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Safe recruitment guidelines for children's workforce

New partnerships provide safe recruitment guidelines for children's workforce

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley today launched new guidelines supporting agencies and organisations who work with children to create safe environments for New Zealand children.

Co-produced by the Children’s Action Plan and child protection organisation Child Matters, Safer Recruitment, Safer Children provides the guidelines for organisations to choose safe people to work with children – also known as ‘screening and vetting.’

Child Matters’ founding CEO, Anthea Simcock explained that although many organisations undertake police and reference checks when hiring new staff, there is no consistent safety checking approach and there are sometimes gaps.

“All organisations have a responsibility to take every possible measure to keep children in their care safe,” said Mrs. Simcock.

“Fortunately the vast majority of adults working with children provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children in their charge. Yet adults who are unsafe to work with children can, and do, find their way into our organisations and schools - often with disastrous consequences.

“The costs of not screening and vetting, or relying on ‘common sense’ or a belief in the good intentions of applicants can be enormous, both for children and for the organisation.,” Mrs. Simcock adds.

Safer Recruitment, Safer Children guidelines support the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 in which new regulatory requirements and legal minimum standards will be introduced to safety check all government-funded paid employees. The guidelines have been developed in line with international best practice in safety checking.

The partnership in co-producing these guidelines signals an innovative and collaborative way of Government and non-government organisations working together to support the safety andwellbeing of children in New Zealand. This approach is aligned with the way agencies will work together in future as part of the Government’s Children’s Action Plan.

“The Children’s Action Plan is about government and community working together to give better support for our vulnerable children, and this Guideline is an example of that innovative partnership,” said Minister Tolley.

Mrs. Simcock says that Child Matters is very proud to have been a part in the development of such a critical project focused on improving outcomes for New Zealand children and adds, “We heartily commend the Children’s Action Plan for the initiative in creating these guidelines.”


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