Student Support Service Policy
1. Core Skills Support
Core skills is an essential aspect of the basic foundations of any work task – from communicating instructions, to completing reports. It is crucial for learners to have the required language, literacy and numeracy skills they need to effectively participate in vocational education and training, which they will then require to complete various tasks in the workplace.
The Australian Core Skills Framework is a tool used to assist both specialist and non-specialist English language, literacy and numeracy which describe an individual’s performance in the five core skills – learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy.
1.1. General Core Skills Support Principles
AIMS Institute of Training and Technology resolves to correctly identify and appropriately support learners with their language, literacy and numeracy skills. We intend to do so by:
- Assessing a learner’s core skills during the enrolment process on an as needed basis to ensure they have adequate core skills to undertake the training;
- Provide learners with clear feedback on their Core Skills Indicator Assessment and support resources, where applicable;
- Provide learners with referrals to external specialist services where major core skills deficiencies have been identified; and
- Support learners throughout the duration of their training program by providing them with additional time to complete their assessments, providing additional one-on-one tuition, or any other relevant and appropriate support.
1.2. Core Skills Indicator Assessment
AIMS Institute of Training and Technology assesses a learner’s core skills at various points in the enrolment process:
- Enrolment form – we consider two pieces of information in the enrolment form to determine if a learner possesses adequate core skills to undertake the training program:
- The learner is asked a series of questions about their English language proficiency and if they consider that they have adequate language, literacy and numeracy skills to undertake the course. If the learner responds that they do not speak English very well, we will issue a Core Skills Indicator Assessment for them to complete.The learner is also asked about their prior education experience – if they have successfully completed vocational or higher education qualifications. Where a learner has indicated that they have completed a higher level of education in the past, we determine that they will have the ability to complete a lower level training program without any learning, literacy or numeracy challenges. The exception to this is where the learner has completed the higher level of education in a country whose primary language is not the English language, or where the university does not instruct in the English language. Where the learner has not completed a higher level of education than the one they are enrolling into, they will be issued with a Core Skills Indicator Assessment to complete.
- Enrolment interview – during the enrolment interview, the learner is asked again if they believe they have adequate learning, literacy and numeracy skills to undertake this course. If the learner indicates that they do not, they will be provided with a Core Skills Indicator Assessment to complete.
- Core Skills Indicator Assessment – learners are to be issued with this assessment if they have indicated that they:
- Do not speak English very well on the Enrolment Form; or
- Have not completed a higher level of education to the one they are enrolling into on the Enrolment Form; or
- They have indicated during the Enrolment Interview that they do not believe they have adequate learning, literacy and numeracy skills to undertake this course.
The assessment is to help us ascertain if and where the learner may have specific language, literacy and/or numeracy deficits and to determine what support may be required by the learner.
1.3. Supporting learners
Where it has been determined that a learner has core skills deficiencies, AIMS Institute of Training and Technology are to adopt strategies and develop plans to enable the learner to complete their training program successfully.
Learners may have a range of core skills deficiencies – from minor core skills deficiencies which may require minimal support to major core skills deficiencies which will require extensive support.
Where minor core skills deficiencies have been identified, the Trainer and Assessor is to draw up a support plan for the learner. This plan should be tailored to the learner’s specific core skills need and can include:
- Additional one-on-one tuition support
- Communicate with the learner regularly or as required to find out how they are progressing, what areas they are struggling in, and what assistance they may need
- Provide reasonable extensions for submissions
- Provide learners with additional resources to assist them in understanding the learning and assessment materials
Where major core skills deficiencies have been identified, the learner is to be referred to the following learning, literacy and numeracy specialist service providers before they are accepted to commence the training program:
- AMES Australia: Contact number: 13 26 37
- Kangan Institute: Contact number: 13 82 33
- Read Write Now: Contact number: 1800 018 802
- Reading Writing Hotline: Contact number: 1300 655 506
- TAFE NSW: Contact number: 13 16 01
1.4. Core Skills Support Procedure
Complete enrolment interview with learner -when an enrolment form is received, the Student & Administration Support Manager is to review the learner’s enrolment form and contact the learner to undertake an enrolment interview. During the interview, the Student & Administration Support Manager is to listen out for any issues with listening and comprehension and with their speech and oral communication. They are to note down any detected deficiencies in these areas on the Enrolment Interview form. The Student & Administration Manager is also to find out more about the learner’s education background. Has the learner completed a higher qualification in Australia previously? If yes, the learner will not be required to complete a Core Skills Indicator assessment as it is a reasonable assumption that the learner would have adequate core skills to undertake the training program as they have already completed a higher qualification. If no, the learner will need to be sent a Core Skills Indicator assessment to complete.
Administer Core Skills Indicator assessment – learners who are required to complete a Core Skills Indicator assessment will be provided with a link to complete the activities online. They are to complete it within 2 business days.
Identify any core skills deficiencies -once the assessment is complete, the Trainer and Assessor for the relevant course will be sent the submission to assess. They are then to assess and provide feedback regarding the learner’s submission. Where minor deficiencies are detected, the Trainer and Assessor is to develop a tailored support plan for the learner. Where major deficiencies are identified, the Trainer and Assessor is to explain to the learner that they do not have the requisite core skills required to undertake this training, and to refer them to an approved learning, literacy and numeracy specialist service provider (as listed above).
Save all records – save a copy of the Enrolment Interview form, as well as the learner’s Core Skills Indicator assessment and support plan (where required) to the learner’s file on the Student Management System. It is also important to record all notes on the learner’s file on Student Management System.
Implement support plan (if necessary) – once the learner has commenced their training, the Trainer and Assessor is to ensure the support plan is implemented and reviewed regularly for its effectiveness.
2. Individual Learner Needs
In accordance with Clause 1.7 of the Standards for RTOs 2015, AIMS Institute of Training and Technology is responsible in determining the support needs of individual learners and in providing access to the educational and support services necessary for a learner to undertake and maximise their chances to complete the requirements of their course.
2.1. General Individual Learner Needs Principles
AIMS Institute of Training and Technology has a process in place where we engage with learners at different points in their enrolment and learning journey with an aim to identify any individual needs and support that they may require in the course of their training with us:
- Enquiry phase – where we engage with the learner to determine their training and career goals, as well as their education and work history. This will enable us to align the learner with a particular course.
- Enrolment interview – where we gather information about the learner, including personal information such as their English language proficiency, their education background, any special needs, and their individual needs. This will enable us to ascertain if the learner will require any specific support and whether we are able to cater for it, or whether they are to be referred to another provider or a separate organisation for the support required. The enrolment form also advises us if the learner may be eligible for a Credit Transfer of the nationally recognised training they have already completed, or a Recognition of Prior Learning where their informal training and their work experience can be assessed to provide them with a pathway to competency for one or more units of competency in the course.
- Core Skills Indicator assessment – where we assess if the learner has the required learning, literacy and numeracy skills to undertake the training program. This outcome of the assessment will inform us whether we will be able to support the learner throughout their course, or whether they will need to be referred to a specialist program provider to assist them in acquiring the required skills before being accepted into the program.
This multifocal approach enables us to accurately identify a learner’s needs and arrange for applicable support services promptly.
The CEO is to:
- Ensure there are adequate systems in place to support the learner’s individual needs; and
- Approve of any external referrals to any support services to determine the suitability of the service to the learner’s needs.
The Student & Administration Support Manager is responsible in managing and coordinating the support services for the learner.
2.3. Support Services
It is important that we observe the equal opportunity and disability legislation in each state (refer to our Legislation Policy for more information on the specific legislation for each state) in order to not act or conduct ourselves in a manner that could be deemed as discriminatory or biased towards those with particular individual needs.
Where the learner has specific individual needs, we are to use the following as a guide:
- Understanding pre-enrolment materials
Where a learner is having difficulty understanding the information in our marketing materials such as Course Brochures, or the information contained in our Student Handbook, the Student & Administration Support Manager is to engage with the prospective learner personally, and clarify and explain the materials in simple and plain English to the prospective learner. The Student & Administration Support Manager is to ensure that they are compassionate to the student’s comprehension abilities and provide them with information to assist them in making decisions with regards to their training.
- Minor LLN deficiency
Where we have identified that the learner has minor language, literacy and numeracy deficiencies through the learner’s responses in the Core Skills Indicator assessment, the Trainer and Assessor should draw up a tailored support plan for the learner which can include allocating additional time to spend with the learner to support through throughout their training program, directing or supplying them to suitable resources.
- Major LLN deficiency
Where we have identified that the learner has major language, literacy and numeracy deficiencies that would prevent them from actively participating and completing the training program, we should refer them to the following training providers for specialist assistance:
- Kangan Institute – 13 82 33
- Read Write Now – 1800 018 802
- Reading Writing Hotline – 1300 655 506
- TAFE NSW – 13 16 01
- Hearing impairment
Students with a hearing impairment, whether mild, moderate, severe or profound may require particular support such as an Auslan interpreter, a specialised tutor or training participation assistance. Where a student has mild hearing impairment, this means we are able to communicate with them with ease, we can support them by speaking at a slower pace, or providing them with the opportunity to record the class in order for them to play it back later, or providing them with additional notes and learning resources. Reasonable adjustments can also be made for practical activities involving speech such as role plays. However, should they have the slightest of difficulties understanding our speech, the matter should be referred to the CEO.
- Physical disability
All possible allowances may be provided to persons with disabilities. Trainers and Assessors are to use their judgement in assessing the learner’s ability to perform tasks in a safe manner and ensure that if training is to take place in-person.
- Low general intellectual functioning and acquired brain impairment
Learners diagnosed with low general intellectual functioning and acquire brain impairment would require specific support mechanisms such as for the Trainer and Assessor to be extra patient with the learner, to provide them with resources that are easy to understand and simple language is used. It is best to consult with the learner’s medical practitioner to help us understand more about their condition before preparing a specific support plan for their learning. Where AIMS Institute of Training and Technology does not believe we are in a position to accommodate this particular need, we are to refer them to another RTO that may be able to provide the support required for the learner.
- Identified difficulties in learning
Where a learner has been recognised as having learning difficulties, the Trainer and Assessor assigned should schedule in additional one-on-one support sessions at regular intervals throughout the course program. These support sessions are to be used to review the learning content with the learner and to engage the learner in discussion about the subject matter. These sessions should be structured in accordance with the planning learning for the training program. The learner should be consistently encouraged during their learning and offered additional support where required. The Trainer and Assessor should also provide the learner with additional advice on the best approach and schedule for them to complete their learning.
It should be noted that some learners learn better reading, where this is the case, the learner should be provided with adequate learning texts and reading materials. When a learner learns better visually, they should be provided with adequate videos and images to help them with their learning. Where a learner is an auditory learner, the Trainer and Assessor should provide the learner with audio recordings of classes and learning material.
- Mental health disorders
Students with a mental health disorder may exhibit different symptoms, and the symptoms may flare-up in the presence of triggers. It is important that we provide as much support to these students as possible. If the student requires time off, offer them deferment options. If the student requires an assessment extension, provide them with an extension within reason.
- Vision impairment
Learners with significant vision impairments can be supported by being provided with texts with a larger font. Alternatively, they can be supplied with audio recordings of the classes and learning texts to assist them in their learning.
- Chronic medical issues
Where a student is unable to keep up with their training and assessment plan due to chronic medical issues, we would review their training plan and provide options such as an extension to their enrolment or offer them additional time to complete their assessments. The Trainer and Assessor should consult with their medical practitioner to better understand the learner’s medical condition in order to be able to support them practicably.
- Counselling support
Where a learner is requiring counselling, we are to refer them to:
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
- MensLine – 1300 789 978
- National Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Helpline – 1800 737 732
- Sane Australia – 1800 187 263
- Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
- Restrictive work hours
Most learners will be trying to juggle work and their studies at the same time. Where the learner is an online student, the Trainer and Assessor is to help them develop a schedule to manage their learning and their work commitments. Where the learner is a face-to-face student, the Trainer and Assessor may support the learner outside of classroom hours if they are unable to attend certain classroom sessions. Where scheduling permits and resources are available, we may schedule the classes to accommodate the learner’s working hours, such as night classes or weekend classes.
- Workplace learners
Where a learner is enrolled by their employer, we may be required to deliver training and assessment to meet their requirements, so long as it also meets the requirements of the training package. The Trainer and Assessor is to draw up a suitable training plan that satisfies and supports the needs of the employer, and the requirements of the training package. This may include substituting elective units where permitted by the rules of the qualification and/or skill set.
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT) support
Some learners may not have the knowledge and skills to seamlessly use the resources such as computers, and our learning management platform. Where the learner is struggling with utilising these resources, the Trainer and Assessor is to provide assistance to the student to help them navigate and utilise the ICT resources appropriately. Where required, the IT Support personnel and/or the Student & Administration Manager may also be required to render their assistance.
- Financial difficulties
Where a student is undergoing financial difficulties that prevent them from being able to make their tuition payments on time, RTO will offer them with a payment plan to assist them. Should a student be in dire need of necessities such as food due to their financial difficulties, we are to direct them to the nearest soup kitchen.
Other individual needs will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the CEO.
3. Cultural Awareness
AIMS Institute of Training and Technology is committed to providing a multiculturally supportive environment for our learners and staff members. We aim to achieve this by educating our learners and staff members on culturally appropriate communication techniques, as well as acceptable behaviours and actions.
3.1. General Cultural Awareness Principles
All cultures have customs, values, and codes of behaviour that are important. These contribute to the cultural diversity we get to cherish in Australia. AIMS Institute of Training and Technology will outline the observances, practices and etiquettes of three common cultures in Australia:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – the original people of Australia (both mainland and the 274 islands located north of the mainland);
- Chinese – the fastest growing cultural group in Australia since 2011; and
- Indian – the second-fastest-growing cultural group in Australia since 2011.
(Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016)
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander|
Respect and acknowledgement are essential to good working relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and it should always be our first priority. This demonstration of respect will make it easier to set up mutual standards of respect and trust and will make it easier for working relationships to take place effectively.
What to call people
It can be offensive to refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the incorrect way. Some prefer to be called ‘Aboriginal’ and others prefer ‘Indigenous’. It is always a good idea to try and gauge how people want to be addressed. You can do so by spending some time listening to their conversation, or you can ask if you feel that it won’t be offensive. It is generally better to avoid referring to Aboriginal people as Kooris or Murris, or any other name they may use themselves.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies still regard some information as specific and sacred to either men or women. The knowledge is sacred and recorded in a way that only men or women can access. Discuss with the learner if there are any aspects of the training that are considered men’s or women’s business, and if so, make appropriate adjustments in the program.
The communication process requires respect, good listening, patience, understanding, checking, clarification and confirmation.
It is important to remember the following when interacting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
– Not to assume anything
– Be honest, sincere and open-minded
– Use simple, clear, plain and appropriate language
– Do not mimic Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander ways of speaking (i.e. words, slang, speech or accent)
– Never be boastful about your ideas
– Do not be too direct as this can be taken as confrontational and/or rude
– Do not ask hypothetical questions
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make considerable use of non-verbal signs, especially when discussing direction. These are an integral part of the communication process and should not be ignored. Be sensitive to the use of non-verbal communication cues. The use of silence does not mean Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people do not understand. They may be listening, remaining non-committal or waiting for community support. During discussions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may delay expressing a firm opinion, preferring to listen to others’ opinions first before offering their own.
It is common for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to use swear words in their regular vocabulary and in general conversation. Swearing is not considered offensive as it is in non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Be aware that if an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person swears, it is important not to take any offense. The only exception to this is if the person swears directly at you. When this happens, it is important to speak to the CEO about this as soon as possible as this behaviour should not be tolerated by anyone.
It is important to approach this sensitively and not cause embarrassment or shame to the person by asking them whether or not they can read and/or write. In most cases, the person will ask for assistance if they need it, provided the issue has been approached with sensitivity and respect.
Naming and images of deceased people
Each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community may have different protocols regarding naming and displaying images of the deceased. It is best to avoid naming or displaying images of the deceased. If it is important to do so, make sure that you have permission from the person’s family and/or community and include a relevant disclaimer. The CEO must be consulted if it is important to name or display images of the deceased, and approval must be given by the CEO.
Welcome to Country
A ‘Welcome to Country’ is where the Traditional Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Custodians, in most cases the Elders, welcome people to their Land. A non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cannot perform a ‘Welcome to Country’ as to do so is considered to be rude and disrespectful to the traditional owners and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. This is a significant recognition and is made through a formal process. A ‘Welcome to Country’ should always occur in the opening ceremony of the event in question, as the first item, and the person or group delivering the ‘Welcome to Country’ must be remunerated.
Protocols in relation to the performing of a ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony are wide and diverse and can vary according to region and locality. A ‘Welcome to Country’ may consist of a single speech by the representative of the local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community, or it can also include a performance of some description (which varies according to region and locality). Performances can include a Traditional Welcoming Song, a Traditional Dance, a didjeridoo performance, or a combination of any of the aforementioned.
Acknowledgement of Country
An ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ is a way that non-Aboriginal people can show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the ongoing relationship of traditional owners of the land.
An ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ can be performed by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. It is a demonstration of respect dedicated to the Traditional Custodians of the Land and/or Sea where the gathering of participants is being conducted.
An example of ‘Acknowledge of Country’ is:
‘Let us acknowledge that we are meeting on country for which the members and elders of the local Aboriginal community have been custodians for many centuries, and on which Aboriginal people have performed age old ceremonies. We acknowledge their living culture and unique role in the life of this region.’
Proper character and behaviour
Traditional Chinese beliefs place a great deal of importance on observing the proper social etiquette and showing good character and behaviour. Chinese people prefer modesty and keeping a low profile, both in regard to their own achievements and status as well as their interactions with others. Chinese people will often downplay their own positions and achievements while emphasising those of others. The average Chinese person will generally not attempt to make waves or to make themselves stand out overtly when compared to others. When praised by strangers or friends, a Chinese person will often downplay an accomplishment or character trait. Those who are not as modest or prefer to claim their own accomplishments can be viewed as rude, proud or braggarts.
Chinese people also dislike being touched by strangers. It is not common for Chinese people to touch, hug, lock arms, back slap or make any body contact. You can however greet a Chinese person by using a handshake or a nod.
It is also considered rude to click one’s fingers or place feet on a desk or a chair. It is important to be mindful of these behaviours as it can be taken as an offense.
Chinese people place a strong emphasis on respecting the feelings of others, often by not directly refusing a request. Aside from respecting the feelings of others, speaking in a less direct, roundabout manner is also viewed as a proper way to comport oneself, and by talking in this manner, one upholds the socially acceptable idea of how to behave as a cultured individual.
Chinese people place a strong emphasis on respect, and their language reflects this intimately. They are very polite and it is not common for them to be as open with their communication as those from a Western background are.
There are many dialects in the Chinese language, with the two most common dialects being Mandarin and Cantonese. It is considered very disrespectful to assume that all Chinese people speak the same dialect.
The Chinese believe that red, yellow and green are the three main lucky colours and white and black are considered unlucky colours.
Red – is believed to bring happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success and good fortune. It is widely used during festivals and important events like weddings. Red lanterns adorn businesses and residences, red outfits are worn during weddings and festivals, and red envelopes are stuffed with money and given as gifts during Chinese New Year.
Yellow – is the most important colour from an ancient perspective and symbolises royalty and is reserved for the emperor. Emperors were dressed in yellow imperial robes, rode in yellow carriages, and travelled on yellow paths. Official seals were packaged in yellow fabric.
Green – is the colour of wealth, fertility, regeneration, hope, harmony and growth. Buildings, banks and restaurants in China are often painted in green. Packaging for milk or produce is often in green to indicate that the product is contamination free.
For generations, India has a prevailing tradition of the joint family system. It is when extended members of a family live together. Usually, the oldest male is the head of the joint Indian family system and he makes most of the important decisions and rules. The other family members are likely to abide by them without question. This is why they are very respectful of their elders and treasure the family structure.
Significance of the cow
The cow is a sacred animal in Hinduism and it is believed to be the mother goddess and brings good fortune and wealth. For this reason, cows are revered in Hindu culture and feeding a cow is seen as an act of worship. It is an offense to consume any beef in mainstream Hindu and Jain society. It is important to be mindful when consuming any beef around Indians as this may be seen as an act of disrespect.
Indians are really inquisitive people and their culture is one where people do anything but mind their own business, often due to a lack of privacy in India and the habit of placing people in the social hierarchy. One should not be surprised or offended if someone asks how much you earn for a living and a host of other intimate questions in the first meeting. It is encouraged to ask the same types of questions in return.
It is not polite to be pointing your finger or feet at people, or touching people or objects with your feet or shoes. If you do so accidentally, one should apologise straight away. It should also be noted that Indians will often touch their head or eyes as a show of apology, and it is a sign of respect to bend down and touch an elder person’s feet in India.
It is also considered to be impolite to pass food or objects with your left hand. The left hand is considered to be unclean in India as it is used to perform matters associated with going to the bathroom. Therefore, it is advisable to only use the right hand to pass food or objects.
4. Learners Under 18
From time to time, AIMS Institute of Training and Technology may be required to deliver training and assessment to individuals who are under 18 years old. We are committed in ensuring that when we are required to interact with and deliver training and assessment to individuals under 18, we comply with any legal, moral and ethical responsibilities in order to protect and respect the rights of the individuals.
In our commitment in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of individuals under 18 years old, no persons convicted of a sexual offence will be permitted to be employed or contracted by AIMS Institute of Training and Technology. We will ensure that all staff members comply with the appropriate screening requirements relevant to the state or territory in which they will be undertaking their duties in.
4.1. General Learners Under 18 Principles
AIMS Institute of Training and Technology will ensure we:
- Provide adequate training to our staff members to be able to work effectively with individuals under 18;
- Conduct regularly stakeholder consultation to ensure our practices, systems, policies and procedures are adequate in keeping the children we work with safe and secure;
- Have an effective complaint reporting, management, investigation, and disciplinary systems that is easily accessible to report any allegations of child abuse;
- Treat every child with dignity and respect;
- Immediately raise any concerns for the safety or wellbeing of a child;
- Listen, support and take concerns of children seriously and provide them with the opportunity to contribute in matters that affect them;
- Are not alone with any persons under 18 at any time;
- Do not discriminate, prejudice, oppress or use inappropriate language or behaviours when interacting with individuals under 18;
- Maintain a safe distance from the children and not initiate or reciprocate with any physical contact;
- Do not contact individuals under 18 directly outside of training and assessment hours – all contact should be initiated through their parents or guardian(s); and
- Will not show favouritism, provide gifts or shower inappropriate attention to any one child.
4.2. Lines of Assistance
The following services protects children and young people who are at risk of abuse or neglect, and whom AIMS Institute of Training and Technology can contact for advice and to report any suspected abuse or neglect:
- Australian Capital Territory – Community Services: Report Child Abuse Line: 1300 556 729
- New South Wales – Communities & Justice: Child Protection Helpline: 13 21 11
- Northern Territory – Territory Families: Child Abuse Hotline: 1800 700 250
- Queensland – Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women:
Brisbane: 1300 682 254
Central Queensland: 1300 703 762
Far North Queensland: 1300 684 062
Ipswich: 1800 316 855
North Coast: 1300 703 921
North Queensland: 1300 706 147
South East: 1300 679 849
South West (Darling Downs): 1300 683 390
- South Australia – Department for Child Protection
Child Abuse Report Line: 13 14 78
- Tasmania – Child Safety Service
Advice and Referral Line: 1800 000 123
- Victoria – Health and Human Services
North Division intake: 1300 664 977
South Division intake: 1300 655 795
East Division intake: 1300 360 391
West Division intake – metropolitan: 1300 664 977
West Division intake – rural and regional: 1800 075 599
Outside normal business hours: 13 12 78
- Western Australia – Department of Communities Child Protection and Family Support
Central Intake Team: 1800 273 889
Outside normal business hours: 1800 199 008
4.3. Recognising and Reporting Child Abuse Procedure
- Observe signs – you might notice a sudden or unexplainable change in an individual’s mood or behaviour, or you notice that they have exaggerated fears or lack of trust in familiar adults, or you observe frequent bruises or injuries. If an individual is comfortable enough, they may confide in you that they are being abused or hurt by someone.
- Record observations – make detailed notes on the student’s file on Student Management System regarding your observations and concerns.
- Raise the suspicions with the CEO – organise a meeting with the CEO to seek guidance and whether contacting the student’s parent or guardian is appropriate.
- Speak to the student’s parent or guardian – if the CEO agrees the best course of action is to contact the student’s parent or guardian, you are to place an informal phone call to the parent or guardian to bring to their attention your observations and ask if there is anything that they are aware of. Observe the parent or guardian’s response – is their tone of voice concerned or worried? Is their response defensive or angry? Note down in detail the parent or guardian’s response to the conversation. Take detailed notes and record them on the student’s file on Student Management System.
- Report back to the CEO – update the CEO on the interaction with the student’s parent or guardian in order to decide on the next steps and set a plan in place in addressing the observations and to confirm what is causing this change in mood, behaviour or observations of physical abuse.
- Monitor behaviour, actions and other physical signs – continue to monitor the student’s behaviour, actions and language in order to help support and counsel (where possible and appropriate) them. Be sure to clearly and thoroughly record this information on the student’s file on Student Management System.
- Speak to the appropriate child protection authority – should the student’s aggressive or unusual behaviour continue, or if signs of physical abuse continue to persist, and the parent or guardian is unwilling to cooperate, it is important that the child protection authorities in the relevant state be notified. Prior to contacting the child protection authority, it is important that you receive the approval of the CEO to do so.
A report should only be made if you have reasonable belief that the student has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect, and that their parent or guardian has not protected, or is unlikely to protect the child from harm of that type. A child in need or protection is a child who has suffered or is likely to suffer from significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect, and their parent has not protected or is unlikely to protect the child from harm of that type, such as:
- Physical abuse of, or non-accidental or unexplained injury to, a child
- A disclosure of sexual abuse by a child or witness, or a combination of factors suggesting the likelihood of sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse and ill-treatment of a child impacting on the child’s stability and healthy development
- Significant neglect, poor care or lack of appropriate supervision
- Significant family violence or parental substance misuse, psychiatric illness or intellectual disability
- Where a child’s actions or behaviour may place them at risk of significant harm and the parents are unwilling, or unable to protect the child
- Where a child appears to have been abandoned, or where the child’s parents are dead or incapacitated and no other person is caring properly for the child
Other factors to consider before making a formal report to a child protection authority is:
- What specifically has happened to the child that has caused concern and what is the impact on their safety, stability, health, wellbeing and development?
- How vulnerable is the child?
- Is there a history or pattern of significant concerns with the child or with other children in the family?
- Are the parents or guardian(s) aware of the concerns, capable and willing to take action to ensure the child’s safety and stability, and promote the child’s health, wellbeing and development?
Be aware the child protection authority will most likely ask for the following information:
- Personal information about the student – such as their name, age, contact details, cultural or ethnic background, what your connection is to the student, and their current whereabouts (if known)
- Reason for the report – why do you believe that the injury or behaviour is the result of abuse or neglect, and what have been your observations (this is where your detailed notes taken in Steps 2, 4 and 6 will come in handy)
- Status of safety – whether the student is in immediate danger
- Monitor and provide continual support – it is important for AIMS Institute of Training and Technology to monitor the concerned student’s behaviour and actions and continue to provide support where appropriate to the student.