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Duty of Care

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Annie Davis

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Duty of Care

Duty of Care What do I do when...? Duty of Care Reporting
Abuse Privacy &
Confidentiality Dealing with
Police Sex, alcohol
& cigs Made by courts ... not parliament Duty of Care Take reasonable care to minimise foreseeable harm to others who would be reasonably expected to be affected by what you do or don't do Reasonable care? Foreseeable? BALANCE risk safety resources cost living a normal life freedom privacy confidentiality age experience What if I breach my duty of care? Get advice! Group Activity David is a counsellor working with troubled kids at a government school, many of whom attend a special unit for kids with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Liam, a 15 year old, tells David he wants to burn down his school. David knows Liam has set fires before and David believes Liam could do it again. who does David owe a duty of care?
what are the foreseeable risks?
what action should he take to show
reasonable care?
does David have any other legal obligations? Mandatory reporting ONLY:
* doctors
* nurses
* teachers & principals
* police youth workers
social workers
welfare workers
counsellors NOT YET: has suffered or is likely to suffer child a significant harm as the result of physical or sexual abuse parents have not or are unlikely to protect the child Where do complaints go? when you owe a duty of care and what that duty of care involves
how to protect privacy & confidentiality
how mandatory reporting applies/doesn't apply to you
your legal obligations when dealing with police the do's and don'ts around young people and sex, alcohol & smoking UNDERSTAND ... clients coworkers public parents? staff Negligence: owed a duty
breached the duty
suffered harm
caused by you You or the agency:
who is liable? Parental consent Camps &
excursions Driving clients Breaking up fights Ethical principle legal requirement & name, address, DOB
if a young person is a client
things a young person tells you about themselves
things other people tell you about a young person
things that happen involving a young person at your agency
things you observe about a young person
your judgments/opinions about a young person
physical info like photos of a young person Can be: on file
on paper
on computer
in your head Health Records Act Using photographs Disposing of
information ROLE PLAY It's illegal to buy alcohol
or cigarettes for a
person under 18 TRUE OR FALSE? It's discriminatory to refuse entry to
a young person just because
they are under the influence
of drugs or alcohol You have the right to ask a young person behaving
inappropriately in your private premises to leave

You may have a duty of care TRUE FALSE You can hand out
condoms to under
18 year olds TRUE There's no point referring a young person to a doctor to go on the pill if they don't have parental consent FALSE As long as the doctor believes
they are mature enough to
make this decision If you find out a 13 year old is having consensual sex with a 14 year old you are required by law to report it to police or child protection FALSE not mandated to report
not against the law if less than 2 yrs age difference Once a young person turns 16
it's legal for them to have sex FALSE Depends ... if partner comes under their care, supervision or authority (eg teacher, coach, youth worker)
if partner is more than 24 months younger Otherwise ... TRUE You could be fined
or charged Pairs exercise free young people legal advice information case work advocacy education & workers up to age 25 law reform homeless disadvantaged vulnerable RESOURCES What do I do when? (new edition out now!)
Youthlaw website
Between a rock and a hard place
Victoria Legal Aid website
Law Handbook (03) 9611 2412 www.youthlaw.asn.au see handouts for links Parental
OBLIGATIONS collection necessary? primary purpose related or
reasonably expected secondary purpose? updated complete accurate protected open accessible anonymity option of where possible Sensitive information race ethnicity political beliefs
& associations religion philosophical
beliefs membership union, trade,
profession sexuality criminal record BONUS QUESTION: What if they were age
14 and 17? no obligation to report a crime
even if you are mandated person
is it sexual abuse? You are breaking the law if
a person under 18 sends you
a sext of themselves Depends ... TRUE If you don't delete
it immediately or
transfer photo onto
a computer Privacy Act 1988
PUBLIC & PRIVATE Information Privacy Act 2000
PUBLIC Who is reasonably affected? Special exemptions:
Children Youth & Families Act 2005 CASE STUDIES Read over your case study and as a group discuss:

(1) Does the worker have any legal
obligations in this situation?

(2) If so, what are those obligations?

(3) What would you do in their situation? CASE STUDY #1 Vera is a youth worker based at a youth drop-in centre.
A regular client, Dan, had come into the centre earlier that day but Vera had told him to leave the service because Dan seemed drug affected and he was acting inappropriately.
Dan went outside to stand on the steps leading into the service where other young people often hang around. He started play fighting on the steps with some other boys who were there. Vera sees this but she was busy with other things so she doesn’t intervene.
One of the other boys on the steps reacts over-aggressively and punches Dan. Dan stumbled backwards at a spot where the railing had been taken off by vandals and had never been repaired. Dan ends up falling and hitting his head. (1) Does the worker have any legal
obligations in this situation?

(2) If so, what are those obligations?

(3) What would you do in their situation? CASE STUDY #2 Penny runs an after-school program at a local
youth centre. Kiara, age 16, is one of the young people involved in the program. One afternoon Kiara seemed very upset and Penny asked to speak with her privately after everyone else went home. Kiara disclosed to Penny she was being physically and sexually abused at home. A teacher saw a bruise on her that morning and asked Kiara to go and see the school counsellor with him after school but she didn't end up going because she was scared of what might happen. Can I still report abuse even if
I'm not mandated? YES CASE STUDY #3 A young person, Ruby, tells Nathan, her youth worker, that she has moved out of home because she wants nothing to do with her parents anymore and she’s now sleeping on a friend’s couch. Ruby’s mother calls the youth centre and asks to speak to Nathan because she found Nathan’s phone number written down on a card she found in Ruby’s old room. Ruby’s mother says she’s frantic with worry because she hasn’t spoken to Ruby since Ruby left and Ruby's not answering the phone when she calls. She says she just wants to where Ruby is living so she knows Ruby is safe. (1) Does the worker have any legal
obligations in this situation?

(2) If so, what are those obligations?

(3) What would you do in their situation? (1) Does the worker have any legal
obligations in this situation?

(2) If so, what are those obligations?

(3) What would you do in their situation? Youthlaw Online Ringwood and Knox
Outer East Youth Connections
Upper Yarra Community House
100 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood
Ph: (03) 9847 0763
2-5pm Friday Healesville
Upper Yarra Community House
2463 Warburton Highway
Ph: (03) 5961 3788
2-5pm Friday CASE STUDY #4 A young person, Ruby, tells Nathan, her youth worker, that she has moved out of home because she wants nothing to do with her parents anymore and she’s now sleeping on a friend’s couch. She gives Nathan her new address. The police come into the youth service and they tell Nathan they want to question Ruby about a car theft they suspect she was involved in last Tuesday around lunchtime. Police want to know if Ruby is at the service or how they can find Ruby. They also want to know if Nathan has any information about where Ruby was last Tuesday. Nathan knows Ruby wasn't at school at all last week. (1) Does the worker have any legal
obligations in this situation?

(2) If so, what are those obligations?

(3) What would you do in their situation? Generally, you MUST give police
your NAME and ADDRESS Giving information to police What's a subpoena and what does it
mean if police have one? Allowing police entry NO power to enter private premises without your permission

UNLESS they have a warrant
Warrants Can be:
search warrants
warrants to arrest Search warrants Arrest warrants: Allow police to:
break into

where person named in the warrant is suspected to be and arrest that person don't hinder police in carrying out their duty or you'll be charged
careful you're not aiding and abetting a crime What if police do
the wrong thing? sergeant-on-duty
Ethical Standards
PLAY Other than that ...

NO obligation to provide any other information

EVEN IF it's about a crime UNLESS ... there is a subpoena a court order signed by a Magistrate
can demand certain information be produced for the court
or can demand that a person appear in court What do I do if police
have a subpoena? Read it carefully
Produce the specified documents within the required time TO COURT
Or go to court if you are named OTHERWISE:
contempt of court! Must be:
issued by a court
signed by a Magistrate
police must give sworn evidence to get one Police must:
identify themselves
show you the warrant Check warrant for:
name and description of the premises
purpose of the search
limitations on times they can search
expiry date
any other conditions If police have a search warrant Allow police to:
break into
search a particular place for specific items Police can seize items specified in the warrant any place If police have an arrest warrant Warrant must:
state the name of the person who is to be arrested
state the charge against that person ie DON'T store or dispose of stolen goods
help someone evade arrest
give someone a place to hide from police
accept any kind of benefit for not telling police information When will those other
professions be mandated? When the government says so Collect ONLY with consent Careful about:

for a related purpose
person would reasonably expect it
threat to life/safety
reporting unlawful activity
required by law

serious offence has been committed and need to go into property to arrest someone
needs to stop a 'breach of the peace' eg a fight
breach of IVO or family violence
chasing someone who has escaped prison or custody
reasonable suspicion illegal drugs on property
who is mandated to report and when?
what must/can youth workers do if they suspect a YP under 18 is being abused at home? Thanks to Knox Youth Service Network
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