Skip to Content

Definitions of words used in the Child Safeguarding policy

or appendices

Definitions of words used in the Child Safeguarding policy

or appendices

These policies are part of Sport NZ's overall commitment to safeguarding children and will be supplemented with further guidance, templates, knowledge-sharing and training to support national, regional and community organisations.

Our policy and procedures have been developed in partnership with Safeguarding Children - Tiakina ngā tamariki as interactive pdfs for your organisation to download and complete, by adding your organisation’s details in the fields provided, then save to your own files.

Safeguarding Children logo

Download interactive PDF

Bullying Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a person or a group of people that can have a significant impact on them. It may create a risk to their physical and/or mental health and safety. The person or people acting in this way may not intend to cause harm or may not see their behaviour as bullying.

Candidate means the person being considered for recruitment for employment/a volunteering role.

Child A child is a person under the age of 14.

Child Protection is a reactive approach that is part of a safeguarding process, protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer serious harm.

Child Safeguarding Representatives (CSR) are the people appointed by [insert name of organisation] who hold responsibility for our Safeguarding and Child Protection.

Child abuse The harming (whether physically, emotionally, or sexually), ill-treatment, abuse, neglect, or deprivation of any child or young person. Child abuse and neglect can occur for a child outside of our organisation (externally), or inside our organisation (internally). It includes actual, potential, and suspected abuse.

Child Safe Organisation organisations working with children that promote the safety of children and young people, prevent abuse and have effective processes in place to respond to and report all allegations of child abuse.

Child Sexual Exploitation A form of sexual abuse in which a person exploits, coerces or manipulates a child or young person into engaging in some form of sexual activity in return for something the child needs or desires or for the gain of the person perpetrating or facilitating the abuse. This “exchange” could involve the child or young person receiving money, affection, gifts or drugs in exchange for performing sexual activities or having others perform sexual activities on them.

Children's worker means a person who works in, or provides, a regulated service, and the person's work— may involve regular or overnight contact with a child, and may take place without a parent, caregiver or whanau of the child, or of each child, being present. All our staff and volunteers at [insert name of organisation] are children's workers.

Core Worker means a children's worker who works in a regulated service who works with children and maybe the only person present; or has primary responsibility for, or authority over the child or children present.

Codes of Conduct are the standards of behaviour and interaction [insert name of organisation] expect every person in a Position of Trust with a child or young person to follow. Our Codes of Conduct are in a separate document to this policy, and all staff and volunteers will be inducted into these standards.

Contractor A person or business that is paid or instructed by [insert name of organisation to provide services to].

Cumulative harm The ongoing effects of abuse and neglect create layers of harm for a child or young person, which can impact on many areas of the child or young person’s life. This can make it difficult for the child or young person to thrive.

Cyber bullying This is usually perpetrated using social media networks, games and mobile phones. This can include spreading rumours, posting nasty or embarrassing messages, images or videos. Children and young people can often feel like there is no escape from this type of bullying which can reach them through technology wherever they are, at any time of the day and night.

Duty of Care ensuring our actions (or omissions) do not harm someone else and protect them from risk or harm.

Driver – a person who is legally permitted to transport passengers.

Emotional abuse Sometimes referred to as psychological abuse, emotional abuse is often persistent, and a consistent pattern of behaviour where the child or young person is rejected or threatened. This may include humiliating the child, criticising them, threatening them or having unrealistic expectations of them. Every child or young person who is in an environment of family violence is being emotionally abused simply by being in that environment. Emotional abuse causes severe and adverse effects on children and young peoples’ emotional wellbeing and development.

Early intervention is the process of identifying child vulnerability and risk early, and following a process to put in place supports to strengthen well-being and health of the child and whānau.

Grooming is when a person engages in predatory conduct to prepare a child or young person for sexual activity at some point in the future. Grooming can include communicating or attempting to befriend or establish a relationship or other emotional connection with a child or young person or their parent or carer.

Harassment Sexual harassment and racial harassment are defined in the Human Rights Act 1993 (and Employment Relations Act 2000). They are unlawful ways of treating other people. Sexual harassment means any form of sexual attention or behaviour that is unwanted and offensive to a person, whether it is a serious one-off incident or less serious behaviour that is repeated. Racial harassment occurs when a person is subjected, for reasons of race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin to behaviour that might reasonably be perceived by the receiver to be offensive or unwelcome.

Intimate partner violence or family violence Any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship. It may be a single act of violence or a number of acts that form a pattern of abuse. In addition to physical violence, most commonly, family violence relates to specific forms of emotional abuse enabling power and control over victims. Children and young people in homes where family violence is occurring are always victims of family violence. Exposure to family violence is a form of emotional abuse for a child or young person.

Neglect The persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical or psychological needs, causing long term serious harm to the child's health or development. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional. Neglect is any act or omission, resulting in impaired physical functioning, injury, health, or development of a child or young person. Neglect may also occur in pregnancy via parental substance misuse or family violence.

Non-core children’s worker means a children's worker who is not a core worker. One-off volunteer someone who is brought in on one occasion to fill a role.

Physical abuse A non-accidental act on a child/young person that results in physical harm. This may be inflicted intentionally or by the inadvertent result of physical punishment, or the aggressive treatment of a child. Physical abuse may involve (but is not limited to) shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, beating, shaking, throwing, burning, scalding, drowning, suffocating, biting, poisoning, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or a young person. Physical abuse may also involve fabricating the symptoms of illness or deliberately inducing illness in a child/young person.

Position of Trust - A Position of Trust describes the relationships where an adult (18 years or older) or a peer (e.g. Young Leader) has, or is perceived to have, power, influence or authority towards a child or young person (under 18 years), by the nature of their role or duties within the organisation. As a result, the power and influence over children and young people can be used to manipulate and abuse.

‘Regular Volunteer’ means a volunteer who is not paid and who is engaged by [insert name of organisation] to provide support and assistance to children and young people for more than three sessions within a six month period.

Safeguarding refers to a risk-reducing approach and the steps taken to support wellbeing and prevention of harm to a child/young person.

Safer recruitment is the process of safety checking as laid down in the Children’s Act 2014, which [insert name of organisation] follows for every staff member and volunteer. This process is outlined in our Safe Recruitment Policy and Procedures.

Screening means an internal process for analysing the information gathered and identifying suitable candidates – in this case, those who can be relied on to keep children/young people safe.

Sexual abuse Any act where a child or young person is coerced, forced or enticed to take part in sexual activities (not necessarily involving a high level of violence). This involves a person in a position of trust with power or authority over a child using the child for sexual gratification. Sexual abuse can occur even though the child or young person may not be aware of what is happening or may feel they are giving consent. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males; women and other children or young people (peer-peer) can also commit acts of sexual abuse.

Staff is defined as those who are employed directly by [insert name of organisation], or volunteers, as well as staff and of partner organisations and contractors while they are working with children in the care and supervision of our organisation.

Transport any vehicle, privately or commercially owned.

Vetting means the formal process of obtaining checks from the Police Vetting Service.

Vulnerability a vulnerable child or young person is one who is unable to keep themselves safe from harm or who is at risk of not reaching their full potential and achieving their outcomes without services or additional support. Vulnerable children/young people are at risk of significant harm to their wellbeing now and into the future as a consequence of the environment in which they are being raised, and in some cases, due to their own complex needs.

Young person. A person of or over the age of 14 years but under 18 years.


This suite of policies includes:

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Get Active
Find a sport or recreation activity
Browse Directory
Sport NZ
Who we are and what we do
Information on funding
Stay updated
Me whakahoutia

Sign up to our regular newsletters that connect Sport NZ to all those involved in the play, active recreation and sport sector.

burger close icon

Stay updated

Me whakahoutia

Keep up-to-date with news, events, and initiatives across the play, active recreation and sport sector.
No thanks