Keeping children safe in out of school hours care: Perceptions of staff and managers of one provider in Sydney, Australia

Fay Hadley, Manjula Waniganayake, Zinnia Mevawalla, Catherine Jones, Suzanne Blythin, Diana Beauchamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explored perceptions of child abuse and child protection matters involving staff working in the Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) sector. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through an online survey, focus groups and interviews with staff and managers employed by one organisation that provided OSHC services in Sydney, Australia. This paper reports on their perceptions about implementing mandatory reporting requirements associated with the concepts of ‘significant harm’ and ‘reportable conduct’. The aim of this paper is to engage OSHC stakeholders, including Government, in reviewing child protection policies and practices to support educators in their work with children. Key findings indicate the inadequacy of available training, and the importance of relationships and communication between stakeholders, especially OSHC and school staff. This requires systemic change including raising the status of OSHC and the critical role these educators have in supporting children’s development, learning and wellbeing during the early years of school.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalChild Abuse Review
Early online dateJun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • child abuse
  • child safety
  • mandatory reporting
  • outside school hours care
  • schools

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