It is important if you notice any issues of ethical concern in the workplace that you seek support from your supervisor before you take any action. Supervisors are there to help and support you, and to watch members of staff who are not doing their job properly. You should be able to communicate any concerns with them and identify when it is time to ask for support. If you are aware of something bad happening that affects the safety of children and young people in the workplace, this should be reported immediately to your supervisor as well as the relevant authorities.
Ethical concerns you should report when working in a childcare setting:
- A member of staff inappropriately handling or touching a child
- Someone talking inappropriately around children
- Dismissing the child’s views and opinions
- Not looking after their needs properly
- Talking disrespectfully about the child’s family
- Disrupting and interfering with their learning
- Punishing children inappropriately and being too critical
- Excluding or mistreating children with disabilities
- Putting children down and causing them to have low self-esteem and confidence.
Before reporting or accusing a member of staff of mistreating a child, make sure you have reason to believe they have done something wrong and enough evidence and information to prove this. You should still make your supervisor aware of any suspicions you have as they would be able to investigate it further before taking any action. For example, they may watch the member of staff around children or arrange a meeting with the staff member to discuss it.
If you have any concerns, it is a good idea to ask to speak to the supervisor privately and give them the reasons for your concern and explain what information or evidence you may have. Your supervisor should appreciate your ethics, honesty, and professionalism for dealing with the issue in the correct way, and not ignoring it or taking the matter into your own hands. They should investigate the issue further and also offer you any ongoing support or advice you need.
What a supervisor can help with:
- Providing help and advice when required
- Discussing any worries, issues or concerns you may have
- Offering additional training and support when required
- Providing regular feedback on your work
- Investigating any issues or concerns that have been reported
- Arranging meetings with staff to discuss any concerns
- Assisting with any disagreements or issues with co-workers
If you report something to your supervisor but you don’t feel like anything is being resolved, you should report it to someone higher in the organisation such as your manager, or report it to a specialist and see if they can help you. Anything you report should be kept confidential and not shared with anyone else other than the relevant persons who can help.