Child Safety and Wellbeing

Dilworth views its obligation to safeguard and protect tamariki/children and rangatahi/youth from harm as an ongoing process of improvement and continues to strive to be a better, safer place for tamariki and rangatahi. Safeguarding tamariki is everyone’s responsibility.

Statement of Commitment

Dilworth School provides educational and residential boarding services to approximately 550 tamariki/children and rangatahi/youth aged between 10-18 years during any given year.

Dilworth School is committed to providing a safe, caring and nurturing boarding environment and school climate to ensure the wellbeing and prevent the harm of tamariki, rangatahi, their whānau/family and staff. This is our single greatest priority and responsibility.

The key principles that form the foundation of our practices and policies are collaboration, safety, choice, empowerment, cultural competency and trustworthiness.

We provide opportunities for students to participate in decisions that affect their lives and actively involve tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau in building an open, aware and safe community.

Dilworth is open, aware and alert to potential risks to tamariki/rangatahi and takes immediate action when issues are identified. There is zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. We expect all stakeholders to report any allegations, disclosures or concerns for the safety and wellbeing of tamariki/rangatahi. All staff across all levels and irrelevant of working hours (e.g. volunteers,casual, part or full-time and contractors) are required to adhere to and abide by the Student Safety Code of Conduct.

We seek, value and respect diverse representation, views and experiences in tamariki/rangatahi and encourage individuality and choice.

Tamariki/Rangatahi are empowered and encouraged to speak up and speak out against abuse, knowing that the adults are listening, will act and that the tamariki/rangatahi will not be penalized in any way for doing so.

All services provided by Dilworth for the safety and wellbeing of tamariki/rangatahi adhere to the principles of partnership, protection and participation; and the rights and responsibilities accorded by Te Tiriti o Waitangi. A safe school environment ensures that tamariki/rangatahi and staff are culturally safe.

We are committed to regular and ongoing education and training on child safety and wellbeing for the Trust Board, staff and volunteers.

Child Safety Framework

Dilworth has adopted the Australian Principles for Child Safe Organisations developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission out of the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 

The Principals underpin the policies, procedures, practices and culture within the School to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of all tamariki/rangatahi is at the forefront of everything the School does and every decision they make.

Click on the link to access the School’s Student Protection Policy.

Child Wise Accreditation

Dilworth is currently in the process of attaining a Child Wise Accreditation.

In 2018, the Dilworth School Trust Board commissioned an independent review by leading psychologists and Child Wise of the school’s child safety and protection policies, education systems and wellbeing programmes. 

The review resulted in recommendations, which Dilworth School has introduced to enhance the safety and wellbeing of our students. These include:  

  • Working closely with Safeguarding experts and Child Wise Australia to embed a child safety and protection framework into all school policies and procedures, focusing extensively on child safety. This included embedding the Child Safeguarding Policy and the Safeguarding Code of Conduct for all staff. All Safeguarding policies have been shared freely with other schools.
  • Maintaining regular communication with students about what they can do if they feel unsafe and the support systems available to them.  
  • Implementing accessible pathways for students and families/whānau to give feedback, raise concerns and make complaints to Dilworth, including establishing an anonymous reporting tool. 
  • Ensuring Dilworth captures the student voice about what makes students feel safe at school. 
  • Supporting ongoing and sustainable education and training for Trustees, Trust Board staff, school staff, volunteers and students about the importance of safety and wellbeing for everyone at Dilworth School.   
  • Creating a dedicated committee to oversee the implementation of safeguarding policies and procedures. 
  • Making safety improvements to our buildings, including mandatory standards for sightlines, to ensure all movements around the Dilworth campuses are monitored.  
  • Developing a culture where students are encouraged to speak up and speak out about any issues, knowing that adults will listen and act. 
  • Being one of the first schools in the country to appoint a full-time Safeguarding Officer, who supports students and staff across all three Dilworth campuses. The Safeguarding Officer works closely with the Strategic Leadership Team to ensure systems, processes and practices have a robust safeguarding and protection focus. 
  • Employing a full-time registered psychologist to support all Dilworth students and families/whānau. With an increased need for mental health support in Aotearoa, having our own psychologist onsite means there is no wait time for Dilworth students who need to access the services of a qualified psychologist. 

Complaints and Concerns

Dilworth is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of all children and people at the School and have zero tolerance of child abuse. All allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and with consistency. We will always give priority to any complaints involving the safety, welfare and well-being of ākonga (students).

For more information, refer to the School’s Complaints Policy and procedures.

Healing Historical Harm

While redress cannot undo the harm done to Old Boy survivors, the Board is committed to supporting them through an independent Redress Programme.

The Dilworth Redress Programme is available to any Dilworth Old Boy survivor of sexual or serious physical abuse committed by a Dilworth representative or, in some cases, for survivors of sexual abuse committed by another student while at Dilworth. Families of Old Boy survivors who have died can also make an application for redress.

The Programme is designed to support Old Boy survivors through various forms of redress including financial awards, access to counselling and therapy, an apology, and other forms of personalised redress.

You can read Dilworth policies and procedures here including those related to child safety and wellbeing.