Child safeguarding training effort builds staff knowledge and community awareness
The Department of Health has an ongoing commitment to significantly improve the culture across Health in Tasmania so that children and young people in our care feel safe, supported and empowered.
A key aspect of our commitment to safeguarding children and young people in our hospitals and health settings includes better educating our staff. To ensure we achieve this, mandatory child safeguarding training has been rolled out to all Department of Health staff, volunteers and contractors.
I am pleased to report that this effort has been very successful, with more than 15,500 people having completed the training to date. This equates to more than 97% of current staff statewide, making it the largest known training and education effort across all types of staff ever completed by the Department of Health.
The significant uptake of this training across the Department means we have significantly increased awareness of child safety, and when and how to raise child safeguarding concerns. It also means our hospitals and health services are safer places, with a shared purpose and vast knowledge base among our staff on the safeguarding of children and young people.
Not only is this important for our workplaces and all our staff, volunteers and contractors within them, but it also means that we have significantly contributed to an increased awareness of child safety in Tasmanian communities more broadly.
Completion of the training is a requirement of the role for all staff across the Department – regardless of a person’s position, experience, or length of service. With acknowledgement of the fact that health is a busy and ever-changing environment, we are continuing to work with staff individually to ensure the training is completed as soon as possible. This includes people who are on leave, some who have started the training but not finished it, and some that are on our casual lists and have not worked with us for some time.
We have taken multiple measures to support people, including facilitating access and quiet spaces for them to complete the training, assisting staff for whom English is not their first language or where literacy support may be required. We have also supported staff who may be personally impacted by the subject matter covered in the training, through the Employee Assistance Program.