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Purpose

This incident response plan is a mandatory procedure that ensures:

  • The Achievers Club manages risks to people when there is reasonable suspicion that an incident has taken place, is taking place, or will take place;

  • The Achievers Club manages the risks that come from its response to an incident;

  • The Achievers Club takes opportunities to improve its safeguarding approach.

 

Scope

This plan applies to:

  • All board members, staff and volunteers;

  • All operations carried out by third parties that are funded by Achievers Club WA in part or in full; 

  • All incidents of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Failure to follow this plan may be considered a serious disciplinary matter.

 

Defining an incident

Examples of abuse, neglect or exploitation:

  • Sexual harassment, bullying or abuse;

  • Sexual criminal offences and serious sexual criminal offences;

  • Threats of, or actual violence, verbal, emotional or social abuse;

  • Cultural or identity abuse, such as racial, sexual or gender-based discrimination or hate crime;

  • Coercion and exploitation;

  • Abuse of power.

For the purposes of this plan, an incident begins when there are reasonable grounds to suspect actual, potential, or perceivable cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation may have occurred, may be occurring, or could occur in connection with The Achievers Club or its work.



 

Responding to a suspicion of an incident

The Achievers Club will follow this workflow for all incidents. The Achievers Club will follow a survivor-centric approach in all cases.

At any time during this process, if there is suspicion of imminent harm to a person, contact the police on 000. The Achievers Club may refer the incident to the police or relevant criminal judicial authority at any point.

 

Phase One: Forming a suspicion

If there is ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ an incident this creates a requirement for managers, staff, volunteers and third parties to report that suspicion.

Failure to report instances, allegations, disclosures or concerns about safeguarding will be viewed as a serious matter that may, depending on the circumstances, result in disciplinary action or dismissal.

 

Phase Two: Reporting a suspicion

A suspicion should be reported to a Designated Contact Officer as soon as practicable and within 24 hours. The Designated Contact Officer will notify the board of the incident. 

Should a Designated Contact Officer not be available, is suspected of involvement in the incident or the person reporting the suspicion does not believe it is being dealt with appropriately then the matter should be reported directly to a board member.

Two Board appointed Child Protection Managers will then manage the incident. 

When receiving a report:

  • Use active listening, be calm, supportive and reassuring with any potential victim or witness. Concentrate on making the person providing information feel that they are doing the right thing and that you are there to help them.

  • Explain what you will do with the information.

  • Explain that you are required to pass the information to The Achievers Club and that The Achievers Club will take the matter seriously.

  • Get as much information as possible from the source of the concern, if appropriate in the circumstances.

When receiving a report, do not:

  • Make promises to any person, except to say that The Achievers Club will take the matter seriously.

  • Investigate the matter yourself.

  • Disclose the information to people other than those you are required to tell.

  • Approach the suspect about the incident, challenge the suspect or share information about the incident with the suspect.

  • Make judgements about the validity, credibility or veracity of the information.

 

Phase Three: Managing The Achievers Club’s response to a suspicion

Upon being notified of the incident, the Child Protection Manager will:

  • Ensure that all people, especially any survivor, are safe;

  • Seek further information to help make decisions

  • Initiate a rule amongst everyone involved that information relating to the incident will only be made available to people who need to know.

If there is suspicion of imminent physical harm, including sexual abuse, notify the police immediately. 

The Child Protection Manager will convene an Incident Committee to work with them to resolve the incident. The members of this committee will be selected by a majority at a meeting of the Board convened urgently at the time. Committee members will be selected from members of the Board and it’s Sub Committees.

The purpose of the Committee is to provide accountability and guidance to the Child Protection Manager, as well as knowledge and experience across different areas of the charity to help successfully manage an incident.

All incidents require investigation. The Child Protection manager will consult with the relevant state authorities to determine the best approach.  If it is determined that an Internal investigation is appropriate this will be carried out in an objective manner, using available internal and external resources to ensure the investigation is completed competently and fairly. 

During the course of this plan, survivors will receive support from The Achievers Club. This support must make the survivor feel safe and feel that their needs are being prioritised. Similarly, any person under suspicion will be treated lawfully and with due regard for their own safety, security and needs. 

In both cases this includes providing the person with updates, keeping in mind the need for confidentiality.

 

Phase Four: Taking action following a suspicion

The Incident Committee will consider the outcomes following an investigation. Possible outcomes may include:

  • No further action

  • Disciplinary action

  • Seeking criminal prosecution, civil action or referral to law enforcement.

Following every incident, The Achievers Club WA will document the lessons learned with the aim of improving the way it manages incidents. This will take a holistic approach, framed by the following questions:

  • How will The Achievers Club better deter persons from behaving in this way again?

  • How could The Achievers Club better detect an incident like this again?

  • How could The Achievers Club better manage an incident like this again?

The Incident Committee will be responsible for meeting any obligations to report to an external body. 

 

Phase Five: Concluding the response to a suspicion

To close an incident, the Child Protection manager must be satisfied that:

  • There are records of the incident that show:

    • How the incident arose and how it was handled

    • The details of the original concern and other relevant information;

    • The details of the decisions that were made

    • The evidence collected

    • The details of the actions taken

    • External reporting of the incident (if required).

  • Lessons have been documented and used to improve the way The Achievers Club manages incidents in the future.

Incident Response Plan

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