CSIRO is committed to the safety and well-being of all children and young people involved in CSIRO activities and programs and the welfare of the children in our care will always be our first priority. We aim to create a child safe and child friendly environment where all children are valued and feel safe.
CSIRO also seeks to attract and retain the best volunteers. We provide support and supervision so volunteers feel valued, respected and fairly treated. We ensure that the volunteers who work with children have ongoing supervision, support and training so that their capacity is developed and enhanced to promote the establishment and maintenance of a child safe environment. For example, from time to time CSIRO provides opportunities for volunteers to attend information sessions about these reporting obligations. We also ensure that volunteers have access to relevant information resources.
It is mandatory for all CSIRO Education and Outreach volunteers, including those participating in the STEM Professionals in Schools program, to comply with the requirements set out in this procedure.
Requirements for participation in STEM Professionals in Schools
Please read through the following important information.
1. Working with Children Checks and National Police Checks
CSIRO’s Child Safe Policy outlines the requirements for volunteers, staff, affiliates and contractors who are working with children and young people with CSIRO.
All CSIRO volunteers who are engaged in any child-related work are required to have a current Working with Children/Vulnerable People Check (WWCC) in their state or territory and a National Police Check (national criminal history check).
Child-related work in CSIRO includes:
- Face to face interactions
- Online interactions including email, videoconferencing and other electronic platforms
- Having access to information about children and young people
To ensure child safe environments, volunteers will need to complete a WWCC in their state or territory prior to working in any CSIRO education program. Each state/territory WWCC now includes a national criminal history check, so there is no longer a requirement for volunteers to complete a separate National Police Check.
Volunteers with existing WWCC positive notices will need to provide CSIRO Education and Outreach (CEdO) with documentary evidence of their notice and CSIRO will verify this with the relevant state/territory agency. The WWCC positive notice will also be linked to CSIRO to make sure the state/territory agency can maintain the appropriate level of monitoring and management.
CSIRO will cover the costs of obtaining a WWCC for volunteers who do not already hold a positive notice.
You can manage your WWCC from your profile, after completing your program application.
Volunteers who receive a negative notice or have a WWCC approval refused by the state/territory agency will not be able to work with CEdO programs.
CSIRO may obtain further information regarding a person’s suitability to work with children if it is reasonably believed that it necessary to maintain a child safe environment.
In arranging for the conduct of Working with Children Checks and national criminal history checks, CSIRO will comply with its legal obligations, including those relating to procedural fairness, natural justice and those set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
WWCC are undertaken by the relevant state/territory agency and the personal information required for WWCC is submitted directly to the agency, not to CSIRO.
However, CSIRO will collect your personal information including:
- The progress and outcome of a WWCC
- The fact that a Working with Children Check and a national police check was conducted
- Any statutory declarations provided by an applicant.
for the purpose of ensuring your engagement with CSIRO is compliant with CSIRO’s Child Safe Policy, including that you have the appropriate WWCC and National Police Check.
In certain circumstances, CSIRO may also collect completed WWCC and identification information to provide to the relevant agency. However, CSIRO will destroy the information after the suitability check has been validated.
For the purposes set out above, CSIRO may disclose your personal information to the relevant State agency you have applied to. These are:
- Australian Federal Police
- Access Canberra
- NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian
- Northern Territory Government
- Blue Card Services Queensland
- Dept of Human Services, South Australia
- Consumer, Building and Occupational Services, Tasmania
- Justice and Community Safety, Victoria
- Government of Western Australia.
2. Child protection guidelines for employees and volunteers of CSIRO
All volunteers must comply with the following Child Protection Guidelines and any other CSIRO policies or procedures notified to them by CSIRO from time to time, including but not limited in relation to:
- Transportation arrangements for children
- Taking images of children
- Supervision of children
- Complaints procedures
- Physical contact with children
- Procedure for breaches of policy
- Training/cybersafety guidelines
- Protecting privacy and confidentiality
- Procedures for dealing with situations where a staff member is being investigated for, or is charged with, a serious criminal offence.
Child Protection guidelines for volunteers of CSIRO
Caring for children and young people brings additional responsibilities for CSIRO volunteers.
All CSIRO volunteers are responsible for promoting the safety and well-being of children and young people by:
- Ensuring the safety and welfare of the child or young person is paramount at all times.
- Treating all children and young people with dignity, equality and respect.
- Adhering to CSIRO’s child safe policy at all times.
- Listening and responding appropriately to the views and concerns of children and young people.
- Taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and protection of children and young people.
- Ensuring children and young people understand their rights and explaining to the child in age-appropriate language what they can expect when participating in a service, activity or program offered by CSIRO.
- Responding quickly, fairly and transparently to any serious complaints made by a child, young person or their parent/guardian.
- Notifying the appropriate Child Abuse Report Line in accordance with the requirements of the State or Territory as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a child or young person has been or is being abused or neglected.
|Australian Capital Territory||Child and Youth Protection Services||1300 556 729 (24 hours)|
|New South Wales||Department of Family and Community Services||13 21 11 (24 hours)|
|Northern Territory||Territory Families||1800 700 250 (24 hours)|
|Queensland||Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services||1800 177 135 (24 hours)|
|South Australia||Department of Child Protection||13 14 78 (24 hours)|
|Tasmania||Children and Youth Services||1300 737 639 (24 hours)|
|Victoria||Child Protection Service||
1300 664 977 West Division (Melbourne city area)
1800 075 599 West Division (rural and regional)
1300 664 977 North Division
1300 655 795 South Division
1300 360 391 East Division
13 12 78 After hours
|Western Australia||Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support||
1800 273 889 (business hours)
1800 199 008 (after hours)
Volunteers will not:
- Take part in any unnecessary physical contact with a child or young person.
- Discriminate against any child or young person because of age, gender, cultural background, religion, vulnerability or sexuality.
- Develop any ‘special’ relationships with children or young people, including communicating via oral, written or electronic means outside of the SPS relationship.
3. Reporting and responding to suspected child abuse and neglect
CSIRO is required by law to report any instances of child abuse or neglect where CSIRO has a reasonable suspicion that a child has been, or is being, abused or neglected. CSIRO will not tolerate incidents of child abuse.
All STEM Professionals in Schools volunteers also have an obligation to notify the CSIRO as soon as practicable if they have a reasonable suspicion that a child has been, or is being, abused or neglected.
In addition to making all reports as required by law, a STEM Professionals in Schools volunteer must also make a report to CSIRO Education and Outreach, if the volunteer reasonably suspects that a child has been, or is being, abused or neglected by a CSIRO officer, volunteer or other person involved in a CSIRO activity or program.
In response to any report concerning a volunteer involved in a CSIRO activity or program, CSIRO may undertake such protective actions as may be required to ensure the safety of children and young people involved in CSIRO programs.