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Part 1: Defence Youth Protection Management System

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART 1

Section 1: Defence Youth Protection Accountability

Chapter 1: Youth Protection Roles Responsibilities and Accountabilities
Chapter 2: Youth Protection Documentation, Records and Privacy

Section 2: Defence Youth Safe Culture

Chapter 1: Youth Safe Culture
Chapter 2: Youth Safe Code of Conduct

Section 3: Defence Youth Protection Risk Management

Chapter 1: Youth Protection Risk Management
Chapter 2: Suitability Screening and Working with Children Checks
Chapter 3: Youth Protection Complaint and Event/Incident Management
Chapter 4: Youth Protection Event/Incident Work Health and Safety Investigation

Section 4: Defence Youth Protection Assurance

Chapter 1: Youth Protection Performance Management

Section 5: Defence Youth Safe Promotion

Chapter 1: Youth Safe Training and Education
Chapter 2: Youth Safe Communications

Section 6: Common Policies

Chapter 1: Age of Consent and Special Care Provision
Chapter 2: Alcohol, Tobacco and Prohibited Substances
Chapter 3: Use of Social Media by Youth in Defence and Defence Youth Programs
Chapter 4: Diversity and Inclusion Chapter 5: Records Management

Chapter 1: Youth Protection Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

INTRODUCTION

1.1.1 Defence has a duty of care to ensure the health, protection and wellbeing of youth. Hazards and risks to the health, protection and wellbeing of youth are to be eliminated or minimised so far as reasonably practicable (SFARP). This includes hazards and risks associated with unacceptable behaviour of adults, other youth, or the youth themselves.

1.1.2 The youth protection requirements of the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (CCSF) align closely with the elements of a safety management system. Hence, youth protection is managed as a specialist Safety Domain within the Defence Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS).

POLICY INTENT

1.1.3 The intent of this policy is to ensure that the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for youth protection management and resources are defined, communicated and accepted.

1.1.4 Defence youth protection roles, responsibilities and accountabilities policy is consistent with the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 1: Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
    1. Key Action Area 1.3: Governance arrangements facilitate implementation of the child safety and wellbeing policy at all levels

1.1.5 Other Defence publications which may be relevant to this policy include, but are not limited to:

  1. Defence Instruction Administrative Policy, which defines the generic roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of an Accountable Officer and Policy Owner
  2. Defence WHS Governance Policy, which defines the organisational-level WHS roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of Safety Domain Owners, Group Heads and Service Chiefs, commanders, managers, supervisors and workers.
POLICY

YOUTH PROTECTION ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND ACCOUNTABILITIES

1.1.6 Chief of Joint Capabilities.
The Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC) is appointed the Accountable Officer and is the Safety Domain Owner for youth protection. CJC is accountable to the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) for:

  1. providing enterprise-level youth protection policy, guidance and tools for implementation within Group/Service WHSMS
  2. ensuring, in conjunction with Group Heads and Service Chiefs, that adequate resources are provided for effective youth protection management
  3. providing youth protection governance and assurance that Defence meets youth protection obligations

1.1.7 Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD). The HJSSD is appointed the Policy Owner for youth protection. HJSSD is responsible to CJC for:

  1. developing, maintaining and issuing enterprise-level youth protection policy, guidance and tools that are compliant with the CCSF
  2. monitoring and reporting on the implementation of youth protection policy by the Groups/Services.

1.1.8 Group Heads and Service Chiefs. Group Heads and Service Chiefs are accountable to the Secretary and CDF for:

  1. extending application of the Group/Service WHSMS where practicable to include youth protection management
  2. contextualised implementation of youth protection policy and guidance defined in this manual within the Group/Service WHSMS where practicable
  3. ensuring, in conjunction with CJC, that adequate resources are provided for effective youth protection management.

1.1.9 Commanders, managers and supervisors. Where youth are employed or engaged by or on behalf of a Group or Service, commanders, managers and supervisors must:

  1. extend the scope of their WHS roles, responsibilities and accountabilities to include youth protection
  2. effectively manage youth protection in accordance with policy and guidance defined in Group/Service youth protection orders, instructions and publications (OIP) and this manual as applicable
  3. ensure that adult workers are aware of their WHS/youth protection responsibilities and comply with youth protection OIP
  4. ensure that youth workers[1] aware of their WHS/youth protection responsibilities, and consider their age, maturity, understanding, behaviour and ability to make good decisions when conducting WHS/youth protection risk assessments and implementing risk controls.

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] In the Defence context, Defence members and ADF Cadets under the age of 18 are considered workers under the WHS ACT

Chapter 2: Youth Protection Documentation, Records and Privacy

INTRODUCTION

1.2.1 Having clearly documented youth protection policies and procedures enables Defence to communicate expectations for, and achieve consistent application of child safe practices across Defence. It also enables Defence to examine, through continuous review and improvement processes, adherence to youth health, protection and wellbeing principles and practices.

1.2.2 Defence also has a legal obligation to manage personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act and, specifically in relation to youth, Article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1.2.3 This chapter defines requirements for effective management of youth protection documentation and records, including privacy requirements.

POLICY INTENT

1.2.4 The intent of this policy is to ensure that:

  1. youth protection documentation, including policies, processes, practices, procedures, training packages and guides are documented, fit for purpose and continuously improved
  2. youth protection documentation and records are managed and protected in accordance with Defence records management and privacy policy.

1.2.5 Defence youth protection documentation, records and privacy policy is consistent with the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 1: Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
    1. Key Action Area 1.6. Staff and volunteers understand their obligations on information sharing and record keeping.
  2. Principle 9: Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved
    1. Key Action Area 9.1: The organisation regularly reviews, evaluates and improves child safe practices
  3. Principle 10: Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people
    1. Key Action Area 10.1: Policies and procedures address all national child safe principles
    2. Key Action Area 10.2: Policies and procedures are documented and easy to understand
    3. Key Action Area 10.3: Best practice models and stakeholder engagement informs the development of policies and procedures.

1.2.6 Other Defence publications which may be relevant to this policy include, but are not limited to:

  1. Defence Records Management Policy Manual (RECMAN), which prescribes records management requirements applicable to the whole of Defence
  2. Defence Privacy Policy, which provides guidance on how Defence collects, stores, uses, discloses personal information, deals with breaches and complaints.
  3. Defence Instruction Administrative Policy Annex I, Disclosure of Certain Personal Information in Relation to Youth Safety Incidents, which provides the authority and circumstances in which it may be appropriate for Defence personnel to disclose personal information to protect the health, protection and wellbeing of youth
  4. Good Decision Making in Defence and the Supplement to the Defence Decision Makers Guide, Disclosure of Certain Personal Information in Relation to Youth Safety Incidents.
DEFINITIONS

1.2.7 Youth Protection Documentation. Youth protection documentation comprises all youth protection policies, processes, practices, procedures, training packages/resources and guides, including:

  1. Joint Support Services Division (JSSD) sponsored Defence Youth Protection Management System (DYPMS) policy and guidance defined in this manual, Defence youth protection training packages and documentation, and youth protection related guides and other reference material
  2. Group/Service and subordinate level youth protection management orders, instructions and publications (OIP), training packages/resources and other guidance material that contextualise implementation of the DYPMS.

1.2.8 Youth Protection Records. Youth protection records comprise any electronic or hard copy document, record, data or information generated through implementation of the DYPMS, including records relating to:

  1. personnel screening, working with children checks and codes of conduct
  2. risk assessments
  3. complaints, events, incidents and any associated disclosure of personal information
  4. workplace inspections, audits and surveys
  5. data analysis
  6. meetings, committees, councils and boards
  7. training administration
  8. feedback, forums and other communication

1.2.9 Unlike youth protection documentation, youth protection records may contain personal information that is subject to Defence Privacy Policy (refer paragraph 2.18).

1.2.10 Personal Information. Personal information, as defined in the Privacy Act, is information or an opinion about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether the information or opinion is

  1. true or not
  2. recorded in a material form or not.

1.2.11 Personal information may also be sensitive information.

1.2.12 Sensitive Information. Sensitive information, as defined in the Privacy Act, is personal information that includes information or an opinion about an individual’s

  1. racial or ethnic origin
  2. political opinions or associations
  3. religious or philosophical beliefs
  4. trade union membership or association
  5. sexual orientation or practices
  6. criminal record
  7. health or genetic information
  8. biometric information.

1.2.13 Generally, sensitive information has a higher level of privacy protection than other personal information.

POLICY

Youth Protection documentation and records

1.2.14 Compliance with Child Safe Requirements. Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD) must ensure that the DYPMS and associated documentation complies with the requirements of the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework and applicable Commonwealth, state and territory legislation.

1.2.15 Compliance with DYPMS. Group Heads and Service Chiefs must ensure that Group/Service youth protection documentation and records comply with the requirements of the DYPMS.

1.2.16 Documentation and Records Management. Youth protection documentation and records must be created, stored and managed in the appropriate enterprise system[1] in accordance with relevant enterprise system policy/guidance and RECMAN.

1.2.17 Documentation Requirements. Youth protection documentation must be:

  1. in a language and format appropriate to the target audience
  2. reviewed and/or updated as appropriate:
    1. when relevant Commonwealth, state, territory or Defence legislation, policy and/or guidance changes
    2. when DYPMS policy and/or guidance changes
    3. when deficiencies are identified or suggestions for improvement are received
    4. at least every three years
  3. available and accessible to youth, the community, Defence youth program volunteers and participants, and Defence personnel as appropriate.

Privacy and Disclosure of personal information

1.2.18 Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that personal information and youth protection records containing personal information are managed in accordance with Defence Privacy Policy and paragraph 2.19.

1.2.19 Privacy Statement. The following Privacy Statement must be used on all documentation, information technology systems and on any other occasion where Defence collects information relating to youth and Defence youth programs:

Defence collects your personal information for the purpose of administering, evaluating and reporting on Defence Youth Programs. The personal information you provide is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 and is handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles and the Defence Privacy Policy.   

The Defence Privacy Policy explains how Defence (including the Australian Defence Force Cadets) collects, stores, uses and discloses personal information, and is available at www.defence.gov.au/ComplaintResolution/privacy.asp. This policy is supplemented by privacy provisions contained in the Youth Policy Manual available at www.defenceyouth.gov.au.

The information you provide to Defence and any other information Defence collects about you may be used and/or disclosed by Defence to parents, responsible third parties or any law enforcement body, child protection agency or any other organisation where considered necessary to safeguard young people.

Personal Information

1.2.20 Use of Personal Information. Personal information must not, without the consent of the person to whom the information relates, be used for any other purpose than that for which it was obtained or disclosed to those for whom it was not collected, except where permitted in in the Privacy Act or paragraphs 2.23 and 1.2.24 of this policy.

1.2.21 Individuals can request access to, or correction of their personal information in accordance with the Defence Privacy policy. Copies of the policy can be obtained from the Defence Privacy webpage, or by emailing: defence.privacy@defence.gov.au

1.2.22 Personnel Authorised to Disclose Personal Information. Only Defence personnel are permitted to disclose or authorise disclosure of personal information held by Defence about a youth or any other person.

1.2.23 The youth or any other person to whom the personal information relates must be advised of any decision to disclose the information prior to the disclosure occurring to allow them the opportunity to self-disclose or to request a review of the decision.

1.2.24 Disclosure of Personal Information. Defence personnel may disclose or authorise disclosure of personal information held by Defence about a youth or any other person to the youth’s parents/guardians/specified next of kin, or a responsible third party if:

  1. the youth has been involved in a youth protection event/incident (refer Section 3 Chapter 3)
  2. they are reasonably satisfied in the circumstances that it is necessary and appropriate for the personal information to be disclosed to protect the health, protection and wellbeing of the youth, having considered:
    1. the youth’s age and any wishes expressed by the youth
    2. the nature of the personal information and its relevance to the youth’s health, protection and wellbeing
    3. the nature and seriousness of the youth protection event/incident
    4. whether or not the youth or other person to whom the personal information relates is willing and able to self-disclose the information.

1.2.25 Defence personnel must disclose or authorise disclosure of personal information held by Defence about a youth or any other person to a government oversight body if:

  1. there is a federal legislative requirement to report certain information to a government oversight body (the reporting requirement)
  2. all of the conditions or criteria that trigger the reporting requirement are satisfied.

1.2.26 Review of decision to disclose personal information. Following a decision to recommend disclosure of personal information of a youth, a review of the decision can be requested and natural justice will apply. The review is to be conducted by a Defence member other than the decision maker.

1.2.27 Decision makers are responsible for making the youth aware of the review processes available to them when advising of a decision to disclose personal information.

Sensitive Information

1.2.28 Non-disclosure of Sensitive Information. Defence personnel are not authorised to, and must not disclose or authorise disclosure of sensitive information to parents/guardians/specified next of kin, responsible third parties or government oversight bodies.

Complaints and Breaches

1.2.29 Complaints and Breaches. Advice about how to make a complaint or raise a potential breach of privacy can be obtained from the Defence Privacy policy.

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] Appropriate Defence enterprise systems include Objective, PMKeyS, CadetNet, Sentinel, Defence Policing and Security Management System, and Army Incident Management System.

Chapter 1: Youth Safe Culture

INTRODUCTION

2.1.1 The Defence youth safe vision ensures Defence’s engagement with youth is conducted in an environment which assures the health, protection and wellbeing of youth and in a manner that delivers a positive experience for youth. To achieve this vision, leadership and commitment from commanders, managers and supervisors at all levels is required to develop a strong and effective youth safe culture.

POLICY INTENT

2.1.2 The intent of this policy is to provide a road map for commanders, managers and supervisors to strive for a ‘generative’ youth safe culture.

2.1.3 Defence youth safe culture policy is consistent with the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 1: Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
    1. Key Action Area 1.2: A child safe culture is championed and modelled at all levels of the organisation from the top down and the bottom up
  2. Principle 7: Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
    1. Key Action Area 7.1: Staff and volunteers are trained and supported to effectively implement the organisations child safety and wellbeing policy.
DEFINITIONS

2.1.4 Generative Youth Safe Culture. A generative youth safe culture is one where youth safe behaviours and practices are understood, displayed and fully integrated by all personnel into every youth related interaction, activity and program. Achievement of a generative youth safe culture requires leadership and commitment from commanders, managers and supervisors at all levels to develop trust, open and honest communication, and the sub-cultures depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Dub-cultures of a Generative Youth Safe Culture[1]

POLICY

Generative Youth Safe Culture

2.1.5 In order to maximise youth safe performance, commanders, managers and supervisors at all levels should display the leadership and commitment to promote and develop a generative youth safe culture, applying the following direction:

  1. Compliance Culture. Youth and all adult personnel who engage with youth should be:
    1. provided the training (refer Section 5 Chapter 1), resources, support and empowerment to display youth safe behaviours and comply with youth safe policies and practices
    2. encouraged and supported to proactively identify and provide feedback on ineffective or impracticable youth safe policies and practices (refer Section 1 Chapter 2)
  2. Flexible/Adaptive Culture. Personnel who engage with youth should be encouraged and empowered to make risk‑based decisions to adapt youth safe policies and practices within the scope of their responsibility and authority (refer Section 3 Chapter 1).
  3. Just and Fair Culture. Youth and all adult personnel who engage with youth should be informed of what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour (refer annex C Section 2 Chapter 2 and Section 5 Chapter 1). Procedural fairness should be afforded to anyone who breaches the code of conduct. Recognition for youth safe behaviour, or penalty for misconduct, should be timely and consistent.
  4. Reporting Culture. Within the framework of a just and fair culture, youth and adult personnel should feel comfortable, and should be encouraged to openly and honestly report youth safety concerns, hazards, risks, events and incidents at the lowest level through open reporting mechanisms. Notwithstanding, confidential reporting via the Youth Safe Confidential Complaint and Event Report/Notification (ConCERN) should also be promoted and encouraged (refer Section 3 Chapter 3).
  5. Learning Culture. Youth safe performance should be periodically analysed to identify adverse trends, new hazards, deficient risk controls and/or systemic issues (refer Section 4 Chapter 1). Lessons learned should be captured in training (refer Section 5 Chapter 1) and communicated to reinforce youth safe behaviours (refer Section 5 Chapter 2).
Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] For further information relating to a generative safety culture, refer to Part 3 Chapter 2 of the Defence Aviation Safety Manual.

Chapter 2: Youth Safe Code of Conduct

INTRODUCTION

2.2.1 Defence is committed to ensuring the health, protection and wellbeing of all youth who engage with Defence. Clear definition, acceptance and adherence to the expected standard of conduct/behaviour by adults and youth is required to ensure a youth safe environment, where youth are protected from harm and which delivers a positive experience.

POLICY INTENT

2.2.2 The intent of this policy is to ensure that all youth who engage with Defence and all personnel who work with youth on behalf of Defence, understand, sign and adhere to a code of conduct.

2.2.3 Defence youth safe code of conduct policy is consistent with the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 1: Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
    1. Key Action Area 1.4: A Code of Conduct provides guidelines for staff and volunteers on expected behavioural standards and responsibilities.
DEFINITIONS

2.2.4 Youth Safe Code of Conduct. A youth safe code of conduct defines ethical, acceptable and unacceptable youth safe behaviours and provides a mechanism to:

  1. acknowledge the responsibility and record the commitment of a person to adhere to the code of conduct
  2. hold a person to account if they breach the code of conduct.
POLICY

Defence Youth Safe Code of Conduct

2.2.5 Youth-Related Work Positions. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that adult personnel posted to or engaged by Defence in a youth-related work position (refer Section 5 Chapter 1) read and sign the Defence Youth Safe Code of Conduct (Adult) in annex A before undertaking any youth-related work on behalf of Defence. The code of conduct should be tailored to meet the Defence context in which youth are engaged and/or if appropriate, incorporated into a broader code of conduct associated with the role/position.

2.2.6 Defence Youth Programs. Commanders, managers and supervisors of Defence Youth Programs must ensure youth who participate in a Defence Youth Program read and sign the Defence Youth Safe Code of Conduct (Youth) at annex B prior to participating in the program. The code of conduct should be tailored to meet the Defence context in which youth are engaged and/or if appropriate, incorporated into a broader code of conduct associated with the program.

2.2.7 Education and Training Establishments. Commanders, managers and supervisors of education and training establishments must incorporate the codes of conduct in annexes A and B into instructor and/or recruit/trainee code of conduct as appropriate.

2.2.8 Code of Conduct Management. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that:

  1. a signed copy of the code of conduct is stored in Objective or CadetNet as appropriate
  2. any breach of the code of conduct is managed in accordance with Section 3 Chapter 3.

Defence Youth Safe Training

2.2.9 Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD) must ensure that the behaviours defined by the Defence youth safe codes of conduct at annexes A and B are incorporated into Defence youth safe training packages.

2.2.10 Unacceptable Behaviours. Unacceptable behaviour in the youth protection context is behaviour that, having regard to all of the circumstances, would be considered unlawful; offensive; belittling; abusive; or threatening to youth and/or adverse to their morale, health, safety and wellbeing, or otherwise not in the interests of Defence (annex C refers).

Annexes

  1. Defence Youth Safe Code of Conduct (Adult)
  2. Defence Youth Safe Code of Conduct (Youth)
  3. Definitions of Unacceptable Behaviour in a Youth Protection Context

 

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)

 

Chapter 1: Defence Youth Protection Risk Management

INTRODUCTION

3.1.1 Defence is committed to ensuring the health, protection and wellbeing of all youth who engage with Defence. Risk management plays an important role in creating a youth safe culture and an environment where people identify, consider and address risks to youth before and as they arise.

POLICY INTENT

3.1.2 The intent of this policy is to ensure that all youth protection hazards and risks are identified and effectively managed

3.1.3 Defence youth protection risk management policy is consistent with:

  1. Requirement 1.0 of the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (CCSF): Undertake risk assessments annually in relation to activities of each entity, to: identify the level of responsibility for and contact with children and young people, evaluate the risk of harm or abuse, and put in place appropriate strategies to manage identified risks.
  2. Principle 1 of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (NPCSO): Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
    1. Key Action Area 1.5: Risk management strategies focus on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks to children and young people
  3. Principle 8 of the NPCSO: Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
    1. Key Action Area 8.1: Staff and volunteers identify and mitigate risks in the online and physical environments without compromising a child’s right to privacy, access to information, social connections and learning opportunities
    2. Key Action Area 8.3: Risk management plans consider risks posed by organisational settings, activities, and the physical environment

3.1.4 Other Defence publications which may be relevant to this policy include, but is not limited to the Defence Safety Risk Management Policy

POLICY

Proactive Youth Protection Risk Management

3.1.5 The purpose of proactive youth protection risk management is to identify potential risks to youth health, protection and wellbeing and to implement action to minimise those risks. Refer to the Guide to Youth Protection Hazards and Mitigation Strategies (annex A) for further information. In assessing risks to youth, consideration must also be given to the developmental stage(s) and behavioural nature of youth.

3.1.6 Enterprise-level Risk Management. Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD) must ensure that an enterprise-level youth protection risk assessment is undertaken and reviewed annually to assess the minimum reasonably practicable youth protection risk controls (including processes) defined in annex B

3.1.7 Context-specific Risk Management. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that all youth protection risks, specific to the context in which youth are engaged are identified and managed in accordance with Service/Group WHSMS risk management policy, applying the following direction:

  1. Annual Risk Assessment. A youth protection risk assessment must be undertaken and reviewed annually to assess all context-specific youth protection risks.
  2. Task/Activity Risk Assessment. Risks to youth protection must be considered and effectively managed as part of any deliberate and/or immediate risk assessment for a task/activity.
  3. Risk Control Implementation and Maintenance. All reasonably practicable youth protection risk controls must be documented in orders, instructions and publications (OIP) as appropriate, implemented and effectively maintained (refer Section 1 Chapter 2).
  4. Risk Control Awareness. All personnel, including youth, must be made aware of youth protection risk controls (refer annex B).
  5. Risk Registers. All youth protection hazards, risks and issues should be included in the relevant WHS hazard, risk or issues register.

3.1.8 Risk Management Support. For support relating to Defence youth protection risk management policy, commanders, managers and supervisors should engage Joint Support Services Division (JSSD) via the Defence Youth Protection mailbox [1].

Privacy

3.1.9 All information collected or used in relation to youth protection risk management policy must be managed in accordance with the privacy requirements defined in Section 1 Chapter 2.

Annexes

  1. Guide to Youth Protection Hazards and Mitigation Strategies
  2. Enterprise-level Youth Protection Risk Controls
Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] Defence Business Hours only.

Chapter 2: Suitability Screening and Working with Children Checks

INTRODUCTION

Defence is committed to providing a youth safe environment. Suitability assessment and Working with Children Checks (WWCC) for personnel required to work specifically with youth on behalf of Defence are primary risk controls to prevent harm to youth.

POLICY INTENT

The intent of this policy is to ensure that personnel who Defence require to engage with youth are appropriately assessed by Defence and when required, obtain and maintain jurisdictional WWCC Clearance(s) in accordance with relevant state or territory legislative requirements.

Defence working with children checks policy is consistent with :

  1. Principle 5 of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations: People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice
    1. Key Action Area 5.1: Recruitment, including advertising, referee checks and staff and volunteer pre-employment screening, emphasise child safety and wellbeing
    2. Key Action Area 5.2: Relevant staff and volunteers have current working with children checks or equivalent background checks
  2. the National Standards for Working with Children Checks

A guide to this policy is included at Annex A.

DEFINITIONS

Youth-related Work Position. A youth‑related work position is any ADF, APS, contractor or volunteer position where the incumbent is required to, on behalf of Defence:

    1. undertake youth-related work as the primary duty/responsibility of the position[1] OR
    2. provide overnight care and supervision of youth participating in a Defence Youth Program or Defence Force Recruiting activity

Youth-related Work. Youth-related work is supervised or unsupervised work, whether paid or unpaid, that:

    1. involves face-to-face or physical interaction, or oral or written communication via any medium, with one or more youth on behalf of Defence AND
    2. relates to religious activities and services, or activities and services that are provided specifically (only or mainly) for youth[2].
POLICY

Identification and annotation of Youth-related work positions

ADF and APS Youth-related Work Positions. Group Heads and Service Chiefs must ensure all ADF and APS youth-related work positions within and/or related to their Group or Service are identified and annotated in PMKeyS.

To avoid doubt and assist in identification of youth-related work positions, ADF and APS personnel are not in a youth-related work position if they are:

  1. commanders, managers, supervisors, instructors or the colleagues of, or service providers[3] to, Defence personnel who are youth in a Defence workplace where youth-related work is not the primary duty, function or service provided by the unit/organisation/position
  2. required to support a Defence Youth Program activity, unless they are required to provide care and supervision of youth participating in an overnight activity[4].
  3. peers of Defence personnel who are youth undertaking education and training.

Contractor and Volunteer Youth-related Work Positions. Group Heads and Service Chiefs must ensure that all contractor and volunteer youth-related work positions within and/or related to their Group or Service are identified and annotated in CadetNet[5] or contract documentation as applicable.

To avoid doubt and assist in identification of youth-related work positions, contractors and volunteers:

  1. are in a youth-related work position if they are a Cadet Adult Volunteer, including Officers of Cadets and Instructors of Cadets, and Defence Approved Helpers
  2. are not in a youth-related work position if they are instructors of, or service providers[6] to, Defence personnel who are youth in a Defence workplace where youth‑related work is not the primary duty, function or service provided by the unit/organisation/position
  3. are not in a youth-related work position if they are peers of youth participating in Defence Youth Programs.

Selection of personnel for Youth-related work positions

Adults working with youth are acting in a position of trust and are likely to be viewed as role models. Role modelling is critical to creating a safe environment and providing a positive experience for youth, as well as protecting Defence’s reputation. Careful consideration to the selection of personnel required to work or engage with youth is required.

Career management agencies, human resource managers, contract managers, and youth program commanders, managers, and supervisors must ensure that only personnel who are assessed as suitable to undertake youth-related work are selected and posted, appointed or contracted to youth-related work positions.

Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that personnel who are not in a youth-related work position but are required to manage, supervise, instruct, or provide services to youth, are assessed as suitable.

Contractors. Where it is intended to contract youth-related work, contract managers must ensure that:

  1. appropriate Commonwealth Child Safety Clauses are included in the tender documentation and contract
  2. the selected contractor complies with the child safety clauses.

Non-Australian Based Contractors and Locally Employed Civilians. Commanders, managers and supervisors who intend to use non-Australian-based contractors or locally employed civilians overseas or in external Commonwealth territories in youth‑related work positions should engage with the appropriate authority to determine their suitability to undertake youth‑related work before they are contracted/engaged by Defence (refer Section 3 Chapter 1). Authorities may include but not be limited to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, local government, police, child protection and/or other local authorities.

Working with children checks

Non Youth-related Work Positions. Personnel who are not in a youth-related work position are not required to obtain a WWCC Clearance(s).

ADF and APS Youth-related Work Positions. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that ADF and APS personnel in youth-related work positions:

  1. obtain and maintain WWCC Clearance(s) for the states and/or territories relevant to their youth-related work in accordance with each relevant jurisdiction’s requirements while they remain in a youth-related work position
  2. are aware of their obligation to advise their commanders, managers and supervisors of any event or issue that impacts or could impact their WWCC Clearance(s)
  3. sign a code of conduct (refer Section 2 Chapter 2) and complete relevant youth safe training (refer Section 5 Chapter 1)

Commanders, managers and supervisors may allow ADF and APS personnel in youth-related work positions to undertake youth-related work pending the issue of a WWCC Clearance providing:

  1. it is verified a WWCC application has been submitted to the relevant State and/or Territory agency
  2. the WWCC application is not withdrawn
  3. the work does not involve providing overnight care and supervision of youth participating in a Defence Youth Program or Defence Force Recruiting activity.

Contractor and Volunteer Youth-related Work Positions. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that contractor or volunteer incumbents or potential incumbents of youth-related work positions:

  1. obtain WWCC Clearance(s) for the states and/or territories relevant to their youth-related work in accordance with each relevant jurisdiction’s requirements before they undertake ANY youth-related work in that state or territory
  2. maintain WWCC Clearance(s) for the states and/or territories relevant to their youth-related work in accordance with each relevant jurisdiction’s requirements while they remain in a youth-related work position
  3. are aware of their obligation to advise Defence of any event or issue that impacts or could impact their WWCC Clearance(s)
  4. sign a code of conduct (refer Section 2 Chapter 2) and complete relevant youth safe training (refer Section 5 Chapter 1).

WWCC Non-clearance. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that personnel who apply for, but are subsequently not issued/re-issued a WWCC Clearance, are:

  1. immediately removed from or not placed in a youth-related work position and do not undertake ANY youth‑related work on behalf of Defence
  2. administered in accordance with relevant personnel or member management policy.

WWCC Annotation and Record. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure:

  1. each WWCC Clearance, Non-clearance or Exemption[7] is annotated against the individual in PMKeyS, CadetNet or other relevant personnel/contractor management system
    1. an electronic copy of each WWCC Clearance, Non-clearance or Exemption is stored in the individual’s personnel file on Objective or member record in CadetNet as applicable.
  2. Cost of WWCC Clearances. Commanders, managers and supervisors must cover the cost of obtaining and maintaining WWCC Clearances from their allocated budgets.

Privacy

All information collected in relation to WWCC policy must be managed in accordance with the privacy requirements defined in Section 1 Chapter 2.

Annex

  1. Guide to Youth Protection Suitability Screening and Working with Children Checks
Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] A position is not a youth-related work position if any likely interaction/work with youth is incidental (secondary) to the primary duty/responsibility of the position and can generally be observed or monitored by others.

[2] The majority of youth-related work is undertaken in Defence Youth Program and Defence Force Recruiting contexts.

[3] Including health, psychology, administration, logistics, accommodation and transportation services that are not specifically (only or mainly) provided for youth, but excludes chaplaincy services.

[4] Commanders, managers and supervisors who support a discrete Defence Youth Program activity will be briefed well in advance in relation to youth protection requirements, including the need for WWCC if applicable, by the program/activity sponsor.

[5] Annotation can be via assignment of a Cadet Organisation role within CadetNet.

[6] Including health, psychology, administration, logistics, accommodation and transportation services that are not specifically (only or mainly) provided for youth, but excludes chaplaincy services.

[7] A WWCC Exemption relates to the situation where a jurisdiction advises that a WWCC is not required.

Chapter 3: Youth Protection Complaint and Event/Incident Management

INTRODUCTION

Defence is committed to providing a youth safe environment and actively encourages youth who engage with Defence to report both Defence and community/ family/domestic related events/incidents, including youth protection complaints.

All personnel have a legal and moral obligation to protect youth and report youth protection events/incidents, including complaints, to their commander or manager. Youth protection events/incidents are a specific category of unacceptable behaviour and are managed within the Youth Protection Safety Domain.

Commanders, managers and supervisors have a legal and moral obligation to ensure compliance with legislative reporting requirements and effectively manage youth protection events/incidents, including complaints.

POLICY INTENT

The intent of this policy is to ensure that youth protection events/incidents, including complaints are reported, effectively managed and analysed in accordance with legislative requirements. This policy provides direction for the reporting of youth protection events/incidents which necessitates the use of extant WHS and incident reporting and management policies and processes to deliver the required Youth Protection outcome.

Commanders, managers and supervisors are also responsible for ensuring mandatory, external to Defence reporting requirements for Youth Protection incidents are met. This may include reporting directly to state or territory police and child protection or other government authorities. Information on external reporting is provided in Guide 3 to this policy.

Defence youth protection event/incident management policy is consistent with the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 3: Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
    1. Key Action Area 3.1: Families participate in decisions affecting their child
  2. Principle 4: Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
    1. Key Action Area 4.2: Children and young people have access to information, support and complaints processes in ways that are culturally safe, accessible and easy to understand
  3. Principle 6: Processes to respond to complaints and concerns are child focussed
    1. Key Action Area 6.1: The organisation has an accessible, child focused complaint handling policy which clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of leadership, staff and volunteers, approaches to dealing with different types of complaints, breaches of relevant policies or the Code of Conduct and obligations to act and report
    2. Key Action Area 6.2: Effective complaint handling processes are understood by children and young people, families, staff and volunteers, and are culturally safe
    3. Key Action Area 6.3: Complaints are taken seriously, and responded to promptly and thoroughly
    4. Key Action Area 6.4: The organisation has policies and procedures in place that address reporting of complaints and concerns to relevant authorities, whether or not the law requires reporting, and co-operates with law enforcement
    5. Key Action Area 6.5: Reporting, privacy and employment law obligations are met.

Other Defence publications which may be relevant to this policy include, but are not limited to:

  1. Complaints and Alternate Resolution Manual (CARM)
  2. Incident Reporting and Management Manual (IRMMAN)
  3. Military Personnel Manual (MILPERSMAN) Part 3 Chapter 7 Member Support Coordination
  4. Defence Safety Manual (SAFETYMAN)
DEFINITIONS

Defence Environment. Includes any Defence workplace, premise or facility, or any other location/environment where Defence arranges, undertakes or supervises an activity.

Youth Protection Event/Incident. A youth protection event/incident is any event/incident of unacceptable behaviour/misconduct which adversely affected or had the potential to adversely affect the health, protection or wellbeing of a youth(s). These behaviours are defined in annex C to Section 2, Chapter 2

Youth Protection Complaint/Allegation. Any person may submit a youth protection complaint or allegation if they form a reasonable belief that a youth protection event/incident has occurred. A youth protection complaint or allegation can be made in writing or verbally. Mechanisms through which Defence becomes aware of a youth protection complaint or allegation include, but are not limited to:

  1. Commanders, Managers, Supervisors and/or Adult Volunteers
  2. the Joint Military Police Unit
  3. Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response Office
  4. Other support service hotlines/reporting mechanisms (refer to Guide 3)
  5. Chaplains and training staff
  6. ConCERN process (refer to 3.3.12).

Upon receipt, all youth protection complaints or allegations must be managed as a youth protection event/incident.

Dedicated Youth Confidential Complaint Process. Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD) manages an independent Defence Youth Protection Confidential Complaint and Event Report/Notification (Youth Protection ConCERN) process that is:

  1. youth-focussed
  2. understood and available to all youth, the community, Defence youth program volunteers and participants, and Defence personnel.

The ConCERN is not an avenue of redress for resolved complaints.

POLICY

Youth Protection Event/Incident Management

Youth protection event/incident management is critical to maintaining a strong youth protection culture. Accordingly, youth protection event/incident management policy specifies two distinct but parallel reporting and investigation chains that utilise extant Defence incident management and WHS Management System (WHSMS) processes to support all parties and achieve a Youth Protection outcome:

  1. WHS event investigation and reporting. The purpose of this process is to identify contributing factors which led to the event/incident; improve risk controls to prevent recurrence; and ensure consistency in data reporting
  2. Incident management. The purpose of this process is to ensure relevant parties are informed and address identified behavioural issues. Incident management should occur in accordance with the relevant Defence and/or Group/Service policies and procedures.

A flowchart for managing a youth protection event/incident is at annex A.

Initial response and actions.

  1. Assess and respond. Commanders, managers and supervisors must take appropriate immediate action to ensure the health, protection and wellbeing of personnel, in particular youth.
  2. Confirm circumstances. Solicit what happened from those involved and/or witnesses as appropriate, but don’t conduct interviews.
  3. Safeguard and record evidence. Safeguard physical evidence and keep a record of discussions and actions.
  4. Categorise incident. All events/incidents require classification and contextualisation in accordance with Guide 2 as well as codification in Sentinel.

Initial reporting. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure initial reporting requirements are met. This includes reporting through the Youth Protection Management System in accordance with Guide 4, as well as relevant Defence and Service/Group reporting. Acknowledgement of the receipt of a youth protection complaint should be provided to the complainant(s) as soon as practicable. Youth protection events/incidents may also require external to Defence reporting, as detailed in Guide 3.

HJSSD must be immediately notified[1] of a youth protection event/incident if the event/incident is:

  1. immediately notifiable to a Service Chief or Group Head in accordance with Defence or Group/Service policy, and/or to Comcare
  2. a Class A or B event/incident
  3. likely to attract adverse publicity.

Youth Protection event/incident management. The key components of the youth protection event/incident management process include:

  1. Inform and Support. Keep all involved or affected by the event informed until event closure and provide ongoing support as appropriate.
  2. Report. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that youth protection events/incidents are reported and managed on Sentinel in accordance with Guide 4. The completion of the Sentinel report does not limit or replace the need for incident reporting and management in accordance with other Defence Group/Service policies or requirements. A summary of reporting timeframes is at Table 1.

    YPE Classification Immediate Mandatory Reporting DIR or AIMS Report WHS Event Report[2]
    Class A As soon as practicable Within 24 hours Within 24 hours
    Class B As soon as practicable Within 24 hours Within 24 hours
    Class C As per Service/Group requirements As per Service/Group requirements Within 3 Days
    Class D As per Service/Group requirements As per Service.Group requirements Within 3 Days

    Table 1: Event/Incident Reporting Requirements

  3. Investigate: A WHS investigation must be conducted for youth protection events/incidents occurring within the  Defence environment[3]. A WHS investigation is not required for community/family/domestic context  youth protection events/incidents. For detailed guidance on the conduct of youth protection WHS investigations, refer to Section 3 Chapter 4. Where appropriate, other administrative inquiries may be conducted in accordance with Defence Group/Service policies or requirements.
  4. Track actions and close event. The implementation of investigation(s) actions and recommendations must be tracked to completion prior to closure of the event/incident. A youth protection event/incident is not considered fully closed until all actions arising from the youth protection safety investigation and administrative inquiries are completed.

Personnel Protection and Support 

Protection and wellbeing of youth. The health, protection and wellbeing of youth involved in or affected by a youth protection event/incident must be given primary consideration. Involved or affected youth, as well as their parents/guardians if appropriate (refer paragraph 3.3.21), must be consulted, supported and kept informed throughout the event/incident management process.

It may not be appropriate to contact parents/guardians if a parent, guardian or family member is the respondent to the event/incident. Commanders, managers and supervisors must follow the advice of the civil police, relevant state/territory child protection or other government authorities, and/or the Joint Military Police Unit.

Personnel support. Appropriate support and information, subject to privacy requirements (refer Section 1 Chapter 2), must be provided to all involved or affected parties, including the complainant(s)/victim(s), alleged respondent(s), family(s), witnesses and/or other affected parties[4] as appropriate. Appropriate support may include but not be limited to:

  1. professional support from health practitioners, the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO), and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  2. local support from commanders, managers and supervisors, Chaplains, Workplace Behaviour Advisers, Member Support Coordinators[5] and other local support officers.

Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that all youth protection complaints are taken seriously[6] and effectively managed in accordance with the Complaint Handling Principles, as defined in the CARM.

All support arrangements should be documented in accordance with Defence and relevant Group/Service requirements.

Support or advice for commanders, managers and supervisors. For information on the range of support and advice services relating to youth protection event/incident management refer to Guide 3.

Privacy

All information collected in relation to youth protection events/incidents must managed in accordance with the privacy requirements defined in
Section 1 Chapter 2.

Annexes

  1. Flowchart for managing a Youth Protection Event/Incident
  2. Guide 1 - Initial Responses for Managing a Youth Protection Event/Incident
  3. Guide 2 - Classifying and Codifying a Youth Protection Event/Incident
  4. Guide 3 - External-to-Defence Reporting Contact Information
  5. Guide 4 - Guide to Reporting Youth Protection Events/Incidents in Sentinel
Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] Via the Aide de-Camp to HJSSD on +61 447 208 593 during business hours or after hours, or the DYP Contact Officer on +61 408 157 133 during business hours

[2] Reporting timeframes align with Defence WHSMS reporting requirements.

[3] Pending Sentinel access for the Cadet Organisations, this requirement is only mandatory for cadet related Class A and Class B youth protection events/incidents.

[4] Other affected parties may include members of the community and staff who received a disclosure or provide counselling/support to the victim(s).

[5] Workplace Behaviour Advisors and Member Support Coordinator services are not available to ADF Cadet organisations.

[6] This includes listening to the youth who makes a complaint or discloses abuse/unacceptable behaviour in any context, responding appropriately/sensitively to the needs of the youth, and acting on the information.

Chapter 4: Youth Protection Event/Incident Work Health and Safety Investigation

INTRODUCTION

Thorough event/incident investigation and subsequent review and monitoring assist in improving safety, enabling improvements to eliminate or minimise the recurrence of the event. Youth protection event/incident work health and safety (WHS) investigations are to be conducted in accordance with the relevant Defence and/or Group/Service WHS event investigation policy, and must include the specific youth protection requirements outlined in this policy.

The primary purpose of the WHS investigation is to review controls, procedures and processes to determine the most probable sequence of events, identify contributing factors to the unacceptable behaviour/misconduct, and make recommendations to implement improved controls to ensure a safe work place.

POLICY INTENT

The intent of this policy is to ensure that youth protection events/incidents that occur within the Defence environment are effectively investigated to:

  1. identify contributing factors
  2. implement effective controls and track to completion

Defence youth protection event/incident WHS investigation policy is consistent with the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 9: Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved
    1. Key Action Area 9.1: The organisation regularly reviews, evaluates and improves child safe practices
    2. Key Action Areas 9.2: Complaints, concerns and safety incidents are analysed to identify causes and systemic failures so as to inform continuous improvement

Other Defence publications which may be relevant to this policy include, but are not limited to:

  1. Defence Work Health and Safety (WHS) Event Investigation policy.
  2. Section 3 Chapter 3 Youth Protection Complaint and Event/Incident Management
POLICY

Appointing Authority. The appointing authority (AA) for a WHS investigation should be determined in accordance with table 1. Joint Support Services Division (JSSD) is available to provide advice.

WHS Investigator qualifications. The AA should appoint a WHS investigator with qualifications and experience appropriate to the class of event/incident, as defined in table 1[1]. The WHS investigator should engage appropriate subject matter expert support where required.

Terms of Reference. The terms of reference (ToR) for all classes of event/incident WHS investigation should align with the ToR defined by the relevant Group/Service WHSMS for an equivalent WHS event investigation, as defined in table 1. The AA should tailor and issue ToR for WHS investigations as appropriate. The WHS investigator should consult and keep the AA informed throughout the investigation. WHS investigators must not apportion blame or make recommendations for criminal, disciplinary and/or administrative action.

Youth protection event WHS investigation conduct

Investigation primacy. Any criminal/disciplinary investigation or administrative inquiry being undertaken takes primacy. An independent WHS investigation should be conducted as soon as possible, and may occur concurrently with other investigations/inquiries.

Police investigation primacy. Any civil police and/or Joint Military Police Unit investigation into alleged criminal/unacceptable behaviour must take primacy. WHS investigators must ensure that they do not compromise the outcome of these police investigations. WHS investigators must not interview the victim(s), alleged respondent(s), or other involved persons/witnesses that the civil police and/or Joint Military Police Unit may rely on for evidence.

Interviews[2]. WHS investigators of Class A and Class B events/incidents must not interview involved or affected youth without obtaining approval from the AA. The AA should not give approval before ensuring that the appropriate agencies have been consulted. This includes, but is not limited to, the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO), civil police and/or Joint Military Police Unit. The AA should also consult the parents/guardians of involved youth as appropriate[3] to obtain their permission to interview youth. A parent/guardian or other support person acceptable to the youth should be present when interviewing youth.

WHS investigation report. The WHS investigator should submit a WHS investigation report to the AA within the timeframe defined in table 1. For Class A and Class B events/incidents, the WHS investigation report may be a standalone written report that is subsequently attached to the WHS event record in Sentinel. The outcome of all classes of WHS investigations, including recommendations/actions, must be entered/reported in Sentinel.

Youth protection event WHS investigation closure

Preventing recurrence. The AA must, as soon as practicable, consider the WHS investigation report and accept, modify, reject and/or add any actions/ recommendations as appropriate. The AA must ensure that all actions/ recommendations are implemented/tracked to completion, and any lessons learned are communicated and reviewed (refer Section 5 Chapter 2).

In considering holistic youth protection outcomes, the AA should consider any evidence or recommendations, when available, from other criminal/disciplinary investigations or administrative inquiries that may require action.

Event/incident classification Appointing Authority Investigator Type WHS Investigator Qualifications and ToR templates Investigation Report
Class A 2* Equivalent Commander/Manager[4] External/Independent to Unit As per Group/Service WHSMS policy for Level 2 or 3 investigation as appropriate Within 90 days of appointment
Class B 1* Equivalent Commander/Manager[5] External/Independent to Unit As per Group/Service WHSMS policy for Level 1 investigation Within 60 days of appointment
Class C Local Commander/ Manager Local Commander/Manager discretion As per Group/Service WHSMS policy for Level 1 investigation Within 30 days of appointment
Class D Local Commander/Manager Local Commander/Manager discretion As per Group/Service WHSMS policy for Level 1 investigation

Within 15[6] days of appointment

Table 1: Youth Protection Event/Incident WHS Investigation Requirements

All information collected and used in relation to youth protection event/incident WHS investigation must be managed in accordance with the privacy requirements defined in Section 1 Chapter 2.

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] Investigation levels are described in para 6 of Defence WHS Event Investigation Policy

[2] There is strict guidance on the conduct of youth interviews. Refer to Good Decision Making in Defence.

[3] In the case of ADF personnel under 18, their permission should be sought prior to contacting a parent or guardian.

[4] The applicable 2* commander/manager may delegate AA responsibility to a subordinate independent commander/manager depending on the circumstances of the event/incident.

[5] The applicable 1* commander/manager may delegate AA responsibility to a subordinate independent commander/manager depending on the circumstances of the event/incident.

[6] 30 days for ADF Cadet Organisations.

Chapter 1: Defence Youth Protection Assurance Framework

INTRODUCTION

4.1.1 The Defence Youth Safety Framework (DYSF) details how the components are designed to ensure young people are safe, protected and respected. One of the key components in achieving this is ensuring the protection of youth from child abuse, managing the risk of child abuse and responding to incidents or allegations of child abuse. In the Defence environment Youth Protection also incorporates misconduct and unacceptable behaviour.

POLICY INTENT

4.1.2 The Defence Youth Protection Management System is a component of the DYSF that builds on existing Defence WHS risk management and reporting processes to implement the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (CCSF) and the National Principles of Child Safe Organisations (NPCSO).

4.1.3 The intent of this policy is to describe the Defence Youth Protection Assurance Framework (DYPAF) and outline how Defence will undertake assurance of youth protection matters across the Department.

RESPONSIBILITIES

4.1.4 The following responsibilities have been drawn from Section 1, Chapter 1 and are relevant to the delivery of youth protection assurance. These responsibilities form the basis for the development of the DYPAF and guide how assurance will be delivered across the Department.

4.1.5 CJC is:

a. Accountable to the Secretary and CDF as the accountable officer and is the Safety Domain Owner for youth protection.
b. Providing youth protection governance and assurance that Defence meets youth protection obligations.

4.1.6 HJSSD is responsible for:

a. Developing, maintaining and issuing enterprise level youth protection policy, guidance and tools that are compliant with the CCSF.
b.Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of youth protection policy by the Groups and Services.

4.1.7 Group Heads and Service Chiefs:

a. Are accountable to the Secretary and CDF for extending the application of the Group / Service WHSMS where practicable to include youth protection management and for contextualising implementation of youth protection policy and guidance defined in Part 1.
b. Must ensure that risk based youth protection assurance regime of applicable subordinate organisations / units are conducted to assure compliance and conformance with the Group/Service documentation.

DEFINITIONS

4.1.8 Defence Youth Protection Assurance Framework. DYPAF includes processes aimed at assuring youth protection by:

a. Performance Monitoring. Compliance and Conformance audits, inspections, closed loop and risk tracking and surveys conducted to monitor performance.
b. Performance Measurement. Key compliance and performance indicators used to measure performance. 
c. Performance Analysis and Reporting. Analysis and reporting of youth protection performance measurement outcomes conducted through committees.
d. Performance Review. Review of performance through audits, surveys and senior committees.

4.1.9 The DYPAF is depicted at Annex A.

POLICY

COMPLIANCE AND ASSURANCE APPROACH

4.1.10 JSSD and the Groups and Services are to deliver a risk based compliance and assurance model that is based on a tiered and cascading approach. The model requires a two staged approach to youth protection in Defence described below.

4.1.11 Defence Personnel. This area incorporates any ADF or APS worker under the age of 18. The number of youth managed in this environment at any one time is small with less than 200 at a peak in the early part of the calendar year, reducing through the year. The majority of these youth are located in Defence training establishments with only very small numbers under the age of 18 completing training and posted to ADF Units. Defence training establishments are by definition a proportionately higher risk than broader Defence. The known level of offending is very low in training establishments however the damaging consequences for youth at a formative stage presents a heightened risk to youth in Defence training establishments.

4.1.12 As a result of this, Groups that work with youth, and Services are responsible for undertaking their own compliance and assurance programs and report the result of this to JSSD and at the Joint Support Executive Committee (JSEC) twice yearly. JSSD is able to assist with developing a compliance and assurance program and provide relevant tools.

4.1.13 ADF Cadets. The significant number of youth, relevant maturity levels and risk taking tendencies of youth involved in the ADF Cadet program increases the likelihood and risk of a youth protection incident occurring. JSSD are to develop a compliance and assurance program and work with the ADF Cadets to deliver. The results of this program are to be presented to the JSEC twice yearly.

DEFENCE YOUTH PROTECTION ASSURANCE FRAMEWORK PROCESS

4.1.14 The DYPAF is cyclical and designed for continuous performance monitoring, measurement, analysis and reporting and review. It assists all levels of Defence in youth protection.

PARTY/LEVEL ASSURANCE

4.1.15 The DYPAF has three levels. These are:

a. Group/Service level. 
b. Defence Enterprise Level. 
c. External to Defence level.

4.1.16 The DYPAF focuses on the Defence Enterprise and Group / Services levels and is at Annex A.

PERFORMANCE MONITORING TOOL

4.1.17 JSSD have developed and will maintain a tool to monitor compliance and provide assurance that youth protection risk is being managed within Defence.

4.1.18 Key elements of the monitoring tool will include:

a. Part 1 Assurance Requirement. A detailed breakdown of each assurance requirement of Part 1. Assurance requirements that are met in assuring another are not required to be reported. 
b. Assurance Risk. Each assurance requirement has the risk model applied to provide a risk rating.
c. Method of Assurance. The assurance requirements can be met by a number of methods. Extant level 1 monitoring may satisfy level 2 monitoring and a statement of assurance by Service Chiefs will meet level 2 requirements in a large number of assurance areas for Part 1.
d. Evidence Required. A recommendation of what could be used to provide sufficient evidence that the criteria has been met. This could include sampling of training records, interviewing people and reviewing documents and forms.
e. Responsibility to Implement and Assure. Each level listed for the implementation and assurance requirements.
f. Assurance Timeline. The assurance timeline may be directly linked to reporting requirements for Joint Cadet Administration Board, Joint Cadet Executive Board and JSEC.

4.1.19 A DYPAF performance monitoring tool is at Annex B. It should be noted that the tool is regularly updated and will be located in the Directorate of Youth intranet page Directorate of Youth.

Annexes:

A. Defence Youth Protection Assurance Framework

B. Defence Youth Protection Assurance Framework Monitoring Tool


 

Chapter 2: Youth Protection Performance Management

INTRODUCTION

4.2.1 Defence is committed to ensuring the health, protection and wellbeing of all youth who engage with Defence. Effective management of youth protection performance is required to assure that Defence provides a youth safe environment.

POLICY INTENT

4.2.2 The intent of this policy is to ensure that youth protection performance is monitored, measured, analysed, reported and reviewed within the governance framework defined by Defence and subordinate Group/Service Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS).

4.2.3 Defence youth protection management policy is consistent with:

a. Requirement 2.0 of the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework (CCSF): Establish and maintain a system of training and compliance, to make staff aware of, and compliant with, the framework and relevant legislation, including Working with Children Checks and mandatory reporting requirements

b. Principle 1 of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (NPCSO): Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture

(1) Key Action Area 1.3: Governance arrangements facilitate implementation of the child safety and wellbeing policy at all levels

c. Principle 9 of the NPCSO: Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved

(1) Key Action Area 9.1: The organisation regularly reviews, evaluates and improves child safe practices

(2) Key Action Area 9.2: Complaints, concerns and safety incidents are analysed to identify causes and systemic failures so as to inform continuous improvement

(3) Key Action Area 9.3: The organisation reports on the findings of relevant reviews to staff and volunteers, community and families and children and young people

4.2.4 Other Defence publications which may be relevant to this policy include, but are not limited to the Defence WHS Assurance Policy

DEFINITIONS

4.2.5 Youth Protection Performance Management. Youth protection performance management incorporates monitoring, measurement, analysis, reporting and review within the governance framework outlined in Annex A. Youth protection performance management includes processes aimed at assuring:

a. Compliance. Confirmation that policy, processes and risk controls are present and suitable against youth protection requirements

b. Conformance. Confirmation that policy, processes and risk controls are operating, facilitated by a strong and effective youth safe culture

c. Performance. Confirmation that policy, processes and risk controls are effective in eliminating or otherwise minimising youth protection hazards and risks, so far as reasonably practicable, to provide a youth safe environment.

POLICY

YOUTH PROTECTION PERFORMANCE MONITORING

4.2.6 Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC), Group Heads and Service Chiefs must ensure that youth protection performance is effectively monitored via a combination of youth protection audits, workplace inspections, surveys and closed-loop hazard and risk tracking as appropriate.

YOUTH PROTECTION AUDITS

4.2.7 Enterprise-Level Youth Protection Audit. Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD) must ensure that enterprise-level youth protection audits are conducted in accordance with Defence WHSMS Audit Policy, applying the following direction:

a. JSSD Audits. At a minimum, desk-top audits must be conducted to confirm that the Defence Youth Protection Management System (DYPMS) complies with the CCSF and Group/Service documentation complies with the Defence DYPMS. Ongoing verification of compliance must be maintained through DYPMS review (see Section 1, Chapter 2) and risk based desk-top audits

b. Other Internal Audits. Audits by other Defence agencies should be coordinated and conducted as appropriate or as directed by the Enterprise Business Committee (EBC).

4.2.8 Group/Service Youth Protection Audits. Group Heads and Service Chiefs must ensure that youth protection audits of applicable subordinate organisations/ units are conducted to assure compliance and conformance with the Group/Service documentation. Youth Protection audits should be risk-based, integrated into Group/Service WHS or other audit programs where practicable and managed in accordance with relevant Group/Service audit policy. A copy or extract of any Group/ Service audit report related to youth protection should be provided to JSSD via the Defence Youth Protection mailbox.

WORKPLACE INSPECTIONS

4.2.9 Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that workplace inspections conducted in accordance with Group/Service WHSMS policy consider and address youth protection hazards and risks (see Section 3, Chapter 1) as appropriate.

YOUTH PROTECTION SURVEYS

4.2.10 JSSD Coordinated Youth Protection Surveys. HJSSD must ensure that youth protection surveys are periodically conducted to obtain feedback and analysed to gauge youth protection knowledge, culture and management system effectiveness, as follows:

a. Enterprise-level Surveys. Youth protection should be integrated into enterprise-level safety and/or cultural surveys coordinated by other Defence agencies where practicable

b. Targeted Surveys. Targeted youth protection surveys of Defence youth programs and other contexts where Defence heavily engage with youth must be conducted where practicable. Youth protection surveys should be conducted at least once every three years. The opportunity to participate in a youth protection survey should be provided to the family of youth and the community

c. Communication of Results. The results of all surveys must be communicated to all participants including youth and the community (see Section 5, Chapter 2).

4.2.11 Other Youth Protection Surveys. Commanders, managers and supervisors should ensure that youth protection is integrated into any safety and/or cultural surveys as appropriate.

4.2.12 Ethics Committee Approval. All youth protection related surveys must be approved by the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee or Defence People Group Low Risk Ethics Panel as applicable.

YOUTH PROTECTION HAZARD AND RISK CLOSED-LOOP TRACKING

4.2.13 Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that youth protection hazards, risks and associated risk management records are monitored, tracked, reviewed and/or closed as appropriate in accordance with Group/Service WHSMS policy, as follows:

a. Hazard and Risk Monitoring and Review. Youth protection hazards and risks must continue to be monitored until elimination of the hazard and risks/so far as reasonably practicable. Review of youth protection risk controls should be both periodic and event based (see Section 1, Chapter 2 and Section 3, Chapter 1 and Chapter 4)

b. Hazard and Event/Incident Report Closure. Youth protection hazard and event/incident reports must be reviewed for quality and completeness. Actions and recommendations must be tracked to completion before closure of the report.

YOUTH PROTECTION PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

4.2.14 Commanders, managers and supervisors at all levels must ensure that youth protection performance for their scope of responsibility is periodically measured against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) outlined in Table 1.

KPI Title KPI
Youth Protection ConCERNs The number of Youth Protection ConCERNs submitted
Class A & Class B Youth Protection Events/Incidents The number of Class A and Class B youth protection events/incidents that occur in the Defence environment
Youth Protection Training % of personnel who have completed relevant Defence youth safe training package(s)
Suitability Screening and Working with Children Checks Youth protection related question(s) are included in selection processes for youth-related work positions.
% of personnel who have required Working with Children Checks clearance

Table 1: Youth Protection KPIs

YOUTH PROTECTION PERFORMANCE ANALYIS AND REPORTING

4.2.15 Commanders, managers and supervisors at all levels must ensure that youth protection performance for their scope of responsibility is analysed at least twice per annum to align with the Enterprise Business Committee process, aggregated and reported as appropriate and in accordance with Defence and Group/Service WHSMS policy, as follows:

a. Youth Protection Performance Analysis. The outcomes/records of youth protection performance monitoring and measurement must be periodically analysed by safety-related working groups, committees, councils and/or boards as appropriate, to:

(1) identify and address adverse trends, new hazards, deficient risk controls and/or systemic issues

(2) identify and implement initiatives to improve youth protection performance

b. Youth Protection Performance Reporting. The outcome of youth protection performance analysis must be reported to higher organisational levels in accordance with Annex A. A copy or extract of any Group/Service level report or minutes related to youth protection performance should be provided to JSSD via the Defence Youth Protection mailbox

c. Scheduling. Youth protection performance analysis and review should be integrated into broader Defence and Group/Service WHS or other governance arrangements where practicable and scheduled to support youth protection performance review (see paragraphs 4.1.16 to 4.1.18).

YOUTH PROTECTION PERFORMANCE REVIEW

4.2.16 Group/Service Councils/Boards. Group Heads and Service Chiefs must ensure youth protection performance is biannually reviewed in accordance with Service/Group WHS governance policy.

4.2.17 Joint Support Executive Committee. HJSSD must provide secretariat support to the Joint Support Executive Committee (JSEC), which must be conducted biannually in accordance with the terms of reference outlined in Annex B.

4.2.18 Enterprise Business Committee. CJC shall report Defence youth protection performance to the EBC in June and December of each year.

PRIVACY

4.2.19 All information collected in relation to youth protection performance management policy must be managed in accordance with the privacy requirements outlined in Section 1, Chapter 2.

Annexes

A. Defence Youth Protection Governance Framework
B. Joint Support Executive Committee - Governance Principles

 

FOOTNOTES

[1] For example, Defence People Group Audit and Fraud Control Division and Defence WHS Branch

[2] Includes youth protection hazards reports and event/incident reports.

[3] For example, as part of a youth protection event/incident WHS investigation.

[4] Each organisational level should aggregate youth protection performance of subordinate organisations/units.

[5] The JSEC is conducted biannually, normally in May and October.

Chapter 1: Youth Protection Training and Education Policy

INTRODUCTION

5.1.1 All Defence and non-Defence personnel, including contractors and volunteers, have an obligation to protect youth. Personnel must complete appropriate training depending on their level of interaction with youth.

5.1.2 Defence Youth Protection (DYP) training should enable personnel to develop awareness and insights into their attitudes towards youth, and have an understanding of youth development. Training should also ensure personnel engaging with youth on behalf of Defence are:

  1. aware of and comply with Defence policies in relation to youth protection
  2. aware of indicators of child abuse, report suspicions, respond effectively to youth and their families and support their colleagues
  3. able to respond appropriately to youth who disclose they are experiencing abuse within or outside of the organisation.
POLICY INTENT

5.1.3 The intent of this policy is to ensure:

  1. Commanders, managers and supervisors understand their responsibilities to ensure Defence and non-Defence personnel complete training which equips them with the knowledge and skills appropriate to their role and level of engagement with youth
  2. all personnel, including volunteers and contractors[1] who engage with youth on behalf of Defence know and understand their training obligations to ensure youth are safe when engaging with Defence and to recognise indicators of abuse
  3. youth engaged with Defence know their training obligations, are aware of their rights and responsibilities and demonstrate acceptable behaviours.

5.1.4 Defence Youth Protection Training and Education policy is consistent with the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 1: Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
    1. Key Action Area 1.2: A child safe culture is championed and modelled
  2. Principle 7: Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
    1. Key Action Area 7.1: Staff and volunteers are trained and supported to effectively implement the organisation’s child safety and wellbeing policy
    2. Key Action Area 7.2: Staff and volunteers receive training and information to recognise indicators of child harm including harm caused by other children and young people
    3. Key Action Area 7.3: Staff and volunteers receive training and information to respond effectively to issues of child safety and wellbeing and support colleagues who disclose harm
    4. Key Action Area 7.4: Staff and volunteers receive training and information on how to build culturally safe environments for children and young people.

5.1.5 This policy should be read in conjunction with:

  1. Youth Safe Culture policy (refer Section 2, Chapter 1)
  2. Suitability Screening and Working with Children Checks policy (refer Section 3, Chapter 2).

Training Responsibilities and Accountabilities

5.1.6 Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC) is the authority for the Defence Education and Training domain, sponsor of the Defence Learning Manual and appointed owner for youth protection training.

5.1.7 Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD) is responsible to CJC for:

  1. developing, maintaining and issuing enterprise-level youth protection training for Defence which aligns with the Systems Approach to Defence Learning
  2. monitoring and reporting on the implementation of youth protection training by the Groups/Services.

5.1.8 Mandatory Workplace Behaviour Training. Defence’s Mandatory Workplace Behaviour Training[2] includes youth protection content to inform all Defence personnel of their obligations to keep youth safe. Depending on their position or role, personnel may be required to undertake additional training.

5.1.9 The Defence Youth Protection Training Continuum. The Defence Youth Protection (DYP)[3] training continuum comprises the following training packages:

  1. Level 1 - Awareness
  2. Level 2 - Practitioner
  3. Level 3 – Leader
  4. Level 6 – Youth.
  5. Level 6 – Young Adult

5.1.10 In addition to the requirements specified in the Suitability Screening and Working with Children Checks policy (refer Section 3, Chapter 2) Defence personnel required to engage with youth must complete DYP training in accordance with Table 1 below.

DYP Training Level Mandatory Requirement for Prerequisite Expiry (years)
L1- Awareness Any adult ADF member, APS staff or contractor undertaking Youth-related Work[4] None Three
L2- Practitioner Any adult ADF member, APS staff or contractor in an annotated Youth-related Work Position  L1 Three
L3- Leader Any ADF member, APS staff or contractor supervising Practitioners L1 Three
L6- Youth (under 18) All youth in ADF, APS, or working as a contractor None Three

Table 1:Youth Protection Training Requirements for Defence Personnel

5.1.11 All Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADF Cadets) personnel must complete DYP training in accordance with Table 2 below.

DYP Training Level Mandatory Requirement for

Prerequisite

Expiry (years)
L1- Awareness All adults in the ADF Cadets None Three[5]
L2- Practitioner ADF Cadets adults in Youth-related Work Positions  L1 Three
L3- Leader ADF Cadets adults who are in positions supervising Practitioners L1 Three
L6- Youth (under 18) All youths in ADF Cadets None Three
L6- Young Adult (18 - 25) All ADF Cadets on turning 18 None Three

Table 2:Youth Protection Training Requirements for ADF Cadets and Cadets Adults

5.1.12 Youth Protection Training for Youth Turning 18. L1 Awareness training must be completed by personnel including volunteers, when they turn 18 if they have not completed that level of training within the preceding 12 month period.

5.1.13 Other Youth Protection Training. HJSSD may develop other youth related training for specific purposes, for example at the direction of the Enterprise Business Committee. Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure that other training is completed by relevant personnel, including youth and ADF Cadets adult volunteers.

Recording training Completions

5.1.14 Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure training completions are recorded appropriately[6] and stored in accordance with the requirements defined in Section 1 Chapter 2

Recording Training Compliance

5.1.15 DYP training completion data is one of four key performance indicators against which youth protection performance is measured.

5.1.16 Commanders, managers and supervisors must ensure youth protection performance, including training compliance, is analysed, aggregated and reported in accordance with the requirements specified in Youth Protection Performance Management policy, (refer Section 4, Chapter 1).

5.1.17 Training compliance data for all annotated Youth-related Work Positions must be tabled by JSSD for discussion by Groups and Services at each Joint Gender Peace and Security, Reserve, Youth and Cadet Policy Committee meeting.

5.1.18 The learning outcomes of DYP training must be regularly analysed by JSSD to ensure effectiveness in supporting all personnel to implement Defence’s youth protection policies.

 

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] Currently, only contractors with access to Defence Protected Network can access the learning platform.

[2] Owned and managed by WHS Branch

[3] DYP training packages on Campus use the superseded terminology Defence Youth Safety Training. Titles will be amended following a review of youth-related training in 2021

[4] Youth-related Work and Youth-related Work Positions are defined in the Abbreviations and Glossary.

[5] Annual refresher training is provided through Workplace Behaviour mandatory training.

[6] PMKeyS for ADF members; CadetNet for ADF Cadets; and Objective for contractors.

Chapter 2: Youth Protection Communication Policy

INTRODUCTION

5.2.1 Defence is committed to ensuring youth who engage with Defence are informed about their rights and feel comfortable in communicating their views and concerns in a youth safe environment.

5.2.2 Effective communication of Defence’s youth related policies, procedures and training requirements to all Defence and non-Defence personnel, including volunteers and contractors is critical to ensuring their obligations and the rights of youth engaging with Defence are understood and promoted.

5.2.3 Joint Support Services Division (JSSD) must ensure the families of youth engaging with Defence can access information, provide feedback and have the opportunity to be involved in promoting Defence’s youth safe culture.

POLICY INTENT

5.2.4 The intent of this policy is to articulate the minimum level of internal and external communication required to meet Defence’s obligations as a youth safe organisation.

5.2.5 Defence’s Youth Protection Communication policy reflects the following National Principles for Child Safe Organisations:

  1. Principle 2: Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
    1. Key Action Area 2.1: Children and young people are informed about all of their rights, including to safety, information, and participation.
    2. Key Action Area 2.4: Staff and volunteers are attuned to signs of harm and facilitate child-friendly ways for children to express their views, participate in decision-making and raise their concerns.
  2. Principle 3: Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
    1. Key Action Area 3.2: The organisation engages and openly communicates with families and the community about its child safe approach and relevant information is accessible.
    2. Key Action Area 3.4: Families, carers and the community are informed about the organisation’s operations and governance.
  3. Principle 7: Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
    1. Key Action Area 7.4: Staff and volunteers receive training and information on how to build culturally safe environments for children and young people.
  4. Principle 9: Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved
    1. Key Action Area 9.3: The organisation reports on the findings of relevant reviews to staff and volunteers, community and families and children and young people.

5.2.6 This policy should be read in conjunction with the following:

  1. Youth Protection Documentation Records and Privacy policy (refer Section 1, Chapter 2)
  2. Youth Safe Culture policy (refer Section 2, Chapter 1)
  3. Use of Social Media by Youth in Defence and Defence Youth Programs policy (refer Section 6, Chapter 3)
  4. d. Diversity and Inclusion policy (refer Section 6, Chapter 4).
POLICY

Youth Protection Communication Channels

5.2.7 JSSD must ensure accurate and relevant information about its youth protection policies is accessible to all Defence and non-Defence personnel engaging with youth, to youths engaging with Defence and to the broader community through a variety of avenues.

5.2.8 Defence News Publications. JSSD must ensure key messages, stories and/or factsheets on youth protection matters are available to Defence personnel and the broader community. These will be distributed through existing Defence publications and social media platforms, including service newspapers and publications such as Defence Family Matters magazine.

5.2.9 YouthHQ Website. The YouthHQ website is Defence’s repository for all current youth protection policies, directives and instructions. JSSD must ensure YouthHQ content is accessible and current and that YOUTH ConCERN and Feedback submissions are responded to promptly.

5.2.10 Social Media. Social media may be useful to:

  1. raise community awareness of Defence Youth Programs (DYP) and Defence’s commitment to youth protection
  2. engage with and promote feedback from the community on youth protection within Defence.

5.1.12 All youth protection related social media must comply with Section 6, Chapter 3.

5.2.12 Youth Protection Forum. JSSD must host an annual Youth Protection Forum. Relevant stakeholders from each Service/ Group will be invited to participate together with external stakeholders from other organisations with a youth protection focus.

5.2.13 Feedback collected from youth and families through youth protection surveys, YOUTH ConCERN and Feedback submissions should be considered in designing the Forum.

Communication Requirements

5.2.14 JSSD must ensure communication with the broader community reflects the diversity of youth and community members and reflects diversity in society in an inclusive manner. Communication must not contain:

  1. gender, sexual, or cultural stereotyping
  2. negative depictions of people in relation to race, ethnic origin, disability, age, gender or sexual orientation.

5.2.15 JSSD must ensure youth protection communication activities and avenues are reviewed on an annual basis to maintain currency, reflect lessons learned and ensure policy and processes relating to youth are effective in promoting a youth safe environment.

5.2.16 Commanders and managers must ensure findings and lessons learned from youth protection investigations are communicated via appropriate communication mechanisms to reinforce youth safe behaviours and culture within Defence (refer Section 3, Chapter 4).

5.2.17 JSSD must engage with other agencies that have youth protection responsibilities to:

  1. share Defence’s experiences and gain best practice youth protection knowledge and learning relating to youth protection and implementation of the Commonwealth Child Safety Framework and National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
  2. showcase best practice government examples on YouthHQ
  3. actively contribute to a whole of government approach to youth protection.

5.2.18 JSSD must ensure feedback provided by youth and families from targeted youth protection surveys is incorporated into youth protection policies and practices where appropriate in accordance with Section 1 Chapter 2 and Section 4, Chapter 1.

 

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)

Chapter 1: Age of Consent and Special Care Provision

INTRODUCTION

6.1.1 All youth have a right to a safe physical and emotional environment when engaged with Defence. Defence does not tolerate any sexual interaction between adults and youth in Defence contexts.

BACKGROUND

6.1.2 All Defence adults must maintain the highest ethical standards when interacting with youth. All interactions and relationships between adults and youth should be based on mutual respect, trust and an understanding of the boundaries for appropriate relationships.

6.1.3 Equality needs to exist for consent to be given freely. Defence acknowledges there is a power imbalance in a relationship between a youth and an adult in the Defence context. Within Defence no sexual relationship with a person under 18 years old is permitted, even if the youth consents and is above the legal age of consent for the relevant state or territory. Units may raise additional policies to deal with matters specific to their context.

6.1.4 Australian Defence Force (ADF) members under 18 are also subject to conditions of service and employment policies, including the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 (DFDA) and Administrative Sanctions.

6.1.5 For the purposes of this policy, participants over the age of 18 (for example 18 year old cadets participating in the ADF Cadets) are subject to the same policy as youth in so far as Defence has a special duty of care towards them. Relationships between these participants and other adults in Defence are not appropriate. As a result adults are prohibited from sexual relationships with participants over 18 described within this provision.

POLICY INTENT

6.1.6 The intent of this policy is to ensure adults understand their responsibilities to provide special care provisions to protect youth engaging with Defence and participating in Defence Youth Programs and to ensure youth are aware of their rights.

POLICY PRINCIPLES

6.1.7 Principle 1. Commanders, managers, supervisors and the adult peers of youth engaging with Defence understand their responsibilities to provide youth special care provisions within Defence.

6.1.8 Principle 2. In the event that a sexual interaction between a youth and an adult becomes known, the youth must not be attributed any blame.

POLICY PRACTICES AND MEASURES

Principle 1

6.1.9 The legal age of consent varies across Australian state and territory jurisdictions. A young person may express their willingness to engage in sexual behaviours but are not considered to have the psychological capacity to give consent according to the law. All sexual interactions between an adult and a person under the age of consent are regarded as a criminal offence.

6.1.10 In addition to the age of consent laws for the applicable state or territory, Defence requires all adults in the Defence context to have special care for youth, known as the special care provision.

6.1.11 The special care provision prohibits any person in a supervisory role from engaging sexually with a person who is considered a youth, irrespective of the legal age of consent.

6.1.12 Defence considers any person in a supervisory role as having special care for youth and, as such, sexual activities are prohibited.

6.1.13 The special care provision is included in the Youth Safe Code of Conduct (Adult) (refer Section 2, Chapter 2).

Principle 2

6.1.14 Defence considers any form of intimate relationship with a youth in the Defence context to be abuse. Grooming is considered abuse (and a criminal offence) in any context. As a result, in the Defence context, the adult participant in any form of intimate relationship carries the blame entirely.

6.1.15 Individuals in Defence responding to and managing allegations of a sexual relationship or child abuse between an adult and a youth are to ensure the youth is made aware they are entirely without blame.

REPORTING

6.1.16 To ensure appropriate management in the Defence context, any pre-existing personal relationships, such as a family relationship, close friendship, sexual relationship (where a youth is over the age of consent for the state or territory but is not in a Defence context) must be declared to the relevant supervisor.

6.1.17 Reporting physical and sexual abuse, including inappropriate relationships to the relevant authority is a moral and, in some cases, legal responsibility. Mandatory reporting refers to the legal requirement of certain groups of people to report a reasonable belief of child physical or sexual abuse to child protection authorities. Each state and territory has their own definitions of a mandatory reporter. The groups of people/occupations mandated to notify cases of suspected child abuse and neglect are defined by each jurisdiction. Occupations most commonly cited as mandated reporters are those individual who have frequent contact with children in the course of their work.

6.1.18 Reporting child abuse and neglect is a Defence-wide responsibility. An adult who suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is at risk of being abused and/or neglected, should report their suspicion to the appropriate reporting authority in their state or territory.

6.1.19 All reporting must be managed in accordance with the Youth Protection Complaint and Event/Incident Management policy (refer Section 3, Chapter 3).

 

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)

Chapter 2: Alcohol, Tobacco and Prohibited Substances

INTRODUCTION

6.2.1 Alcohol, tobacco and prohibited substances can be addictive in nature and can cause adverse effects on health. The potential adverse health effects may be more pronounced on youth and can also impact on behaviour and the ability to make rational and safe decisions. Commanders, managers and supervisors should give additional consideration to the use of alcohol, tobacco and prohibited substances by adults representing Defence through engagement with youth. As youth fall into a class of person described as vulnerable, a higher standard of care of youth is required by the Commonwealth, including relationships with alcohol, tobacco and prohibited substances.

6.2.2 Youth face specific risks in relation to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Rates of risky behaviours are generally higher among young people than the broader population.

POLICY INTENT

6.2.3 The intent of this policy is to ensure all adults engaging with youth in Defence contexts, and youths themselves understand their responsibilities and obligations concerning the use and management of alcohol, tobacco and prohibited substances.

POLICY PRINCIPLES

6.2.4 Principle 1 - When engaging with Defence, youth know and understand their obligations concerning alcohol, tobacco and other prohibited substances.

6.2.5 Principle 2 - Commanders, managers, supervisors and the adult peers of youth engaging with Defence must understand their responsibilities concerning the use and management of alcohol, tobacco and other prohibited substances when interacting with youth.

POLICY PRACTICES AND MEASURES

Principle 1

6.2.6 Youth must comply with all relevant state or territory legislation. The possession, supply, sale or use of alcohol, tobacco or prohibited substances by people under 18 is a criminal offence and will result in a report being made to the relevant state or territory police.

6.2.7 Youth are prohibited from actively participating in fundraising activities where alcohol and/or tobacco constitute the prize.

6.2.8 Circumstances involving any youth impaired by alcohol or other prohibited substances may be breaking the law and be in breach of the relevant code of conduct and must be appropriately reported (refer Section 3 Chapter 3).

Principle 2

6.2.9 ADF personnel, APS staff, contractors and volunteers must not assist youth with the purchase of, or access to alcohol, tobacco, prohibited substances or other adult classified products.

6.2.10 The consumption of alcohol by adults who are managing or supervising youth during the conduct of Defence youth programs is prohibited.

6.2.11 Commanders, managers and supervisors are to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to prevent the purchase and consumption of alcohol, tobacco and prohibited substances by youth when on Defence property or at a Defence sponsored function.

6.2.12 Commanders, managers and supervisors at all levels are expected and required to take reasonable precautions to identify situations or conditions that may contribute to alcohol-related harm in young people. They are also obligated to take appropriate action to prevent, reduce and manage risk of harm wherever and whenever they occur.

6.2.13 Adults are permitted to smoke when participating in youth engagement activities. Discretion should be exercised to ensure this occurs out of the visibility of youth where possible.  Smoking should be managed in accordance with Defence’s Smoke-free Workplace policy.   

REPORTING

6.2.14 Failure to comply with the legal restrictions on alcohol, tobacco and prohibited substances will result in a report being made to the relevant state or territory police and constitutes a breach of Defence’s Youth Safe Code of Conduct. Such behaviour may result in further disciplinary action as determined by the Group or Service.

6.2.15 A Youth Protection Compliant and Event/Incident Management must be reported in accordance with Section 3, Chapter 3 and relevant Service procedures where applicable.

6.2.16 All reporting must be managed in accordance with Defence Privacy Policy and Section 1 Chapter 2.

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)

Chapter 3: The use of social media by youth in defence and defence youth programs

INTRODUCTION

6.3.1 The use of social media has become an integral component of modern communication, education and day to day social interaction. Social media is used extensively by youth who are more comfortable and savvy with the use of social media than previous generations. While the appropriate use of social media can be a positive experience, misuse of social media, such as bullying and grooming can have a serious and lasting adverse effect on the health and reputations of individuals and organisations.

6.3.2 Social media and online environments refer to technological devices and platforms including social network services such as:

  1. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat
  2. blogs, chat rooms, video and telephone conferencing sites
  3. gaming
  4. online health, education and other services
  5. apps, clouds, and sharing sites.

6.3.3 For the purposes of this policy, social media also refers to the practices and social relationships that are formed through these online platforms.

6.3.4 By ensuring the safe use of social media, Defence personnel, non-Defence personnel and youth participating in Defence and Defence Youth Programs can ensure youth are protected from abuse and sexual exploitation.

POLICY INTENT

6.3.5 The intent of this policy is to protect youth from being abused and sexually exploited within Defence and Defence Youth Programs by ensuring adults and youth are equipped and informed with the knowledge and skills to safely use social media.

POLICY PRINCIPLES

6.3.6 Principle 1. Youth within Defence and Defence Youth Programs know and understand their obligations concerning the use of official and personal/private social media.

6.3.7 Principle 2. Youth are aware of the dangers that may be associated with participating in social media.

6.3.8 Principle 3. Defence and Non-Defence adults within Defence and Defence Youth Programs are aware of their obligations towards interacting with youth on social media.

POLICY PRACTICE AND MEASURES

6.3.9 Social media use, especially among young people, poses a particular risk to youth safety. All Defence personnel and non-Defence personnel have a duty to be aware and vigilant and to take appropriate action, including reporting where it is suspected that a young person is at risk of becoming a victim of an offence.

Principle 1

6.3.10 The Defence social media policy contained in Chapter 7 of the Media and Communication Policy identifies three types of social media profile:

  1. Official organisational. Approved profiles operated by Defence personnel for Defence purposes, pertaining to a Group or Service, or related to a Defence activity or organisation.
  2. Official positional. Approved profiles operated by Defence personnel for a Defence purpose, pertaining to a position and independent of the incumbent.
  3. Personal/private. Operated by Defence personnel for non-Defence related positions, organisations and activities, not associated with their service or employment and undertaken outside of formal working hours.

Official use of social media

6.3.11 Youth within Defence and Defence Youth Programs will have very little or no reason to operate an official organisational or official positional profile (refer Media and Communication Policy).

Private/Personal use of Social Media

6.3.12 Youth within Defence and Defence Youth Programs are to abide by the Personal/Private Social Media Profiles policy in Chapter 7 of the Defence Media and Communication Policy.

6.3.13 Using social media to air grievances/complaints is inappropriate as there may be negative or unintended consequences. The inappropriate use of social media is considered unacceptable and will constitute a breach of the relevant Defence organisation’s code of conduct.

Principle 2

6.3.14 Everything posted online is stored, even if deleted from a user’s account. Emails and private messages are stored by the platform’s host providers. Every device that accesses the internet has its own Internet Protocol (IP) address that can be traced back to the user.

6.3.15 Dangers associated with using social media, for example cyberbullying, grooming and access to pornography, may be amplified for youth. All youth in Defence and Defence Youth Programs have an individual responsibility for their safety and to carefully consider the nature of their social activity media.

6.3.16 Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the use of information and communication technologies for deliberate, hostile behaviour directed at an individual with an intention to harm, belittle, harass, insult or molest. Cyberbullying can include:

  1. sending offensive, abusive or insulting texts or emails to another individual
  2. taking or sharing offensive, obscene or indecent imagery of or pertaining to another individual
  3. posting offensive, abusive or insulting messages about another individual excluding the individual from online forums
  4. assuming the identity of another individual and representing them in a negative manner or a manner that may damage their reputation and relationship with others
  5. posting provocative, offensive, extraneous or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room or blog.

6.3.17 The Criminal Code Act 1995, provides for an offence of ‘using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence’ and ‘using a carriage service to make a threat’. For the purposes of this section “carriage service” has the same meaning as in the Telecommunications Act 1997.

6.3.18 Grooming and Pornography. Grooming is the use of manipulative and controlling techniques on a vulnerable individual in a range of interpersonal and social settings, in order to establish trust or normalise sexually harmful behaviour with the overall aim of facilitating exploitation and reducing the likelihood of exposure of the exploitation.

6.3.19 Grooming is an offence regardless of whether it is conducted in the physical or online environment.

6.3.20 Taking, sharing or posting sexualised photographs or videos of yourself or other people under the age of consent is a crime under child pornography laws.

6.3.21 Grooming or taking, sharing or posting sexualised photographs or videos of youth who are over the age of 18 but subject to special care provisions due to their participation in a Defence Youth Program is an offence subject to disciplinary and/or administrative action.

6.3.22 Informed consent of youth and their parent/guardian must be obtained before taking images of youth, and only imagery that depicts youth in an appropriate manner should be created.

Principle 3

6.3.23 All adult Defence personnel and non-Defence personnel in Defence and Defence Youth Programs have both an individual and collective responsibility for youth protection. These responsibilities include being a positive role model and minimising the risk of harm to others using social media.

6.3.24 Adults in youth-related work positions are to keep social media contact with youth to official business only and limit on-line contact to groups and general announcements.

6.3.25 Adults have a duty of care in managing appropriate boundaries. Where a Defence Youth Program requires contact with a young person, written approval should first be sought from the parent/guardian. Written approval can range from ad hoc approval for a specific case to a general permission provided annually (or for a shorter period).

6.3.26 Defence and non-Defence personnel must not use social media to initiate contact with youth. This includes outside work, or voluntary roles such as babysitting, sports coaching, house-sitting, or tutoring.

Reporting

6.3.27 Defence personnel and non-Defence personnel, who become aware, or suspect abuse or neglect involving a young person has occurred or is occurring has a duty to report it directly to the relevant state or territory Child and Youth Protection Authority or Police, and then to their line management / chain of command in accordance with the Youth Protection Complaint and Event/Incident Management policy (refer Section 3, Chapter 3).

6.3.28 Contact details for state and territory child protection authorities relating to making a report can be found on the YOUTHHQ website.

Record Keeping

6.3.29 The official use of social media creates official records. There is a legal requirement to implement appropriate records management practices and privacy protection, as for any other Commonwealth record.

6.3.30 For guidance on records management in Defence, refer to:

  1. Defence Records Management Policy Manual (RECMAN)
  2. Defence Youth Protection Documentation, Records and Privacy (Section 1 Chapter 2).
Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)

Chapter 4: Diversity and Inclusion

INTRODUCTION

6.4.1 Diversity in Defence means accepting and embracing everyone for their unique differences in backgrounds and personal experiences. These differing personal circumstances can be the product of characteristics such as cultural background and ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, language or education. Regardless of an individual’s characteristics, everyone deserves to be recognised for their unique merits and treated with respect.

6.4.2 Defence recognises and understands that inclusiveness does not mean treating everyone exactly the same way. An inclusive culture means fostering an environment where individual differences are valued and utilised.

6.4.3 Defence diversity and inclusion priorities reflect those groups in Defence requiring priority attention, including:

  1. women
  2. Indigenous Australians
  3. people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  4. people with disability
  5. people with religious beliefs
  6. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons
  7. mature age and an intergenerational workforce
  8. youth
BACKGROUND

6.4.4 Some personal characteristics are protected by law through state and territory legislation. Valuing diversity embraces a broader approach, where differences are recognised and valued in a positive and proactive way.

6.4.5 Successful engagement with youth is important to maintaining Defence’s reputation within the diverse community it serves.

6.4.6 Existing policies are applicable across this spectrum of engagement; noting youth often require special consideration.

6.4.7 For the purposes of this policy, youth participants over the age of 18 (for example 18 year old cadets participating in the Australian Defence Force Cadets) are subject to the policy as youth.

POLICY INTENT

6.4.8 The intent of this policy is that all adults and youth engaging with Defence are aware of and understand their obligations to ensure Defence is a diverse and inclusive organisation.

POLICY PRINCIPLES

6.4.9 Principle 1. The safe and productive engagement and participation of youth in Defence is key to ensuring Defence is a diverse and inclusive organisation.

POLICY PRACTICES AND MEASURES

6.4.10 Defence is committed to providing an inclusive environment which encourages the participation of youth and contributes to the development of productive and confident young Australians.

  1. Defence should promote diversity and inclusion when conducting activities and programs for youth
  2. Defence should ensure youth are supported and respected by Defence personnel and peers regardless of diversity differences.

6.4.11 To maximise the contribution of youth, it is essential that Defence captures and leverages the skills that diverse youth can bring to the organisation. Defence must consider the management of youth employment and build relationships in an intergenerational Defence environment through the range of Defence youth contexts.

 

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)

Chapter 5: Records Management Policy

BACKGROUND

Defence Records Management Policy Manual (RECMAN)

6.5.1 The Defence Records Management Policy Manual (RECMAN) was first published in 2014 and outlines the requirements that Defence must comply with to fulfil its lawful obligations under the Archives Act 1983. The content is consistent with the guidance provided by the National Archives of Australia and incorporates relevant Australian and international standards for records and document management to ensure alignment with recognised best practices.

6.5.2 RECMAN applies to all records created as part of Defence decision-making or business activities. It establishes a clear, decisive and current records management policy for Defence personnel, and supports the transition of records to a digital environment in accordance with the Government’s Digital Transition Policy.[1]

6.5.3 Compliance. All Defence personnel (ADF, APS and contracted personnel) must comply with RECMAN. External service providers must comply with RECMAN where compliance is a condition of their engagement. Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Cadets, including Australian Navy Cadets, Australian Army Cadets and Australian Air Force Cadets, must comply with RECMAN.[2] Failure to comply may result in the member being subject to criminal penalties as outlined under the Archives Act 1983.

Royal Commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse

6.5.4 The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse was established in 2013 and delivered its final report in December 2017. Volume 8 of the report (Recordkeeping and information sharing) examines records and recordkeeping by institutions that care for, or provide services to children.

6.5.5 Specific to Recommendation 8.4 of the report, the Royal Commission recommended that all institutions that engage in child‑related work should implement the following five high-level principles for records and recordkeeping, to a level that responds to the risk of child sexual abuse occurring within the institution:

  1. creating and keeping full and accurate records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, is in the best interests of children and should be an integral part of institutional leadership, governance and culture
  2. full and accurate records should be created about all incidents, responses and decisions affecting child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse
  3. records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, should be maintained appropriately
  4. records relevant to child safety and wellbeing, including child sexual abuse, should only be disposed of in accordance with law or policy
  5. individuals’ existing rights to access, amend or annotate records about themselves should be recognised to the fullest extent.

6.5.6 A key observation from the Royal Commission outlined the need for institutions to dedicate time and resources to creating good records, and managing those records.

POLICY INTENT

6.5.7 The records management policy (refer Section 1 Chapter 2) is intended to meet Defence’s obligations to the RECMAN and the Royal Commission report for youth protection, as well as fostering and maintaining best practice records management standards.

6.5.8 The policy outlines the requirements to ensure complete and accurate records of all Defence Youth Program activities and decisions are created, managed, retained or disposed of appropriately, and in accordance with relevant legislation.

6.5.9 Effective records management supports Defence in maintaining authoritative information that has integrity and is accessible, auditable, accurate, reliable, complete, and of a high quality.

6.5.10 YOUTHPOLMAN Part Two contains all ADF Cadets common tri‑Service policy. The policies provide leading practice, evidence-based direction on the day to day management of the ADF Cadets enterprise, including unique records management policies where necessary.

POLICY PRINCIPLES

6.5.11 All Defence Youth Programs must be able to demonstrate that due process has been followed in their actions and decision making, including through the existence and maintenance of good record keeping systems.

6.5.12 All Groups and Services responsible for the management of Defence Youth Programs including ADF Cadets must ensure that appropriate arrangements and adequate resourcing are in place to enable implementation of the policies outlined in Section 1 Chapter 2.

POLICY PRACTICES AND MEASURES

Responsibilities

6.5.13 All Defence records are owned by the Department of Defence. The Secretary and the Chief of Defence Force are ultimately accountable for all Defence records although everyone has a responsibility towards Defence records.

6.5.14 Group Heads and Service Chiefs are responsible for ensuring that their respective Group or Service complies with the policy contained in RECMAN and must ensure that procedural guidance and adequate resources are available to support its implementation.

6.5.15 All Defence personnel, contractors, consultants and outsourced service providers, are accountable for their actions and are required to create and retain evidence of their actions and decisions made on behalf of Defence. Such evidence must be managed as records and captured in a Defence compliant Information Management system such as Objective.[3] Contractors, consultants and outsourced service providers are responsible for records management tasks where this has been documented in the conditions of their engagement.

6.5.16 RECMAN Chapter 4 provides detailed policy on how to identify, describe and manage records throughout their life, including creation, capture, storage, digitisation, accessibility and disposal.

Accountable Officer: Chief of Joint Capabilities (CJC)
Policy Owner:

Head Joint Support Services Division (HJSSD)


[1] In 2011, the Australian Government released the Commonwealth Digital Transition Policy which requires agencies to move to digital information and records management, and away from paper-based records management. This means that the majority of Defence’s records must be created, stored and managed digitally, and where practicable, paper records should also be digitised.

[2] RECMAN Chapter 3 Paragraph 3.3.

[3] Compliant Defence Record Management systems include Objective, PMKeyS, the Defence Policing and Security Management System, Sentinel and CadetNet.

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