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Protection of Children: Departmental Responsibilities

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To assist in the protection of children and compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act, Heads of Departments and other University managers should be aware of their following responsibilities under the University’s Child Protection Policy.

Identifying department roles which involve relevant child contact and so require prescribed safety checking of staff

This includes new roles as well as changes to existing roles. HR Administrators can assist with identifying relevant roles, advertising requirements for such positions (where relevant) and safety checking of staff.

See also the Flowchart for determining if the VCA applies to a staff member.

Identifying programmes and papers which involve relevant child contact and so require prescribed safety of students, reflecting this in programme regulations and paper notes, and ensuring that required safety checks are carried out

Further advice can be sought from the Manager of Policy and Compliance, Academic Services (email chris.stoddart@otago.ac.nz; telephone 479 8993).

See also the Flowchart for determining if the VCA applies to a paper or programme.

Ensuring that safety checks are carried out for staff or student researchers whose research involves relevant child contact

Note that researchers are responsible for informing their Head of Department if their research involves relevant child contact. See also the Flowchart for determining if the VCA applies to a research project.

Ensuring awareness of University provisions and advice where child abuse or neglect is suspected

See Clause 1 of the University’s Child Protection Policy and the separate webpage on Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect.

Staff, students and other University representatives whose University work involves relevant child contact, are not permitted to work with children unless they have passed a current, Vulnerable Children Act compliant safety check.

A guide to assist departments with meeting safety checking responsibilities is available for staff on request.