Seclusion Policy

GOLD COAST HEBREW CONGREGATION INC.

ABN: 67310968052

34 Hamilton Ave.

Surfers Paradise Qld. 4217

Tel (07) 55701851 Fax (07) 55386712

 

  1. AUTHORITY

GCHC employees, volunteers and representatives.

  1. PREAMBLE

The following policy is designed to protect members, visitors and others from potential abuse, as well as to protect staff and volunteers of GCHC from innuendo or accusations that may be brought against them.

This policy is to be read in conjunction with GCHC’s Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy, GCHC’s Grievance Procedures and GCHC’s Code of Professional Conduct.

  1. DEFINITIONS

3.1. ‘Staff’ includes, although not exclusively, the Rabbi, the Assistant Minister, office staff, the bookkeeper, the Bat Mitzvah teacher and grounds-person.

3.2 ‘Volunteers’ include, although not exclusively, members of the Ladies Auxiliary , members of the Board, Members of Committees, regular tradespersons who are not ‘on salary’, sick visiting volunteers and others, while undertaking tasks on behalf of the GCHC.

3.3 ‘Shule Rep.’ is a Shule representative comprising staff and volunteers

3.4 ‘Meetings’ shall include any session that would bring people physically together for the purpose of discussion, counselling, visiting the sick, teaching, or assessing a person’s ability to read the Haftarah and /or Torah reading, amongst other possible sessions.

3.5 ‘Venues’ for which this policy shall apply include, although not exclusively, the Shule building, the sheds, private and company motor vehicles, private homes, hospital rooms.

3.6 ‘Child’ means every human being below the age of eighteen years. Although national law and guidance or local customs may be based on different definitions/notions of age of childhood/adulthood, the standard of the GCHC is that children should receive equal protection as far as possible, regardless of local age limits.

3.7 ‘Child Protection’ is defined as the responsibilities, measure and activities that the GCHC undertakes to safeguard children from both intentional and unintentional harm.

3.8 ‘Child Abuse’ is forms of physical abuse, emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse and exploitation, neglect or negligent treatment, commercial or other exploitation of a child and includes any actions that results in actual or potential harm to a child. Child abuse may be a deliberate act or it may be failing to act to prevent harm. Child abuse consists of anything which individuals, institutions or processes do or fail to do, intentionally or unintentionally which harms a child or damages their prospect of safe and healthy development into adulthood.

  1. CONDUCT OF MEETINGS

4.1 Meetings between a Shule Rep and another person (aged 18 and over), such as another member of staff, a member of GCHC, a person seeking pastoral guidance, a person wishing to disclose financial circumstances, etc., should preferably be conducted either:

            4.1.1. in the presence of another person.

            4.1.2 with the door left open; and/or

            4.1.3 with the door ajar or closed but within earshot of another person in an adjacent room; or

            4.1.4 near a window providing view from the street.

4.2 Where the individual requesting the meeting has requested a confidential discussion with a Shule Rep, the Shule Rep should bring 4.1 of this policy to the attention of the person requesting the meeting, and ask if any of those options would be possible.

4.3 Where the individual insists on having a confidential discussion with a Shule Rep in such a way that none of the options in 4.1 would be met, the Shule Rep must notify the President that such a request has been made prior to the commencement of the meeting.

4.4 In all events, unless expressly permitted by the President, meetings must not be conducted at night without:

            4.4.1 in the presence of another person; or

            4.4.2 having another person in proximity and with the door left open; or

            4.4.3 near a window providing an unobscured view from the street.

4.5 In all events, a Shule Rep must never be alone with a child (under 18 years of age) with the door closed and not near a window providing an unobscured view from the street. Typical prohibited circumstances include:

4.5.1 being in the Shule building at night, even if GCHC door is open;

4.5.2 being in the Shule building during the day in the absence of advising the office staff AND leaving the side door open;

4.5.3 being in a private home day or night in the absence of another person. If a circumstance such as this arises, such as a parent was expected to be home and has suddenly have to leave, the meeting can only continue if it takes place near a window providing an unobscured view from the street.

  1. RECRUITMENT

5.1 Staff and volunteer recruitments are made in line with securing the rights of vulnerable people and include relevant screening and subsequent induction training to ensure that all GCHC’s policies are followed and do not place vulnerable people at risk.

5.2 All staff or volunteers, who may work with children, are required by GCHC and QLD. Law to have a current Working with Children check.

  1. CHILD PROTECTION

The above rules apply to ALL vulnerable people including children. However, the following points relate specifically to our handling of our work with children.

6.1 Commitment to creating a child safe culture: the GCHC considers child abuse unacceptable in all circumstances and takes its duty of care seriously and will aim at all times to provide the safest possible programs and environments for children. This will be achieved by identifying and managing risks that may lead to harm.

6.2 Practical implantation of this policy: to avoid a single child being left with a member of staff, children arriving for our Cheder and/or Bat/Bar Mitzvah classes must wait with the parent until a second child arrives.

6.3 If only one child turns up to the Cheder and/or Bat/Bar Mitzvah session, having waited sufficient time the session will then be cancelled and the parent will be asked to take the child home.

6.4 Our Shabbat programmes should normally present no problem for our policy as the group is large and there are lots of people on the premises. However, should the group be small on any particular Shabbat, the programme will be held in our Community Hall . This ensures that other people are near to, and may pop into, the programme.

6.5 As noted above, this policy precludes our staff or volunteers being on their own with a minor including in the minor’s home. Therefore if one of our Staff or volunteers is assisting a child with his/her Torah reading, Haftarah or Dvar Torah OR it is agreed to conduct this session in the home of our staff or volunteer, then another person will need to be present (it could be the parent, another child or a spouse of our staff member, who happens to also be home) and able to pop in unannounced into the room where the session is being conducted.

6.6 Office communication with a child whether it be via phone, email or any other technology must be done through the parent or, when practical with the child while the parent is present in the phone conversation or copied into all correspondence.

Policy Version: 2015

Policy Date: 2015