Guardian Angels Primary School Edmund Rice Drive Ashmore Qld 4214

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1 Guardian Angels Primary School Edmund Rice Drive Ashmore Qld 4214 Policy Name: Blue Card Related Policies: Student Welfare & Management Qualities of Angels: Caring, Inclusive, Just. Policy: At Guardian Angels we follow the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian guidelines for people working in schools. What is a blue card? Blue cards are issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian once it has carried out the Working with Children Check to see if a person is eligible to work in the areas of child-related work covered by the Commission s Act. If a person is eligible, they are issued a positive notice letter and a blue card. Who needs a blue card? A volunteer needs to hold a blue card if their work at a school includes, or is likely to include: providing services directed mainly towards children; or conducting activities mainly involving children. Examples of people who need a blue card include: Volunteers assisting children in classroom activities Volunteer cleaners or groundskeepers at a school Volunteer tuckshop or canteen staff Certain categories of volunteers are exempt and do not need a blue card if they are: a volunteer parent of a child attending the school; or a teacher or police officer (with an exemption card); a volunteer whose work with children and young people relates to their function as a registered health practitioner a volunteer or guest of a school and are: o observing or supplying information or entertainment to ten or more people; and o the activity is for ten days or less on no more than two occasions per year; and o unlikely to be physically present with a child without another adult being present Examples of people who do not need a blue card Parents volunteering in sporting or recreational activities at their own child s school Parents volunteering with the P & F committee or on a school board at their child s school Guest speakers who attend a school less than twice a year to give talks to students and are supervised by another adult while in the school.

2 Home stays Additionally volunteers need a blue card if they are hosting a student as part of a home stay unless an exemption applies. Examples of home stay volunteers who need a blue card Volunteers billeting children as part of a sporting or cultural exchange Volunteers providing accommodation for international exchange students under the age of 18 Volunteers over the age of 18 who live in a house where child accommodation is being provided Home Stay Exemptions Home stay volunteers are exempt and do not need a blue card if: they are a relative of the child or young person who is being accommodated; the child accommodation service is organised by a school or recognised body and is for ten days or less on no more than two occasions per year; or the person is a child under 18 years of age. Examples of home stay volunteers who do not need a blue card Grandparents, aunts and uncles or other relatives providing accommodation as part of a private arrangement for a child who is a relative. Children living in a house where other children are being billeted or living as part of a home stay arrangement. What is the Working with Children Check? The Working with Children Check, also known as the blue card, is a detailed national criminal history check including: any charge or conviction for an offence, whether or not a conviction is recorded whether a person is a respondent to or subject to an application for a child protection prohibition order or disqualification order, or whether a person is subject to reporting obligations under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act The Commission also considers disciplinary information held by certain professional organisations for: teachers child care service providers foster carers nurses midwives, and certain health practitioners In addition, information from police investigations into allegations of serious child-related sexual offences will be taken into account, even if no charges were laid because the child was unwilling or unable to proceed. A person whose application is approved is issued with a positive notice letter and a blue card. If a person s application is refused, they are issued with a negative notice which prohibits them from carrying on a business or providing child-related activities in the categories regulated by the Commission s Act.

3 Procedures: Guardian Angels warns all potential staff (paid employees, volunteers or students) that it is an offence for a disqualified person to sign a blue card application. A person is disqualified if they: have been convicted of a disqualifying offence (including a child-related sex or pornography offence, or the murder of a child), or are a reportable offender with current reporting obligations under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004, or are subject to a child protection offender prohibition order, or are subject to a disqualification order prohibiting them from applying for or holding a blue card. Guardian Angels ensures that applicants: use only the latest blue card application forms, and warns every person applying for a blue card that it s an offence for a disqualified person to sign the application form. For example, I am legally obliged to warn you that it is an offence for a disqualified person to sign a blue card application form. signs the declaration on the application form stating you have warned the applicant, and check that the applicant has signed the declaration stating they are not a disqualified person before lodging an application on their behalf. Guardian Angels also ensures that: all volunteers have a current blue card before they start regulated employment all volunteers who want to continue working in regulated employment lodge a form to renew their blue card at least 30 days before it expires, so they can keep working with children while the application is being processed (if their card has not been suspended or cancelled) all paid employees have lodged a blue card application before they start regulated employment where a paid employee s blue card application has been withdrawn by the Commission, we do not allow this person to work in regulated employment until a new application has been lodged paid employees and volunteers with a negative notice or suspended blue card do not continue working in regulated employment where an employee or volunteer notifies us of a change in their police information, we immediately lodge a Change in police information form with the Commission. Checking blue cards When a new employee or volunteer starts work at Guardian Angels we: check the card holder s name and signature on their blue card with other signature or photo identification to satisfy ourselves of their identity lodge an Authorisation to confirm a valid blue card form. These steps allow the Commission to validate the blue card produced and notify us of any change to an employee s blue card status considered relevant to their child-related employment. Important things to remember Blue cards issued for applications received from 1 April 2010 will now be valid for 3 years. Blue card issued before this date are valid for 2 years.

4 From 1 July 2010, police officers and registered teachers will no longer apply for a blue card to work with children and young people and should apply to the Commission for an exemption notice when providing regulated services to children which are outside of their professional duties. Exemption cards have no expiry date and there is no need to renew. They remain valid as long as the person remains a police officer or registered teacher, unless cancelled earlier. It is an offence for an employer or volunteer coordinator to continue to engage a person in child-related employment or for a person to carry on a regulated business without a current blue card. People who fail to comply with the Act may be subject to penalties. Risk Management Obligations: Guardian Angels has a risk management strategy in place to keep children and young people safe. We have developed and implement a written child protection risk management strategy and review it each year. The strategy includes a register of all paid and volunteer staff in our organisation who carry out regulated child-related activities. Further Information: Blue Card Contact Centre on or Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian website: Processes changes as at 16 April 2010 Unchanged Current employees who hold a current Paid Employee Blue Card: This process remains the same. If you reappoint a current employee you are still required to sight the current employee s Blue Card for paid employment and provide a photocopy of either their blue card or letter of positive notice from the Commission to Payroll Administration Services. Appointees who do not have a current Paid Employee Blue Card: This process remains the same. If you employ someone who does not hold a current Blue Card for paid employment you will need to ensure that a Paid Employee Blue Card Application Form is lodged with the Commission along with $ /Application+Paid+Employee.pdf Blue Card Fees: It remains an employee s responsibility to pay any fees associated with obtaining a Blue Card. Processes that have been changed Appointees who currently hold a Volunteer Blue Card: If you employ someone who currently holds a Volunteer Blue Card you will now need to ensure that a Volunteer to paid employment transfer application form is lodged with the Commission and along with the Blue Card fee of $70. The Commission will then issue the employee with a new Blue Card for Paid Employment which will be valid for an additional three years. It is important to note that a Volunteer Blue Card can no longer be used for paid employment.

5 16336/Volunteer+to+paid+employment+transfer+form.pdf New appointees who currently hold a Paid Employee Blue Card: If you appoint someone who currently holds a Blue Card for Paid Employment you will need to submit an Authorisation to confirm a valid blue card form with the Commission. This is mandatory for all schools and will ensure that the Commission has current employment details for all blue card holders. In future Brisbane Catholic Education will be notified by the Commission of any relevant change in a Blue Card holder s status. Failure to notify the Commission could result in your school being fined by the Commission /Authorisation+to+Confirm+Blue+Card.pdf New Forms and Contracts New blue card forms (including the Paid employee blue card renewal form )are now available on the intranet in the Employee Resources -Forms section of the old Kweb. Please ensure that the new populated forms are used by all employees when making an application to the Commission /Paid+Employee+renewal.pdf As a result of these changes it has been necessary to make changes to both the E4 and E16. The E4 has been updated and now available on the intranet. The updated E16 will be available shortly and when released will be placed with the other forms on the intranet in the Employment Forms section of the old Kweb. Approved by: The Principal Issuing Group: Guardian Angels Leadership Team Implementation Date: March 2010 Revision Date: 2015 School Contact Officer: The Principal

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