likelihood of identifying and reporting harm, and responds appropriately to disclosures, allegations or suspicions of harm.

Wandr is committed to ensuring the care, safety and well-being of children and young people by providing a child-safe environment and having a child-safe culture. We ensure that we:

  • promote the inherent dignity of children and students undertaking a course with Wandr
  • promote that all children have equal rights to protection from exploitation and abuse regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, economic status, criminal background, physical and mental health, or family and social background and culture
  • enforce children’s fundamental right to be respected and nurtured in a safe environment
  • apply early intervention to manage the disclosure of allegations of child abuse or mistreatment
  • require accountability by all staff and adults working for Wandr to detect and challenge any unacceptable behaviour towards a child.

Wandr adheres to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the principles of the convention are included in this policy. As Wandr is based in Queensland it adheres to the Child Protection Act 1999, where the safety, well-being and best interests of a child, both through childhood and for the rest of the child’s life, are paramount. The definition of child or children in the Act refers to children and young people under the age of 18 years, who engage in training.

To ensure a child-safe environment and to meet legislative and regulatory requirements, Wandr:

  • has zero tolerance for discrimination and child abuse and takes all allegations and concerns very seriously
  • provides opportunities for children to be listened to and empowered, through Wandr’s collection of student feedback and the implementation of a continuous improvement approach to its services based on this feedback
  • recognises the definitions and identification of child abuse, including neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, serious emotional and psychological abuse, ill-treatment, grooming, and exposure to family violence
  • recognises the possibilities of how concerns are identified, including, witnessing a child protection incident, observation of risk indicators, private disclosure, public disclosure, third-party disclosure, and disclosure from a former student/staff member
  • implements systems for responding to allegations of child abuse, and child protection incidents including internal reporting, mandatory reporting, voluntary reporting, reportable conduct, record keeping, and confidentiality
  • always acts in ways that adhere to principles of equity, anti-discrimination and bullying and harassment.

Staff Responsibilities

An integral part of ensuring that the safety of children becomes part of the staff's everyday practices includes the importance of ensuring:

  • the adherence to all legislative requirements for the protection of children in the State in which the employee works.

This means that staff members will be responsible for:

  • the protection of children in their care, from any harm
  • creating a culturally safe and inclusive environment for all children undertaking a course with Wandr
  • challenging behaviours that have the potential to harm a child or student under the age of 18
  • reporting any behaviour considered child abuse or the mistreatment of children, to their immediate manager

All staff must be aware of their obligation to advise the workplace manager of concerns about the safety, welfare and well-being of children and young people that arise during their work. There is a mandatory obligation to report suspected risk of significant harm.

Wandr will provide ongoing developmental opportunities, support, supervision and training in child safety and mandatory reporting, to all staff members.

Any performance issues of individual staff (i.e., when someone is not acting in the best interests of the children in their care and Wandr as a whole) will be handled by the Head of Education as soon as they become aware of the performance issue, who will advise the staff member of required improvements to be made.

Police Checks and Working with Children Checks (WWCC)

All staff are required to undertake a police check before employment with Wandr.

Wandr implements the following processes to ensure staff are appropriately screened to work with children:

  • requiring all executive officers and ‘regulated employees,’ including mentors, trainers and/or tutors to obtain a Police check and a Working with Children Check, before working or coming in to contact with children and students under the age of eighteen
  • ensuring a “no card no start” for mentors/tutors to ensure that they cannot begin working with minors until they have a valid, linked Working with Children clearance from their State of residence
  • maintaining a customised employee register to record details of Working with Children clearance and this will be audited annually to ensure currency of checks.
  • signs up for the Working with Children Check linking (registration) system and link/delink the Working with Children register to record holders who are employed with Wandr (or leave).

Screening of Student Cohorts

Applications for enrolment into Wandr from persons under the age of 16, will require the parent or guardian for minors (under 16) to sign up on the minor’s behalf. Wandr collects the name and contact details of the parent/guardian in addition to the minor and allows the services to be reviewed by the parent/guardian including any formal communications with the mentors.

Wandr uses an age gate pop-up on its enrolment page to collect the age/date of birth of customers. This provides evidence that Wandr is not providing services to, or collecting data from, minors. A further 'age-gate' on the website is in place to prevent children under 14 from using the enrolment link.

Professional Boundaries

Wandr staff will adhere to a Code of Conduct, which sets out a mandated set of behaviours related to their professional boundaries and guidelines for intimate and personal relationships, fair learning opportunities, electronic communication, physical contact, and managing conflicts of interest.

This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Breaching the code
  • Awareness and familiarity with the policies and procedures
  • Performance of duties to the highest level
  • Personal behaviour
  • Treatment of others
  • Duty of disclosure
  • Duty of care, health, and safety
  • Confidential information
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Confidentiality and the use of Wandr systems
  • Dress code
  • Supervision, physical contact and relationships with students.

Wandr Legal Responsibilities and Reporting

Wandr managers and staff will take the lead in protecting children within the organisation’s programs from any abuse or harm and will ensure that appropriate action is taken as soon as becoming aware of any child abuse allegations and eliminate any associated risks.

Allegations of child abuse and child safety concerns made against a Wandr staff member will be treated seriously by the organisation. Dependent on the severity of the allegations, this may lead to the employee’s immediate release from employment and their removal from the workplace and the reporting of the allegations to the police.

It is a mandatory requirement for Wandr employees to report to child protection services if they believe on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection from physical injury or sexual abuse. Any suspicions of child abuse in the student’s family or personal environment, including any reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been committed by an adult against a child under the age of sixteen, will be reported to police and/or child protection services in Queensland. Staff becoming aware of any form of child abuse or a threat to harm a child must immediately report this to their manager or the Head of Education, using an Incident Report.

Where it is believed that a child is at immediate risk of abuse, the Manager or a staff member from the executive will be responsible for phoning 000.

Where a child or student under the age of eighteen discloses an incident of abuse to a Wandr staff member, the staff member must:

  • discreetly provide an opportunity to listen to the child carefully
  • let the child/student use their own words to explain what has occurred
  • reassure them that they take what they are saying seriously that it is not their fault and that they are doing the right thing
  • explain that this information may need to be shared with others, such as their parent/carer, specific people in your organisation, or the police
  • not make promises to the child such as promising not to tell anyone about the incident, except that you will do your best to keep them safe
  • not leave the child in a distressed state. If the child is at ease in the staff members' company, they will allow the child to stay online/phone/meeting with them
  • provide the child with an incident report form to complete, (or complete one together, using the child’s words)
  • as soon as possible after the disclosure, report the incident to the manager. They would be responsible for calling the police or child protection services if needed
  • ensure the disclosure is recorded accurately, and that the record is stored securely.

Where a parent/carer raises a concern or allegation of abuse which may have taken place in Wandr.

  • explain that the organisation has processes to ensure all abuse allegations are taken very seriously
  • ask about the wellbeing of the child.
  • allow the parent/carer to talk through the incident in their own words
  • advise the parent/carer that you will take notes during the discussion to capture all details
  • explain to them the information may need to be repeated to authorities or others, such as management or Child Safety Officer, the police or child protection
  • provide them with an incident report form to complete or complete it together.
  • ask them what action they would like to take and advise them of what the immediate next steps will be
  • ensure the report is recorded accurately, and that the record is stored securely.

Student Feedback

Wandr engages in the collection and dissemination of student information and feedback on its services.

Feedback from students incorporates questions on how students feel about their safety in the training environment, their fellow students and their mentors and tutors. Students are also asked to provide suggestions for any improvement actions they feel must be taken.

If you have further questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at: support@wandr.au

Additional Resources

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Child Safe Organisations: Information for organisations on how to keep children safe https://aifs.gov.au/resources/short-articles/child-safe-organisations-information-organisations-how-keep-children-safe

Department of Social Services

Guidelines for Building the Capacity of Child-Safe Organisations https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/WEB.0221.001.0001.pdf

Queensland Government

Protecting Children and Supporting Families: A guide to reporting child protection concerns and referring families to support services https://www.dsdsatsip.qld.gov.au/resources/campaign/supporting-families/protecting-children-supporting-families.pdf

Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Child Protection Guide https://secure.communities.qld.gov.au/cpguide/engine.aspx