Child Protection Policy for the Ministry of Education

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014, requires us — along with other State services and organisations providing government–funded services to children and families — to have a Child Protection Policy (CPP).

The Act requires our policy to:

  • contain, at a minimum, how we identify and report child abuse and neglect
  • be available to download from our website
  • be reviewed within 3 years.

We must report on how we're implementing the CPP in our Annual Report.

Our Child Protection Policy goes beyond these minimum requirements and also sets out how we'll build a culture of child protection within the Ministry.

Child Protection Policy

As many of us at the Ministry work directly with children, we are well placed to contribute to the protection of all children. We have a responsibility to ensure that our staff can identify the signs of possible abuse or neglect and are able to take appropriate action.

This policy encourages a culture of child protection that always safeguards and promotes the wellbeing of children.

We are committed to working with our agency partners and the Children’s Action Plan Directorate to build and promote a culture of child protection across the Ministry.

Who does this policy apply to?

All employees, contractors and volunteers working for the Ministry’s national and regional offices.

What are our child protection principles?

Many of these are principles we encompass in everything we do, some are specific to child protection.

  1. We make the safety and wellbeing of children our primary concern, with the child at the centre of all decision-making when responding to suspected abuse or neglect.
  2. We promote a culture where staff feel confident to challenge poor practice and raise issues of concern.
  3. We recognise the importance of the family/whānau and their right to participate in decision-making about their children, unless this would result in an increased risk to the child.
  4. We all know we can report suspected child abuse and neglect to Oranga Tamariki – Ministry of Children or the Police.

Our commitments

To help us act in in a way that reflects our principles we make the following commitments:

  1. To work together to produce the best possible outcomes for the child.
  2. All policies and initiatives are designed to promote (and be inclusive of) a child protection culture and to work towards continuous improvement in child protection practices.
  3. To develop and maintain links with iwi, Pasifika and other cultural and community groups to ensure that important cultural concepts (e.g., whakamanawa, whakapapa, te reo Māori, tikanga, kaitiakitanga, wairuatanga) are integrated, as appropriate, into practice.
  4. To have open and transparent relationships with clients and service users, including sharing concerns about child safety issues with the family/whānau unless this would result in an increased risk to the child.
  5. To support all staff to work in accordance with the policy, to work with partner agencies and community organisations to ensure child protection policies are consistent and of high quality and to always comply with relevant legislative responsibilities.
  6. To share information relevant to the child’s safety and well-being in a timely way and to discuss any concerns about an individual child with colleagues, the manager/supervisor or the designated person for child protection.
  7. A commitment to meet all existing statutory and contractual obligations, including matters relating to employment.

Policy review

Under the Children’s Act 2014 we are required to review this Child Protection Policy every three years.

The review will be undertaken by a delegate of the Chief People Officer and will cover an assessment of the implementation and operation of the Child Protection Policy, including:

  • the views of staff about the accessibility, relevance and usefulness of the policy.
  • whether any serious incidents have occurred, and how effective the policy was at responding to them
  • to what extent the policy needs updating to reflect lessons learnt.

The Ministry is required to report on the implementation and ongoing operation of its CPP in its Annual Report.

Related guides

  • Child Protection Guidelines
  • Information sharing protocols

Further information

Getting help with this policy

For Managers

My HR Services

Phone: 04 463 8615

For Non-Managers

Talk to your Manager

Document Control

Date approved:

14 November 2019

Next review date:

November 2022

Policy Owner:

Chief People Officer

Content Owner:

Chief Advisor Industrial Relations

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