Commitment to Child Safety
Following the Royal Commission, the President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan stated:
“With the collaboration of Synods and many others across our Church, we have begun applying the learnings of the Royal Commission through a National Child Safe Policy Framework.
I urge all Church members to remain vigilant, to ensure that wherever you are in our Church, agencies or schools, you are focussed on child safety.”
National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations reflect ten child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission, and are the vehicle for giving effect to recommendations relating to the standards.
The 10 National Principles for Child Safe Organisations are:
- Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
- Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
- Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
- Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
- People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
- Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
- Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
- Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
- Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved.
- Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
The Principles are underpinned by a child rights, strengths-based approach including emphasising:
- genuine engagement with children and young people;
- taking action to promote their right to safety and right to have their views heard;
- and prioritising the safety and wellbeing of children.
This type of approach acknowledges that children and young people gain great benefits when they are empowered to fully participate in various aspects of an organisation or service involving them. It also acknowledges that most organisations and their workers and volunteers want to do what is best for children and young people.
National Office of Child Safety
The National Office for Child Safety will lead the finalisation, national coordination and implementation of the National Principles, working with the National Children’s Commissioner, states and territories, and the non-government sector.
The WA Commissioner for Children and Young People has very good resources for implementing these 10 principles.