Child Protection

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

The Catholic Schools Office promotes an absolute commitment to the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children, particularly those attending the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Diocesan schools comply with a range of state legislation designed to protect children, including:

  • The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
  • The Ombudsman Act 1974 (Part 3A)
  • The Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012

The Office of Safeguarding is the Diocesan Child Protection Unit, which oversees child protection practices in all Catholic schools in the Diocese and provides a range of preventative services and responds to allegations of abuse.

St Pius X Safeguarding Policy

St Pius x Safeguarding Procedures


Prevention in Diocesan Schools

Any person who is the preferred candidate for employment in CSO schools is required to undertake a pre-employment screening process known as the Working with Children Background Check.

Any volunteer who is engaging in an activity with children in school, during which the volunteer may be unsupervised at any time, is required to make a statutory declaration known as the Student/Volunteer Declaration.

For further information relating to Child Protection, you can contact the Office of Safeguarding on 02 4979 1390.

All students have the right to be safe at school.  If a student has received or observed inappropriate behaviour displayed toward them or others, they may report this to their Wellbeing and Engagement leader, Assistant Principal, Head of Campus or Principal.

All complaints are treated very seriously and will be evaluated and investigated. Complaints may be made verbally or in writing.

Disallowance of Corporal Punishment

St Pius X does not use or support the use of corporal punishment.

Rights of the Child

As with all peoples, children have human rights across the full spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

Because children are recognised as having particular inherent needs and dependencies, they also have particular rights.

Both the Commonwealth of Australia and the Vatican (Holy See) ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1990, this is the central international instrument that underpins both Australia’s and the Church’s approach to safeguarding children.

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s child friendly summary of children’s rights state that children have the right to:

  • be treated fairly no matter what
  • have a say about decisions affecting them
  • live and grow up healthy
  • have people do what is best for them
  • know who they are and where they come from
  • believe what they want
  • privacy
  • find out information and express themselves
  • be safe
  • be cared for and have a home
  • education, play and cultural activities
  • help and protection if they need it.
The Office of Safeguarding

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and vulnerable persons — particularly those who participate in the life of the Diocese as part of our faith communities in parishes, in our diocesan systemic schools, early education centres and out-of-school hours care service, as part of our welfare and community services through CatholicCare and other diocesan ministries.

The office of Director of Safeguarding has been established by decree, issued by the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle.

The Office of Safeguarding is an integral part of the Diocese, reporting directly to the Bishop’s Office. The Office of Safeguarding is placed outside the Diocese’s services, programmes and parishes, overseeing their safeguarding standards in operation.

The Office of Safeguarding works with NSW Police, the Office of the Children’s Guardian, the Department of Community and Justice and other statutory authorities and specialist authorities within the Catholic Church in Australia to fulfil its responsibilities and maximise the safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons.

The Office of Safeguarding supports the Diocese to promote and uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as institution of the Catholic Church in Australia.

Further information can be found here:

Reporting Abuse

Information required to report abuse

The simplest amount of information required to make a report is:

Who did what to whom, when and where?

However, if you do not possess all the following information, you should still report your concerns.


Where to report abuse and find support


If a child is seriously injured or in need of urgent medical help, the child or you are being threatened, or you just witnessed a serious accident or crime ­— stay calm and ring 000.

Criminal Offence:

If you believe a criminal offence has been committed against a child that does not warrant a 000 call, you should contact the local Police station. You can locate the local Police station online:

You may contact the Police Assistance Line:

P: 131 444 (available 24 hours, 7 days a week)

The Office of Safeguarding will report all allegations of child abuse offences to NSW Police.


Child Protection (Risk of Significant Harm):

If you suspect on reasonable grounds that a child is at risk of significant harm, contact the FaCS Helpline:

P: 132 111  (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

If you are unsure whether the concerns you have constitutes risk of significant harm, assess the risks using the Mandatory Reporter Guide:


Welfare and wellbeing

If concerns for a child or family do not constitute a risk of significant harm, there are a number of possible support services that may be of assistance to the child and their family, including:

The Family Referral Service (FRS), which brings together families, support services and community resources so that our children are safe and well. FRS works with all services to find the best supports for families and their children, and to improve its community resources:


The Human Services Network (HSNet) is a free website available to anyone looking for a service in NSW. The site is mobile-ready and works on any internet-enabled device including tablets and smartphones, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:


Reporting alleged abuse to the Office of Safeguarding

If you believe a child has been the subject of abusive or neglectful conduct by one or more adults or the child’s peers, you can report it to the Police or Office of Safeguarding:

P: 02 4979 1390 available during office hours Monday to Friday


St Pius X


At St Pius X High School, Adamstown, we believe that all students have the right to a safe environment which is free from any form of abuse or harm. We believe that relationships between adults and students are governed by trust and Gospel values. Our “hands-off” rule helps enforce a safe environment for everyone.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct assists to clarify the parameters of appropriate and inappropriate conduct for Catholic school employees who work in child-related employment. It also assists in providing a safe and supportive school environment for students, employees and the school’s broader community.

The Working With Children Check

On 15 June 2013, The Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 made under The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 came into force. The Regulation applies to any person working in child-related employment, including both paid and volunteer work. After 15 June 2013:

  • If you are starting a new paid job in child-related work, you must apply for a Working with Children Check (WWCC) before you start work.
  • As of 1 January 2017, all secondary school teachers & support staff must have a WWCC.
  • If you are self-employed, you must apply for a WWCC before you start any new child-related jobs. This ruling for self-employed people would apply, for example, to external Music Tutors who are not employed by the school but who use the school facilities to earn money by tutoring students. Such people are classified as category 4 Contractors and must complete both a WWCC Clearance Form and a Safeguarding Commitment Statement before being given permission to work at the school.
  • If you intend to do volunteer work at St Pius, in most cases you will need to apply for a WWCC before you can commence your voluntary work. Please refer to the notes below under the “Requirements for Volunteers” heading.  Note that for volunteers there is no cost for the WWCC.

Information relating to the Working with Children Check can be found here.


Responsibility of Principal

For people starting paid work at St Pius, the Human Resources (HR) Team of the Diocese will verify the Working with Children Check (WWCC).

Volunteers may only start at St Pius once their name appears on the Volunteers List – St Pius X Adamstown.  Such volunteers will have been through the volunteer registration process accessed via the Volunteers page of the Diocesan website.  A link to this page is provided below and under Related Links on the RH side of this current page.

Contractors must meet the requirements set out in the document “Interim Guidelines for Engaging Contractors in Schools” before starting work at St Pius.  A link to this document is provided under the Related Documents heading on the RH side of this current page.

At St Pius, a Support Staff member is delegated by the Principal to oversee the maintenance of accurate records of current contractors and volunteers.

All new staff members, volunteers, contractors (including external tutors/coaches) are inducted into the school in a thorough manner that includes making them aware of our Code of Conduct and Safeguarding standards.  Every staff member undergoes refresher induction at the commencement of each year.

Requirements for Volunteers

Since 1 January 2017 most volunteers have been required to obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) before commencing volunteer work at the school.  For volunteers, a WWCC is free and can be obtained from Service NSW here.

To work as a volunteer at St Pius you must read and complete a Volunteer Registration Form and submit any relevant documents to the school at the Reception desk in the Main Office.  A Volunteer Registration Form can be accessed from the Diocesan website.  Once all documentation has been approved by HR, the volunteer’s name will be recorded in the Volunteers List – St Pius X Adamstown. No volunteer is allowed to work at St Pius unless their name appears on that register.

Thank you for taking the time to become a volunteer at St Pius. We rely on volunteer assistance in many ways – canteen, school events, book hire, sports coaching and so on. We regret that the process to become a volunteer is now more complicated than it used to be. This is a result of legislation designed to keep schools safe for students. Please do not let the added complexity discourage you from volunteering. Keeping our students safe is of paramount importance.

Note to staff using volunteers

Staff who are planning to use volunteers to assist in any aspect of school related activity must ensure that all such volunteers have a valid and current Working With Children Check (WWCC) where required and appear on the Volunteers List – St Pius X Adamstown, available at the Main Office.

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an absolute and abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children. The agency known as Office of Safeguarding provides child protection services for all of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.