Duty of Care Policy

Duty of Care Policy

1. Purpose of the Policy

Upper Hunter Youth Services Inc. (UHYS) has a ‘Duty of Care’ towards those that come into contact with the organisation. Duty of Care requires UHYS to ensure that all the people we work with are safe and that we abide by relevant legislation.A duty of care exists where someone’s actions could reasonably be expected to affect other people. A duty of care is particularly acknowledged where there is a relationship of power and authority between two people e.g. between a project coordinator and a young service user.

Duty of Care is the legal responsibility to prevent harm and involves identifying risks and taking reasonable care in your response to these risks.

UHYS acknowledges that a breach of Duty of Care occurs when:

  • a person is injured because of the action (or inaction) of another person; and
  • it was reasonably foreseeable that such action (or inaction) would result in a risk of injury to the injured person; and
  • the action (or inaction) causing the injury was unreasonable. This means that a reasonable person in the same position would not have acted in that way; and
  • the risk of injury occurring was not an insignificant risk.


2. Application

This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, Management Committee members and contractors of Upper Hunter Youth Services.

3. Definitions
Term Definition
Reasonable care Reasonable care is the degree of caution and concern an ordinarily prudent and rational person would use in similar circumstances
Negligence failure to take proper care over something which results in damage.


4. Procedure

To ensure UHYS meets its Duty of Care responsibilities the following procedure will be followed:

UHYS Responsibilities

  • UHYS staff will receives adequate training on Duty of Care and other relevant training requirement to meet the demands of staff position during a staff member’s employment.
  • An overview of staff responsibilities around Duty of Care will be included in the Staff Induction process.
  • UHYS will ensure policy and procedures are maintained to reflect UHYS practices and relevant legislation.

Staff, Volunteers, Contractors and Management Committee members Responsibilities

  • All staff, volunteers and contractors involved with service users will at all times provide a standard of care that is reasonable and consistent with the policies and procedures of UHYS.
  • Management Committee and staff are aware of their responsibility to take all steps to avoid negligence.
  • In providing care services, workers, volunteers and contractors will not carry out tasks which require qualification or training that they do not have
  • Staff, volunteers, and contractors will promptly report concerns about the safety of clients (including environmental hazards) to the Manager so that appropriate action can be taken.
  • In managing aggressive or threatening behaviour staff/volunteers will first ensure their own safety and the safety of others. No punitive action (including restraint) will be taken.
  • Staff are to be familiar with current information and legislation relevant to children, young people and families with whom you are working.
  • Staff are to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.
  • Management Committee and staff comply with UHYS policies and procedures.
  • Committee and staff maintain confidentiality and privacy and ensure that all exchanges of information are lawful.
  • Staff ensure interventions and activities are developmentally appropriate.
  • Management Committee and staff provide accurate information and advice within your area of expertise and seek expert advice when no expertise is available.
  • Staff report children at risk of significant harm and concerns about the actions of employees consistent with the relevant legislation and organisation policies and procedures.
  • Staff maintain a safe environment and pay particular attention when providing transport, conducting activities or when under supervision.
  • Management Committee and staff respect the knowledge and contribution of other colleagues and organisations. Work collaboratively with them, to ensure that important information about children/young people is available to those who need it and that reasonable steps are taken to work collaboratively to meet children/young people’s needs.
  • All Management Committee and staff know that when they experience difficulties complying with policies, procedures or practice standards they are able and required to bring this to the attention of the Manager or Chairperson of the committee.Failure to comply with this policy will see appropriate action taken using the Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.
5. Related Documents and Policies
  • Professional Ethics and Conduct Policy
  • Upper Hunter Youth Service Code of Conduct
  • Mandatory Reporting Policy
  • Working with Young People- Child Protection Policy
  • Transport and Use of Motor Vehicles Policy
  • Risk Management Policy
  • Accident and Critical Incident Policy
  • Youth Centre and Programs Policy
6. Related Legislation
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011


7. Responsible Officer/Policy Owner

The Manager and Management Committee is responsible for the implementation and review of this policy.