IHC is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all people we support.
In July 2014, the Government passed the Vulnerable Children Act putting extra responsibilities on those who deliver services to children, like us, to share information, work together and have measures in place to minimise the risk of abuse or neglect for vulnerable children. It also requires us to promptly act on safety concerns.
At IHC, we recognise our collective and individual responsibility for the safety and security of those we support. We believe all vulnerable people in our service, children and adults alike, have the right to a safe environment and to feel protected.
Accordingly, our staff and caregivers are held accountable whatever their role or responsibility. Our culture is based on responsiveness, support, inclusiveness and empowerment and our practices aim to embed these values. We endeavour to positively engage with our stakeholders, and work with other organisations to ensure the wellbeing of those under our care.
Our guiding principles in protecting those we support are that we will:
- Work together so the safety of children and adults in our service is always a primary concern
- Share information appropriately where necessary to safeguard the child or adult
- Take extra care in the selection of support staff by implementing thorough recruiting and screening processes
- Ensure staff are knowledgeable and skilled to recognise concerns around safety and protection of individuals and to take appropriate action
- Act promptly on concerns about a person’s wellbeing and safety
- Ensure the person’s best interests are kept paramount by including them (and family/whanau if appropriate) in all aspects of planning and decision-making
- Take time to ensure that those who cannot communicate easily are given a voice and are heard
All staff who do, or may, work with children must complete safety checks. This means a police check (which must be completed by every single member of IHC staff and its subsidiaries), but we are rolling out a more complex checking system in the months ahead. The new safety check includes a risk assessment, identity verification, and exception reporting rather than just clean slate reporting.