Section 25A(1) of the Ombudsman Act outlines ‘reportable conduct. Reportable conduct is any sexual offence or sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child. Organisations are required to notify the Ombudsman Office as soon as practicable or within 30 days if there are any occasions/or incidents that meet the reportable conduct criteria.
This can be difficult and challenging for organisations to navigate if it occurs, and it is important that discussion take place in relation to:
- IDENTIFICATION –Educators being able to identify reportable conduct when it arises. Network has some excellent Grooming facts sheets, which may be helpful starting the conversation.
- INVESTIGATION – what would this look like in your organisation? Who would be involved? Do you have the skills within the organisation to investigate reportable allegations? Will this be done in house or will you appoint an experienced investigator? Part of the process will be making findings and decide what disciplinary action will apply if required.
- REPORTING – understand services reporting and notification obligations.
If you have any concerns and wish to discuss Employment-Related Child Protection please call 02 9286 1021
The ombudsman has a range of factsheets to assist services including:-
- Sharing information about reportable conduct
- Making a finding of Reportable Conduct
- Legislation: what employers and employees need to know
- Recognising and managing conflict of interests
- Risk management following an allegation against an employee
- Providing advice about reportable conduct investigations to children, parents and carers
- Child Protection – Notifying and identifying reportable conduct
- Defining assault for the purposes of the reportable conduct scheme
- Addressing child protection issues in codes of conduct
- Reviewing child protection policies: an agency self-assessment checklist
- Responsibilities of heads of agencies
- Planning and conducting an investigation
- Keeping records
- How the Ombudsman audits agencies that provide services to children