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Child protection policies and guidelines

The department's policy on child protection is outlined in the child protection in schools, early childhood education and care policy (PDF 181KB).

The department has also established an agreement with the non-government schooling sectors to jointly develop child protection related policies.

Protective practices for education and care staff

The protective practices for staff in their interactions with children and young people guidelines (PDF 667KB) outline the responsibilities and duty of care of education and care staff when interacting with children or young people. The guidelines provide clear advice to adults for establishing positive, caring and respectful relationships with children and young people in education and care settings.

The guidelines aim to help staff working in education and care environments to understand: 

  • their duty of care 
  • appropriate boundaries in relation to their professional role 
  • their responsibilities in safeguarding the emotional and physical wellbeing of children and young people. 

The guidelines include further information about:

  • professional boundaries and examples of violations
  • grooming behaviour
  • appropriate physical contact
  • duty of care
  • staff obligations to report inappropriate behaviour
  • using social networking sites
  • managing privacy expectations
  • working with children and young people with disabilities.

A protective practices brochure has been developed to ensure that parents and carers are aware of the guidelines. 

2017 updates

Sites should review the Protective Practices Guidelines each year with their staff.

The new sections of the guidelines are:

  • digital/electronic (page 9)
  • grooming behaviour (page 10)
  • legal action (page 18).


  • national standards for teacher registering bodies
  • sex discrimination act and amendment
  • other cross sector guidelines


  • the taking / recording/distribution of images/video (page 9)
  • the obligation of staff to speak with their site leader regarding any inappropriate behaviour


  • language (‘must’ instead of ‘should’)

Responding to problem sexual behaviour

The responding to problem sexual behaviour in children and young people guidelines (PDF 2.5MB) outline further details about age appropriate sexual behaviour, and can help staff to respond effectively to these incidents.

The guidelines are specifically designed for use by staff working with children and young people in:

  • family day care
  • centre-based child care
  • out of school hours care
  • preschools
  • schools including junior primary, primary, secondary, senior secondary and adult re-entry settings.

Support resources for staff

When responding to problematic sexual behaviour, staff should use the following templates, guidelines and support services.

Information sharing guidelines

Staff who need to share information between agencies should be familiar with the information sharing guidelines.

Managing allegations of sexual misconduct

Managing allegations of sexual misconduct in SA education and care settings (PDF 490KB) provides site leaders with practical guidelines about handling sexual misconduct allegations appropriately and effectively.

The guidelines include:

  • the legislative framework surrounding mandatory notification and disclosure of identity
  • managing allegations
  • the importance of note taking
  • immediate action to take
  • further action to take
  • checklists and sample letters for parents.

Staff can also refer to the managing allegations introduction presentation (PDF 522KB) for more details.

Suicide postvention guideline

The suicide postvention guideline (PDF 725KB) is designed to assist schools in responding to a traumatic incident, such as a suicide death or attempted or suspected suicide within their student community, a process known as postvention.

It aims to support communities in grief and to guide schools in recognising and responding to the risk of suicide contagion.

Sections A to E of the guideline must be read in sequence and in their entirety. It is not a document that can be used partially. Sample letters and handouts for use with parents, staff and students are provided below as well as in sections F and G of the guideline:

Department staff can access additional information by logging onto the staff intranet.

The guideline has been developed collaboratively by the Department for Education, Catholic Education South Australia and the Association of Independent Schools South Australia.


Engagement and Wellbeing

Phone: 8226 0870
Email: education.ParentEngagement [at] sa.gov.au