– Safeguarding Policy
– Whistleblower Policy
– Statement of Inclusion and Justice
– Statement of Gender Inclusivity
The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP) recognizes the importance of privacy and community concerns about the collection, use, disclosure and security of personal information which BASP may collect. This policy details how we generally manage your information and protect your privacy.
We will only collect information that is necessary for us to provide the help or service you request from us. The kind of information we collect and our use of that information will depend upon the purpose for which it was collected but may include information you gave when:
- Seeking our help or assistance
- You made a donation to assist our work
- You attended a BASP event
- Communicating between BASP and yourself
We do not disclose your information to any third party except where required by law. If you would like to access the information we hold about you, or have your name removed from our database, or for further information about the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, please contact us on (03) 9696 2107.
Additional information on the Privacy Principles can be obtained from www.privacy.gov.au
This policy applies to all BASP activities to reflect its values and to comply with legislative requirements,
Personal Information means information or an opinion about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable whether the information is true or not, and whether the information is recorded in a material form or not. It includes all personal information regardless of its source.
Sensitive information means information relating to a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion, trade union or other professional or trade association membership, philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation or practices or criminal record, that is also personal information.
Health Information means any information or opinion about the health or disability of an individual, the individual’s expressed wishes about the future provision of health services, and a health service provided, currently or in the future to an individual that is also personal information.
A ‘record’ includes a ‘document’ or an ‘electronic or other device’.
A ‘document’ is anything on which there is writing, anything from which sounds, images or writings can be reproduced, drawings or photographs.
It is the responsibility of BASP to ensure that the Privacy Rights of all individuals associated with its organisation are upheld.
What kind of personal information does BASP collect and how is it collected?
BASP will generally collect personal information about an individual by way of forms, emails, telephone calls and notes made about people seeking asylum and requesting advice or assistance.
In some circumstances BASP may be provided with personal information about an individual from a third party, for example a referral from another agency.
For people seeking asylum, BASP obtains and records personal information to identify the individual/family, their circumstances, other services involved, and any action taken.
Volunteers’ information is also collected to enable allocation and actions of volunteers in supporting BASP’s activities and to satisfy its legal obligations, for example, in relation to child protection legislation.
How will BASP use the personal information you provide?
For people seeking asylum it is to assist them in ways that have been discussed and agreed and to record these actions.
For volunteers, it will be to ensure suitable allocation of tasks and compliance with legislation.
For job applicants, staff members and contractors, information is collected to comply with employment, insurance, and legal obligations, for example, in relation to child protection legislation.
Who might BASP disclose personal information to and store your information with?
- Other organisations, involved in supporting asylum seeker families and individuals.
- Volunteers being matched to support an individual or family.
- Government departments.
- Deidentified information may be used for eg statistical or research where the purpose of these are line with BASP’s values and mission.
How does BASP treat sensitive information?
Sensitive information will be used and disclosed only for the purpose for which it was provided or a directly related secondary purpose, unless:
- the person agrees otherwise,
- the use or disclosure of the sensitive information is allowed by law.
Management and security of personal information
BASP is required to respect the confidentiality of all members of its community, personal information and the privacy of individuals.
BASP has in place steps to protect the personal information held from misuse, interference and loss, unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure by use of various methods including secure storage of paper records and password access rights to computerised records.
Computers: BASP computer systems and networks are monitored to ensure integrity of the system. Personal information may be collected in this process and will be treated in accordance with the other components of this Privacy Procedure.
Access and correction of personal information
Under the Commonwealth Privacy Act [and the Health Records Act], an individual has the right to obtain access to any personal information which BASP holds about them and to advise BASP of any perceived inaccuracy.
Enquiries and complaints
If an individual would like further information about the way BASP manages the personal information it holds or believes that BASP has breached the Australian Privacy Principles, first contact is with one of the BASP Coordinators. BASP will investigate any complaint and will notify the person of a decision in relation to their complaint as soon as is practicable after it has been made.
If the concern is regarding a coordinator, it is recommended that this be taken up with the other coordinator in the first instance, if possible. If not and if this, or any relevant issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, the matter can be escalated to the Chair of the BASP Board, Julie Francis, via email.
Safeguarding of children, young people and adults at risk
Children, young people and adults at risk have a fundamental right to be respected, nurtured and safeguarded by all.
Consistent with the mission and values of BASP, this document builds on the Kildare Ministries’ policy to ensure that the actions in each of its ministries are safe, respectful, professional and lawfully complaint.
This policy presents all BASP personnel- employees, volunteers, students, contractors and religious -with the standards of behaviour that must be adhered to, in providing a safe environment for children, young people and adults at risk.
Anyone within BASP who becomes aware of a possible breach of this document or legislation by another must report this to one of the BASP coordinators.
Abuse can come in many forms including, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, harassment, discrimination based on age, race, sex or disability.
Failure to comply with the responsibilities and obligations required by legislation or this document may result in disciplinary action being taken, including termination of employment, termination of contractor agreement, notification to external agencies and/or criminal charges.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS
Duty of Care
BASP is committed to safeguarding all those with whom it works by:
- Outlining clear guidelines regarding ethical behaviour in this document as an essential part of keeping all vulnerable persons safe, discussing these in all inductions and making them accessible on the BASP website.
- Implementing and maintaining safe recruitment practices for all paid and volunteer personnel.
- Having a clear job description for all personnel including volunteers.
- Providing support and consultation for all staff and volunteers who work with children, young people and adults at risk.
- Working within the organisation’s risk framework, remaining risk aware, developing risk management plans where indicated and reviewing risk strategies at regular intervals given the vulnerable group with whom we work.
- Outlining clear procedures for identifying and reporting disclosures or suspicions of harm/ abuse.
- Ensuring that all religious, employees and volunteers comply with applicable legislative requirements.
Professionalism, professional relationships, and boundaries
Many of the people with whom BASP works are vulnerable. While a BASP employee or volunteer may be a sole visitor to a household, they should interact with children when the parents are present. Any instance where this differs, must only occur with the consent of the parent or guardian.
BASP personnel are required to act professionally and appropriately when dealing with children, young people and adults at risk with whom they come into contact as part of their engagement.
- using appropriate language and tone toward them and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.
Unacceptable communication includes:
Rude or insulting behaviour, including verbal aggression, abusive, threatening, or derogatory language or intimidation towards others.
Inappropriate communication of a sexual nature includes emails, telephone calls, letters, text messages, social media, and web forums of a sexual nature.
- understanding the boundaries of physical contact eg appropriate, non-intrusive contact may occur by holding a baby while a parent attends to another task, holding hands crossing the street, placing an arm on the shoulder of someone in distress.
Inappropriate contact involves any implied or explicit sexual behaviour, or when a person indicates they are uncomfortable with the contact.
- Refraining from giving of gifts/money. While BASP provides money and goods to the people it works with, giving of gifts can be construed as grooming for the purpose of sexual abuse. BASP advises volunteers to refer to coordinators for help with money. Sharing of a cake, a coffee are often part of a volunteer’s involvement and small exchanges of this nature are appropriate.
BASP personnel must not have an intimate, romantic or sexual relationship with any person who is under their care or supervision regardless of their age. It is irrelevant whether the relationship or consensual, non-consensual, or condoned by guardians.
Instances of bullying or harassment by anyone acting on behalf of BASP are not acceptable and are to be reported.
Harrassment includes any unwelcome behaviour that intimidates, offends, or humiliates an individual, or group of people, based on race, colour, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, or other attribute protected by any state or federal anti-discrimination legislation. Harassment is determined by reference to the nature and consequences of the behaviour, not the intent of the initiator.
This includes but is not limited to telling insulting jokes, offensive communication, verbal abuse, or comments or making derogatory comments or taunts in any form of communication.
Bullying constitutes any repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a person or a group of persons that creates a risk to health and safety. This includes but not limited to behaviour that is victimising, humiliating, intimidating, or threatening. Whether a behaviour is unreasonable can depend on whether a reasonable person might see the behaviour as unreasonable in the circumstances. Such behaviour includes physical or verbal abuse; yelling, screaming or offensive language; unjustified criticism or complaints; intimidation, psychological harassment; deliberately excluding or isolating others from activities and spreading misinformation or malicious rumours.
Anyone who is unsure about the appropriateness of a relationship with any person should discuss this with a BASP coordinator.
Police and Working with Children Checks
Employees and religious must have a satisfactory Police Check and Working with Children Check.
Volunteers and students must have a current working with children check clearance.
Failure to do so may result in their employment or engagement with BASP being terminated.
Notification, investigation, and reporting
All personnel are required to notify, or report matters of concern to a BASP Coordinator. These include issues such as:
- Charges or convictions of an offence relevant to working in child-related employment, or of any reportable allegations.
- Information or concerns about inappropriate behaviour by any BASP personnel that involves a child or person at risk.
- Suspected risk of significant harm to any person
The coordinator will investigate the issue. If it is minor, it may be managed internally and BASP Coordinators have the right to stand down personnel as required. If it comes within the mandatory reporting requirements of the relevant jurisdiction, which is Victoria for BASP, it will be reported accordingly to DFFH guidelines.
If the concern is regarding a coordinator, it is recommended that this be taken up with another coordinator in the first instance, if possible. If not and if this, or any relevant issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, the matter can be escalated to the Chair of the BASP Board, Julie Francis, via email.
Organisations are required to have a Safeguarding Officer whose responsibility is to ensure all incidents are recorded and reported and that practices are reviewed and implemented. At BASP, this is one of the 2 coordinators.
A single serious ‘crossing of boundaries’ by staff member, or persistent less serious breaches of professional conduct in this area, may constitute sexual misconduct and/or a breach of this document. The action taken will be dependent on the legislation and the severity of the breach.
BASP personnel must not take detrimental action against a complainant or person who reports information as required by legislation and this document. Such action is unlawful, am be regarded as serious and may result is disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
- All paid employees whether employed on a permanent, temporary or casual basis
- Religious, volunteers, contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and students on tertiary practicum placements
“Vulnerable” people include:
- People seeking asylum or refugees.
- People who are frail and/or elderly
- A person who has an intellectual disability, mental illness or other impairment that makes it difficult for them to protect themselves from abuse or exploitation.
- A person under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- A person who speaks little or no English.
Further information about any of the matters, outlined in this document, can sought from the BASP coordinators.
Kildare Ministries website
Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Professional Standards Unit
DOWNLOAD THIS POLICY Safeguarding Policy: Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Adults at Risk | Version 1 | Date of Approval: 8/7/2021 | Date for Review: 8/7/2024
DOWNLOAD THIS POLICY Kildare Ministries Whistleblower Policy 2021-2023 | Version 2 | Date of Approval:25/11/2020 | Date for Review: November 2023
Kildare Ministries Trustee Statements
The Trustees of Kildare Ministries periodically publish statements which respond to matters of injustice in Australia. The statements arise from the Kildare Ministries Vision, Mission and Values.
The intention of the statements is to provide clarity on their position and act as supports or guides as needed by the wider Kildare Ministries community.
Statement of Inclusion and Justice
‘Come and you will see’ John 1:39
The principles of freedom and equality are core aspects of the gospels and Catholic social teaching. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association are inalienable human rights.
We believe that all religious bodies, including churches and other groups, should be able to co-exist with respect and acceptance.
Kildare Ministries is a richer organisation because of the multi-cultural and multi-faith nature of its communities. This nature is supported within our Catholic tradition and explicitly by the policies and procedures of Kildare Ministries. Therefore, Kildare Ministries believes that people should not be persecuted or discriminated against because they hold, or do not hold, a religious belief, or engage in or do not engage in religious practises.
We invite and encourage mutual respect and acceptance among people and groups.
We accept the practical challenges and responsibility this brings for all in any Kildare Ministries community.
Statement of Gender Inclusivity
Walking in Solidarity. A Gender Inclusivity Statement from the Trustees of Kildare Ministries.
We welcome and encourage everyone to participate freely and fully in the life of their Kildare Ministries community. Enjoying friendships, learning and growth are key parts of the life of our community.
We firmly believe in and value the goodness, complexity, and inherent dignity of every person. Human diversity is part of the design and wonder of creation.
Kildare Ministries acknowledges that each person’s gender identity and gender expression can be separate, non-binary and fluid. Within a broad spectrum, LGBTQIA+ people use a variety of terms to identify themselves and these terms should be listened for and respected.
Kildare Ministries also acknowledges that sexual orientation covers a broad spectrum and can also be fluid.
Gender identification, gender expression and sexual orientation represent some aspects of each person’s identity. There are also many other intersecting aspects of identity such as race, ethnicity, and religion. We support the right of people to express their whole identity without fear of bullying, judgement, reprisal, or discrimination.
All should be heard and feel included and to this end we commit to fostering safe communities, safe dialogue, and relationships characterised by trust and respect.
We accept the challenge to be understanding and compassionate to all.
© 2021 Kildare Ministries