Child safety code of conduct

At Make-A-Wish Australia, we aim to conduct our business according to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, respect and fairness. We require that our employees, employee contractors, volunteers and board members (representatives) conduct themselves according to these high standards to ensure that Make-A-Wish Australia maintains its good reputation.

Appropriate behaviour towards children and young people

It is a requirement that all Make-A-Wish representatives are aware of, and act in accordance with, our expectations of appropriate behaviour specifically towards (and in the company of) children and young people. This is set out in our Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy and Child Safety Reporting Process which representatives must comply with in addition to all other expectations detailed throughout this Code of Conduct.

Make-A-Wish representatives will:

  • ensure that they are never in a position where they are left alone with a child/young person
  • only ever enter the home of a wish child/young person when accompanied by another volunteer (or other appropriate Make-A-Wish representative)
  • respect the cultural safety and needs of Aboriginal children/young people and those with culturally and/or linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • be sensitive to the needs of children/young people with a disability and respect their individual requirements (e.g., methods of communicating with a non-verbal child)
  • protect the privacy of children/young people by only sharing confidential information as absolutely required in accordance with the delivery of Make-A-Wish’s program, and ensuring appropriate consent is obtained before sharing information with outside parties, including any PR and social media
  • only photograph or video a child/young person with the consent of their parent/legal guardian
  • promote a safe and welcoming environment where children/young people are encouraged to explore their ideas, opinions, and creativity without fear of judgement
  • empower children to speak up about their safety and listen to their needs, respecting their rights at all times
  • cooperate with regulatory authorities if they are undertaking an investigation
  • participate in and cooperate with any internal investigation by Make-A-Wish Australia if required
  • comply with all reasonable directions provided by Make-A-Wish Australia
  • ensure they have a valid Working with Children Check at all times
  • adhere to the Make-A-Wish Australia Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy at all times; this includes reporting requirements and contacting the police if a child/young person is at immediate risk of abuse (telephone 000)

Make-A-Wish representatives will not:

  • engage in any sexual activity with a child/young person that they interact with through Make-A-Wish
  • communicate with children/young people (e.g. online, telephone) without knowledge of their parent/legal guardian
  • become ‘friends’ with children/young people on Facebook (or equivalent on other social media platforms) unless they have relationship that is external to Make-A-Wish Australia (e.g., the child is the daughter of their friend)
  • engage in unnecessary physical contact with children/young people or utilise any form of physical discipline
  • exploit the child/young person’s situation for personal or professional gain
  • leave a child on their own during a wish or in another instance where Make-A-Wish has a duty of care over the child
  • provide gifts, special treatment or develop any “special relationship” with a child/young person or their parent/legal guardian that could be seen as favouritism
  • share a bed or tent with a child
  • share a room with a child without anyone else present
  • ignore or disregard any suspected or disclosed child abuse
  • act in a manner that breaches a child’s confidentiality
  • be intoxicated with alcohol or any other drug in the presence of a child/young person
  • act in a manner that puts a child at risk of any form of abuse or violence

Consequences for breach

Disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination of employment or association with Make-A-Wish may be taken for any breach of this Code of Conduct. In cases where the conduct may also involve a breach of law, the relevant government authorities (or the police) may be notified.

Make-A-Wish Australia has full discretion to put in place safety management plans or take disciplinary action where it forms a reasonable belief that doing so is necessary for it to ensure the health and safety of its employees, clients, children in its care or the general public.

Questions or concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about our Child Safeguarding practices, please contact us on 1800 032 260 and ask to speak to a Child Protection Officer. After hours? See more ways to contact us below.