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6.10 Bullying

Last Modified: 04-May-2017 Review Date: 01-Jun-2019

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Legislation


​​To provide residential care workers with general advice consistent with a Sanctuary therapeutic care approach to assist them in managing a child who is either being bullied or is acting in a bullying manner.

Practice Requirements

  • ​​Incidents must be recorded in Log Book and discussed at team meetings. 
  • All incidents and actions taken must be recorded in daily case notes and forwarded to the case manager and other relevant stakeholders. 
  • When bullying occurs residential care workers must discuss strategies using Sanctuary Tools, for example, SELF, to deal with the issue with the child/children, and record those strategies in the child’s Sanctuary Self Care Plan
  • Where bullying in the home becomes an ongoing issue residential care workers must consider convening a Red Flag Meeting as an option for finding solutions. 
  • When bullying occurs outside the home (school, sports group, interest groups, etc.) residential care workers must make every effort to assist and resolve the matter. 
  • Each residential care home must have a strategy to keep children in the home safe from bullying, and to teach strategies on how to deal with bullying using Sanctuary psycho- education group work. ​

The following sites have extensive range of resources: 

  • ​Bullying no way! Safe Australian Schools
  • Bully Stoppers
  • Health Direct – Cyberbullying​​


  • Definitions
  • Definitions

    ​​The following definitions are taken from the Australian Government’s FAQs: Bullying in Schools. Safe Australian Schools Together (in related resources). 


    Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Online bullying refers to bullying through information and communication technologies, e.g. the internet or mobile devices. Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. 

    Single incidents and conflicts or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying. 

    Covert bullying 

    Covert bullying is a subtle type of non-physical bullying which usually isn’t easily seen by others. It is conducted out of sight of adults, and is often not acknowledged by adults. Covert bullying behaviours mostly inflict harm by damaging another’s social reputation, peer relationships and self- esteem. 

    Covert bullying can be carried out in a range of ways (for example, intimidation, spreading rumours, conducting a malicious social exclusion campaign and/or through the use of internet or mobile phone technologies). The term ‘covert’ highlights the fact that not all bullying is physical or obvious to others. Covert bullying can have the same harmful impacts as more obvious bullying, as it can be more isolating, can go on for longer before other people become aware of it, and can be more easily denied by the other person. 

    Online Bullying 

    Online bullying (sometimes called cyber bullying) is bullying carried out through the internet or mobile devices. Research shows that most young people who are bully online also bully others in person2

    Examples of online bullying include: 

    • publishing someone's personal or embarrassing information online 
    • creating hate sites or starting social exclusion campaigns on social networking sites 
    • sending insulting or threatening text messages, or 
    • repeated hang up calls. 

    It is normal for children to have disagreements and conflict. People have different needs, wants and ways of doing things. Some conflicts between children are a normal part of growing up and are to be expected. Single incidents and conflicts or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not considered bullying, even though they may be upsetting and need to be resolved. 

    Bullying can happen: 

    • ​face-to-face (pushing, tripping, name-calling) 
    • at a distance (spreading rumours, excluding someone) 
    • through information and communications technologies (use of SMS, email, chat rooms). 

    Identifying bullying can sometimes be difficult. Bullying is often conducted out of sight of teachers and children may be reluctant to report bullying. 

    Australian Government. (No date) FAQs: Bullying in Schools. Safe Australian Schools Together. Accessed from


Related Resources

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Standards