Vulnerable Children Act 2014

Vulnerable Children Act 2014

1 July 2015

There are some important safety checking requirements of core workers working with children coming into effect as at 1st July 2015, as a result of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.  Nurtured at Home, as part of our policies and procedures, already meets the regulatory requirements with our Child Protection Policy and safety checking.  We will be working with Educators to ensure we have a shared understanding of the procedures that sit alongside our Child Protection Policy.  At the time of enrolment, families receive a copy of all of our policies, and Educators have these as part of the kit.

Nurtured at Home has always had a comprehensive process of checking the safety and suitability of each contracted Educator.  We undertake a Police check of the Educator and any person aged 17 years and over living in the home, we verify the Educator’s photo identification, complete a full health and safety check of the home, and 2 referees are contacted.  Once children start in care, then Visiting Teachers will undertake a combination of regular scheduled and drop-in visits to provide ongoing guidance and support.

Below is some information from the website that you may also find useful:

· The safety of children is at the heart of everything they do. Starting on 1 July 2015, they are phasing in safety checking regulations for State-funded people who work with children.

· New government safety checking regulations made under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 require all paid employees and contractors who work with children for state-funded organisations be safety checked. This also applies to unpaid people working with children as part of an educational or vocational training course. The new safety checking regulations will make it easier to identify the small number of people who are a risk to children.

What’s changed for the five agencies responsible for vulnerable children?

· The Chief Executives of the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice, Social Development and NZ Police are now jointly accountable for working together to develop, deliver and report on a cross-agency plan to protect vulnerable children and improve their wellbeing.

· These agencies (and all providers they contract to deliver children’s services) must have child protection policies that guide staff to identify and report child abuse and neglect. The new policies will directly affect frontline staff in the way that they work.

Safety checking regulations - what does safety checking involve?

- Identity verification - proof people are who they say, including former identities

- Information requirement – thorough Police, records, history & behaviour checks

- Risk assessment – judgement based process for interviewing staff.

- Periodic re-assessment – every three years