At St Joseph’s, we welcome and encourage parents to volunteer at our school in the school canteen, at sporting events, as a member of the Parent Engagement Group or helping out in the classrooms. To be a volunteer at St Joseph’s certain requirements are needed as follows:
Part 3A of the Ombudsman Act 1974
Part 3A Ombudsman Act 1974, defines Diocesan schools as a ‘designated non-government agency’ and as such we must have systems for preventing, reporting (to the Ombudsman) and investigating reportable conduct.
All staff and volunteers in Diocesan schools fall within the scope of Part 3A and may be investigated for alleged ‘reportable conduct’ which includes sexual offenses, misconduct, assault, ill-treatment, neglect and behaviour that causes psychological harm to children.
The Office of Safeguarding is the Diocese’s specialist child protection service who works with the Ombudsman to ensure the Diocese meets its obligations under Part 3A of the Ombudsman Act (1974).
The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012
Under this legislation, people who work in a paid or volunteer capacity in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are required by law to have a Working with Children Check Clearance. This ‘Clearance’ can be obtained by initially applying online at email@example.com. After receiving your WWCC number you must present this to the school for finalisation, as well as attend a volunteer induction session.
As a parent, if you learn about a staff member or a volunteer working in the school without a Clearance, you should talk with the Principal or Assistant Principal as soon as possible. If you believe that nothing is being done about your concerns, you can contact the Office of Safeguarding directly on (02) 4979 1390.