Mable believes in the right of all its platform users, especially children, to feel and to be safe while accessing services through the Mable platform. This includes children who are present during support sessions booked via the Mable platform. It is committed to the promotion and protection of the health, safety and wellbeing of all children. It operates on the basis of zero tolerance for all forms of violence towards, exploitation or abuse of, or harm to, children.
Mable Support Providers are required to acknowledge and understand their responsibilities as outlined in the Mable Incidents and Complaints Management Policy and the Mable Codes of Conduct before providing services via the Mable platform. All allegations of child abuse will be treated seriously in accordance with Mable’s policies and procedures.
If a Support Provider, or any person using the Mable platform, believes a child is at immediate risk of abuse or harm, they must contact the appropriate authorities immediately as well as notify the Mable Trust and Safety team. The safety, welfare and best interests of the child must always be paramount.
This Policy applies to all users providing or receiving services via the Mable platform. It must be read in conjunction with other relevant Mable policies, including the Mable Codes of Conduct and Incidents and Complaints Management Policy.
This Policy applies to all services provided through the Mable platform at all times. It covers all interactions with children and young people, including: physical and face to face contact; all written and verbal communications (including the “chat” function of the Mable platform); and contact by email, social media or any other electronic means.
‘Child/children‘ means a child or young person who is under 18 years of age, unless otherwise defined by law.
‘Child abuse or harm‘ means conduct towards, against, with or in the presence of a child, or threatening to engage in such conduct, which includes:
- physical violence;
- conduct of a sexual nature, including a sexual offence against a child and grooming behaviour;
- serious emotional or psychological harm; or
- serious neglect of a child.
‘Child Safety‘ means matters related to protecting all children from child abuse, managing the risk of child abuse, providing support to a child at risk of child abuse, and responding to suspicions, incidents, disclosures or allegations of child abuse.
‘Client‘ means a person accessing and/or receiving services via the Mable Platform.
‘Mable Employee‘ means any person directly employed by Mable Technologies Pty Ltd.
‘Mable Platform’ means the platform used by Support Providers and Clients to connect.
‘Policy‘ means this policy, the Mable Support Provider Child Safety Policy.
‘Support Provider‘ means any person providing services or taking payment through the Mable platform, including in the areas of: allied health care, nursing, social support and domestic assistance, and personal care.
‘WWCC‘ means the following in each State and Territory:
- In Victoria, a Working with Children Check issued pursuant to the Worker Screening Act 2020 (Vic);
- In New South Wales, a Working with Children Check issued pursuant to the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW);
- In the Australian Capital Territory, a Working with Vulnerable People registration issued under the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (ACT);
- In Queensland, a Blue Card issued under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld);
- In Western Australia, a Working with Children Check issued under the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 (WA);
- In Tasmania, a Working with Vulnerable People Card issued under the Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Act 2013 (Tas);
- In the Northern Territory, a Working with Children Clearance (or Ochre Card) issued under the Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT), as amended;
- In South Australia, a Working with Children Check issued under the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 (SA).
4. Purpose of this Policy
This Policy aims to equip Support Providers with information to protect children accessing services via the Mable Platform or present during support sessions booked via the Mable platform. It supports the welfare and protection of children by empowering Support Providers and any other adult present during a support session with the knowledge that they should report any and all suspected child abuse or harm to the appropriate authority. It seeks to do this by providing Mable Support Providers with information so that they:
- Are aware of their responsibilities to prevent and report child abuse or harm, or threat thereof, that they may become aware of;
- Are equipped with the appropriate knowledge and guidance on how to report the risk of abuse or significant harm to the appropriate person or authority; and
- Understand that Mable operates a zero tolerance policy for all forms of abuse of, or harm to children and young people.
5. Risk Management
Support Providers must be aware of the steps they can take to ensure the safety and welfare of children. This involves taking steps to eliminate or reduce the risks of child abuse or harm, and extends to identifying signs of abuse or harm where they may be apparent.
Abuse may be physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse, or neglect. Some signs of possible abuse include:
- Unexplained physical injuries
- Dehydration or lack of food
- Poor hygiene
- Nervous behaviour in the presence of a particular individual
- Reluctance to talk openly and avoidance of face or eye contact
Mable understands the importance of advising Support Providers about maintaining a safe environment for children and young people at all times. To mitigate or prevent the risk of harm or abuse, Mable requires all Support Providers to comply with all Mable policies and meet their legal obligations as set out by law. Support Providers have an obligation to:
- Maintain professional standards and behaviour in accordance with the Mable Support Provider Code of Conduct.
- Never leave children in their care with another person or have another person present when providing care and support, unless with the express permission and understanding of the child’s parent or guardian.
- Not use images or recordings of children in their care for any purposes, unless with the express permission and understanding of their parent or guardian.
- Not post materials containing images or recordings of children to any social media or digital platforms.
Response and Investigation
Where there are reports of known or suspected abuse and harm, the Mable Trust and Safety Team will provide information to and cooperate with authorities in accordance with the Mable’s Incidents & Complaints Management Policy. Any occasion of a child disclosing an incident of abuse or harm, or risk thereof, should be handled in a manner that is timely, professional and sensitive to the needs of the child.
Support Provider Screening
Mable screens all Support Providers that intend to work with children to verify that they have both a valid Working with Children Check and Police Check before they commence work. Support Providers are unable to commence work on the Mable platform with children until both of these checks have been completed.
Mable Trust and Safety Team
Mable is committed to ensuring that children and young people who access services via the Mable platform are safe from the threat of abuse or harm. In order to keep our community safe and to support compliance with any relevant regulation or guidelines, Mable requires notification of any incident taking place during or in relation to the provision of a service via the platform. This can be done in accordance with Mable’s Incidents and Complaints Management Policy.
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
In addition to this Policy, Support Providers may have a requirement to notify the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission if they become aware of certain reportable incidents. If applicable, incidents must be reported in accordance with the timeframes as set out in the following table.
|NDIS Reportable Incidents||Reporting Timeframe|
|Death of a person with disability||24 hours|
|Serious injury of a person with disability||24 hours|
|Abuse or neglect of a person with disability||24 hours|
|Unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability||24 hours|
|Sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person for sexual activity||24 hours|
|The use of a restrictive practice in relation to a person with disability if the use is not in accordance with a required state or territory authorisation and/or not in accordance with a behaviour support plan||Five business days|
Support Providers are required to take all reasonable steps to maintain a safe environment for children at all times. If a Support Provider, or anyone making use of the Mable platform, suspects that a child may be at imminent risk of harm or abuse, they should immediately contact the relevant authorities (refer below to the authorities in each state and territory and the Mable Trust and Safety Team). In cases of immediate danger to a child, they should call 000 or contact the Police.
Support Providers who are mandatory reporters must comply with their applicable state or territory requirements for mandatory reporters. For more information on mandatory reporters in each state and territory please refer to this page from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
If a Support Provider suspects any form of child abuse, they must report it. They should contact the relevant state or territory authority:
- ACT – Office for Children, Youth and family Support 1300 555 729
- NSW – Department of Family and Community Service 132 111
- Northern Territory – Department of Children and Families 1800 700 250
- Queensland – Department of Communities Child Safety and Disability Services 1800 811 810
- South Australia – Department of Education and Child Development 131 478
- Tasmania – Department of Health and Human Services 1300 737 639
- Victoria – Department of Human Services 131 278 (Urgent Concerns)
- Western Australia – Department of Child Protection and Family Support 1800 622 258 or 1800 199 008 for after hours
Matters of privacy will be governed by the best interests and safety of the child.
8. Breaches of this Policy
Support Providers should report any breach or suspected breach of this Policy, or the Support Provider Code of Conduct, to the Mable Trust and Safety Team as soon as possible after becoming aware.
If Mable becomes aware of a known or suspected breach of this Policy, immediate action will be taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of any child who may be at risk as a result of or in relation to the breach.
Any known or suspected breach will be handled by the Mable Trust and Safety Team, in accordance with Mable’s Incidents and Complaints Management Policy. However, Mable may take steps to immediately suspend or terminate a Support Provider from the Mable platform prior to the conclusion of any such inquiry, if considered necessary to ensure the safety of platform users.
Mable will also notify any relevant authorities about reportable incidents or suspicions or allegations of abuse and neglect.
Mable will handle the allegations in a confidential manner to the greatest extent possible.