Compulsory Police/Safety Checks for HIPPY Home Education Program is required MOE
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- The HIPPY PROGRAM operates all over NZ by sending a tutor to deliver their program directly to the parent and the child in their own home.
- Parents also attend a group meeting with arrangements made for the children to be cared for.
- Some tutors/staff attend new entrants classrooms.
- Many of these HIPPY programs are based in local schools.
- The HIPPY program runs up to 60 sessions with the tutor coming into the child's home for around 2 years
HOWEVER, it is not mandatory for this program to police/safety check their staff.
The HIPPY Program receives taxpayer funding from the Ministry of Education (through Great Potentials) to run this Early Childhood Program so should be accountable to have good policies and procedures in place.
Through our local HIPPY (South Kaipara, Auckland) hiring a new tutor who lied about her conviction and was not police checked we have had confirmed that not all tutors in the HIPPY program are police checked before being sent into homes of the children on this program.
We do not think this is safe or acceptable and many other parents seem to feel the same. We can change this.
"The Ministry also advised you that under the Vulnerable Children Act (VCA) the Ministry and those that they contract with are required to have child protection policies. The Ministry contracts with Great Potentials and we have this policy. However, the safety checking requirement under this legislation applies to organisations that receive government money to provide regulated services to children. A regulated service is defined under Schedule 2, (25) to (31). HIPPY does not meet the criteria of a regulated service and thus the tutors and coordinators are not considered to be ‘children’s workers or core workers’ under the VCA. Furthermore, HIPPY is a programme that is delivered to both the parent and the child and as such, the opportunity for HIPPY tutors to be left alone with the child is almost non-existent."
Almost non-existent isn't good enough! How can we be sure the tutors being let into our homes every fortnight are safe?
This is a serious loophole that programs like this can hide behind when they do not police check and something goes wrong.
It is not made known to parents that tutors might not be police checked and no disclaimers are given warning parents to not leave their children unsupervised with tutors.
- We are appealing to the Ministry of Education to change this and include Mandatory Police/Safety Checks in all of the contracts for the HIPPY programs receiving funding by the MOE.
- We are also appealing to Great Potentials the company who looks after all the HIPPYS in New Zealand to require police checks from all HIPPY PROGRAMS as a mandatory requirement under their contracts.
For the safety of the parents and children on this program police/safety checks for all people being sent into parents homes to deliver these programs in our opinion should be mandatory and enforceable through the MOE via their contract with these organizations regardless of if the VCA (Vulnrable Childrens Act) covers it or not.
Do you think the staff on programs like HIPPY must be police checked before coming into family homes to work with them?
Yes? Then sign and share this petition!
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