|Approval date||29 July 2021|
|Effective date||29 July 2021|
|Relevant legislation||Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018
Migration Regulations 1994
Children and Young Persons (Care & Protection) Act 1998 (NSW)
Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012
Children’s Guardian Act 2019
Crimes Act 1900
1. Governing policy
These procedures relate to the Under 18 Student Policy.
They describe how staff will enact the procedures and the Institution’s responsibility to comply with Australian Government legislation including National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training of Overseas Students 2018 (National Code) as well as Children and Young Persons (Care & Protection) Act 1998, Children’s Guardian Act 2019, Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and Crimes Act 1900.
These procedures apply to all students under 18 years of age at the time they arrived in Australia and before or during commencement of studies at the Institution and to staff and approved accommodation and welfare service providers who provide accommodation and welfare support to students under 18 years of age at or for the Institution in accordance with the Under 18 Student Policy. These procedures are aligned with applicable Australian Government legislation.
3.1. These procedures set out the five key processes involved for students under 18 years of age, where the Institution has responsibility for the student’s accommodation and welfare arrangements, in accordance with the Under 18 Student Policy, as per Table 1 below:
1. Accommodation and welfare
Where the Institution will be approving the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW), the student must have accommodation approved either on campus or through an Institution approved third party. Students must also contract an Institution approved welfare provider to look after their welfare.
2. Working with Children Check (WWCC)
All staff, accommodation hosts and welfare providers must have the appropriate WWCC documentation that is valid, while supervised by / responsible for students under 18 years of age.
3. Verifying student accommodation
The Institution has procedures in place to ensure a student’s accommodation is appropriate to the student’s age and needs prior to the accommodation being approved and at least every six months thereafter.
4. Monitoring third parties
The Institution engages homestay providers to organise a student’s accommodation, if the student is not staying at on-campus accommodation, and International Student Alliance (ISA) to provide student support and welfare services. The Institution has an agreement in place with all service providers and students maintain an individual agreement with the service provider. The Institution monitors the third parties through its access to providers’ online portals and reports.
5. Maintaining contact details
The Institution must maintain the student’s updated contact details and those of the parent(s), legal guardian or adult responsible for their welfare.
Staff at the institution have a responsibility to report any critical incidents or risks of harm to students under 18 years of age, arising from alleged or suspected sexual, physical, emotional or other abuse.
7. Critical Incidents / Disruption of welfare and accommodation arrangements
The Institution must make sure, where a critical incident or an allegation of sexual, physical and other abuse involving an under 18 student has occurred (and disruption of accommodation and welfare ensues), that appropriate accommodation and welfare arrangement are made for the student.
|Step 1 Accommodation and Welfare|
|1.1. In accordance with the Under 18 Student Policy, where the Institution will be approving the CAAW for a student under 18, all students must have accommodation and welfare approved by the Institution and enter into individual agreements with the third parties, before the CAAW is issued.
1.2. Accommodation will only be approved for the following:
1.2.1. On campus accommodation;
1.2.2. Homestay accommodation provided through an Institution approved homestay provider, where an agreement between the provider and the Institution exists, and the provider has met Institution prescribed homestay standards (refer to Appendix A – Homestay Standards).
1.3. Welfare service will only be approved with the following provider:
|Admissions; Campus & Operations Director; Student||Before CAAW issued|
|Step 2 Working with Children Check (WWCC)|
|2.1 The Institution must ensure that all staff at the Institution (including staff working at on-campus accommodation), accommodation hosts and welfare providers have the appropriate, valid WWCC documentation. This is achieved as follows:
2.1.1 Institution: All staff at the Institution who will have contact with Under 18 students are required to maintain a valid WWCC that is recorded and verified by the Vice President (People and Training).
2.1.2 Accommodation hosts:
a. Before a homestay is arranged for a student, the homestay provider verifies that all homestay hosts and family members over the age of 18 hold a valid WWCC;
b. The Institution can access and verify the WWCC for hosts and families by requesting a report or host profile from the homestay provider.
2.1.3 Welfare provider:
a. ISA includes a WWCC as a mandatory requirement for recruitment of employees and volunteers, as detailed in their Child Safety Standards ;
b. The Institution can access and verify the WWCC number and expiry date for the employee responsible for the welfare of the student by accessing ISA’s online portal.
|Institution, homestay providers, ISA||Ongoing|
|Step 3 Verifying student accommodation|
|3.1 The Institution must verify a student’s accommodation is appropriate to the student’s age and needs, prior to the accommodation being approved and at least every six months as follows:
3.1.1 On-campus accommodation: The Institution has on-campus accommodation that can be selected by an under 18 student as an accommodation option.
a. ISA visits and inspects a student’s on campus accommodation prior to a student arrival and every 6 months. The Institution must monitor and verify on campus inspections are performed as follows:
3.1.2 Homestay: Homestay accommodation is verified for its safety and appropriateness by both the homestay provider and ISA.
a. Homestay provider includes a home inspection as a mandatory step before a host student is approved and placed in a homestay. The Homestay provider performs additional homestay inspections annually. The Institution must monitor and verify homestay inspections are performed as follows:
b. ISA visits and inspects a student’s homestay accommodation annually, which is staggered six months after the homestay provider’s inspection. The Institution must monitor and verify homestay inspections are performed as follows:
|Campus & Operations Director, homestay provider, ISA||Prior to approving student accommodation and every six months|
|Step 4 Monitoring third parties|
|4.1 The Institution has an agreement with homestay providers to provide, organise and assess homestay accommodation for under 18 students, when the student is not electing to stay at on campus accommodation. The Institution has an agreement with ISA to provide welfare arrangements for under 18 students which includes verifying student accommodation as requested by the Institution.
4.2 Through its agreement with homestay providers, the Institution can access an online portal to request various reports to monitor and access individual student placements which may include the following (but not limited to):
4.2.1 Homestay contact details;
4.2.2 Photos of homestay accommodation;
4.2.3 Annual inspection;
4.2.4 WWCC; and
4.3 Through its agreement with ISA, the Institution has access to ISA’s comprehensive online portal which allows the Institution to monitor and access the following (but not limited to):
4.3.1 Details of each contact between ISA and student;
4.3.3 Current, impending and expired student records; and
4.3.4 Homestay records.
|Campus & Operations Director|
|Step 5 Maintaining contact details|
|5.1 As per the student’s Written Agreement, the student must notify the Institution of their contact details and advise of any changes within 7 days.
5.2 For students under 18, this requires the Institution to maintain updated contact details of the student’s parent(s), legal guardian or any adult responsible for the student’s welfare.
|Campus & Operations Director|
|Step 6 Reporting|
|6.1 The Campus and Operations Director prepares an Under 18 report for each Executive Management Group meeting containing details on areas covered by these procedures.
6.2. Upon receipt of a report of a critical incident or risk of significant harm to a student under 18 years of age arising from alleged or suspected sexual, physical, emotional and other abuse involving underage students or persons to the nominated Institution representatives, the nominated Institution representatives must:
6.2.1 ensure that the underage student or person is isolated, to the extent possible, from any obvious risk;
6.2.2 if there are reasonable grounds to suspect a student is at risk of significant harm, cause a report to be provided to the Department of Communities and Justice by phone to the Child Protection Helpline (132 111), or in accordance with paragraph 6.3 below, as soon as practicable;
6.2.3 report any relevant information to Police and any other relevant agency or authority as appropriate in the event of a suspected child abuse offence; and
6.2.4 manage the Institution’s ongoing response to the incident in accordance with the Critical Incident Policy, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy and all related procedures, as appropriate, including in responding to the needs of, or discharging any other obligations in respect of, the student or person.
6.3 Should any persons at the Institution be required to make a mandatory report under mandatory reporting legislation or an urgent report, they must inform the nominated Institution representatives, who will then make a report to the Department of Communities and Justice by phone (13 36 27) or by eReport (if not imminent).
6.4 The nominated Institution representatives are authorised to exchange confidential information with any of the following:
6.4.1 the Department of Communities and Justice;
6.4.2. the Office of the Children’s Guardian, including in respect of any updates to WWCC information or investigations concerning any staff of agents of the Institution holding a WWCC;
6.4.3. the Police; or
6.4.4. any other relevant agency or authority with authority to address the relevant report.
6.5 The Institution will maintain the confidentiality of investigations and associated documentation in relation to reports made under this Policy as appropriate, subject to any disclosure required by any agency or authority or under relevant legislation.
6.6 Should the Institution make a finding in relation to a person holding a WWCC that the person has engaged in:
6.6.1. a sexual offence committed against, with or in the presence of a student or person under the age of 18 years;
6.6.2. sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a student or person under the age of 18 years, including grooming of a child; or
6.6.3. any serious physical assault of a student or person under the age of 18 years.
6.7 The Institution must notify the Children’s Guardian of the name and other identifying particulars of any child-related worker against whom the reporting body has made a finding.
Campus & Operations Director and Student Centre Manager
|Step 7 Critical incidents/disruption of welfare and accommodation arrangements|
|7.1 As per the Critical Incident Management Procedures and the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Procedures, where a critical incident or an allegation of sexual, physical and other abuse involving an under 18 student has occurred (and disruption of accommodation and welfare ensues), whether they are living in campus accommodation or with an approved homestay provider, the Campus and Operations Director will ensure appropriate accommodation and welfare arrangement are made by:
7.1.1 Contacting the welfare provider;
7.1.2 Contacting the homestay provider (if appropriate);
7.1.3 Contacting the parent / legal custodian;
7.1.4 Moving the student to emergency accommodation;
7.1.5 Offering and/or providing counselling (if required);
7.1.6 Moving the student to appropriate permanent accommodation; and
7.1.7 Contact the relevant staff in the Institution to notify DHA via PRISMS of address change.
4. Roles and responsibilities
Campus & Operations Director is responsible for overseeing and implementing the Under 18 Student Procedures.
Nominated Institution Representatives are responsible for investigating and reporting instances of alleged or suspected child abuse. They are the Campus and Operations Director and Student Success Centre Manager.
5. Compliance and monitoring
These procedures are written in accordance with the National Code.
6. Related documents
Under 18 Student Policy
Approved EMG on 29 July 2021