Child-safe organisations

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Child-safe organisations in the AIFS library catalogue

Child safe organisations : information for organisations on how to keep children safe.

Heyes N
CFCA short article 6 Nov 2019
This short article discusses what it means to be a child safe organisation, outlines the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, and provides links to resources and tools to help organisations keep children safe. The National Principles were released in early 2019 and are a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The principles outline 10 high-level elements that are fundamental for making an organisation safe for children and help to guide organisations in understanding the aspects of creating a child safe culture.

Monitoring of complaints systems

Western Australia. Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People
Subiaco, WA : Commissioner for Children and Young People WA, 2019.
One of the tasks of the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA is to monitor how well government agencies are responding to children and young people's complaints. This report presents the findings from 2018-2019. Drawing on a survey of 27 government agencies and workshops with 8 young people, the Commissioner reviewed child-focused complaints systems and policies, the number of complaints received, and whether children and young people can find and understand the complaints policies and procedures. The review found that 46% of agencies surveyed reported that they recorded the number of complaints received from, or on behalf of, children and young people, up from the previous review, and that only 26% of agencies described their complaints process as child-friendly. These findings will help the Commissioner to promote child friendly complaints mechanisms - one key component of child safe organisations.

Complaint handling guide: upholding the rights of children and young people

NSW Ombudsman, Australia. National Office for Child Safety
Canberra, A.C.T. : National Office for Child Safety, Dept. of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2019.
One of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations is that organisations should have processes to respond to complaints and concerns that are child-focused and uphold the rights of children and young people. This document sets out guidelines and advice to help organisations develop, implement and maintain a complaint-handling system that prioritises children's safety and rights. It is designed for a wide range of organisations that work with children - including small service providers, sporting clubs and large government agencies. An information sheet and reference guide have also been published.

Promoting the safety of children and young people with intellectual disability : perspectives and actions of families and professionals.

Robinson S and Graham A
Children and Youth Services Review v. 104 Sep 2019: Article 104404
This article reports on families and professionals' views on child abuse safety and risk among children and young people with intellectual disability. Interviews were conducted with 6 family members and 10 disability support professionals, regarding children's own priorities for safety, the strategies that children and young people used when they felt unsafe, the role of service systems in facilitating or constraining safety, and the skills and capabilities needed by children and young people. The findings highlight the differences and similarities in the views and approaches of families and professionals, and the implications for education.

Sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions, 2009-2017: investigation report

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (Great Britain)
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2019.
As part of the work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, this report looks into sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions in England and Wales. Though children in detention are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, very little is known about their experiences or the extent to which institutions have discharged their duty of care to protect them. The report investigates the nature and extent of sexual abuse of children in custodial institutions - including young offender institutions, secure training centres, and secure children's homes - as well as institutional responses to abuse and institutional and systemic protections, focusing on the recent years of 2009-2017. The report identifies the risks and barriers to reporting found in these places and calls for their culture and ethos to move from control and discipline to a child-centred approach to care and support and, indeed, for community alternatives to remand to be considered.

Making organisations safer for children: regulation of child safe standards in NSW - consultation report

New South Wales. Office of the Children's Guardian
Strawberry Hills, NSW : Office of the Children's Guardian, 2019
The New South Wales State Government is looking into how best to introduce mandatory child safe standards into organisations that work with children in the state - one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. As part of this process, feedback was invited from experts, organisations, peak bodies, and children and young people and their families on this issue, including how to regulate the sector, how organisations can be helped to be child safe, and the sorts of monitoring and enforcement powers that should be available. This paper summarises the feedback received and identifies the key areas for the Government to consider as they refine their approach.

Excellence Framework for Child Safe Organisations

Community Services Industry Alliance, Queensland. Family and Child Commission
East Brisbane, Qld. : CSIA Ltd, 2019.
This resource aims to support child and family services to generate the culture shifts needed to function in line with the Child Safe Standards and National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. It was developed in partnership by industry and government to help organisations achieve excellence in being child safe. The framework consists of two parts - the Excellence Aspirations model and the Pursuit of Excellence process pathway - and features four tools to help develop shared understandings and language, foster reflection, and guide strategies for action. Together, the framework and its tools can be used to guide board and staff meetings, facilitate group workshops, create internal communications, and review strategies.

Regulating child safe organisations: discussion paper for consultation

New South Wales. Office of the Children's Guardian
Surry Hills, N.S.W. : Office of the Children's Guardian, 2019
The New South Wales State Government is looking into how best to introduce mandatory child safe standards into organisations that work with children in the state - one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This consultation paper invites feedback from experts, organisations, peak bodies, and children and young people and their families on this issue, including how to regulate the sector, how organisations can be helped to be child safe, and the sorts of monitoring and enforcement powers that should be available. The paper provides background information on child safe standards, the regulation frameworks already in place, and the role of the Office of the Children's Guardian.

Safe inside?: child sexual abuse in the youth secure estate

Soares C
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2019.
This study investigates the extent to which children feel safe from sexual abuse in the youth secure estate in England and Wales, and the role of staff, systems and processes within this. The youth secure estate currently comprises Young Offender Institutions, Secure Training Centres, and Secure Children's Homes, which hold children detained on criminal justice grounds as well as children held on welfare grounds for their own protection. Previous research has highlighted the levels of violence, restraint, and child sexual abuse in these establishments, as well as children's reports of feeling unsafe. This new study draws on interviews with staff and young people aged 14?17 years old to learn more about the systems and practices in place to keep children safe, their delivery and effectiveness, the awareness and views of children and staff of safeguarding procedures and policy, use of technology and surveillance, risk management, the adequacy of staff training and how this translates into practice, experiences around incidents and reporting of abuse, the management of inappropriate behaviour and sexual abuse, the nature of different types of abuse, perceived risk of child sexual abuse, and children's sense of safety and main concerns. This study has been produced as part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Engaging children and young people in your organisation

New South Wales. Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People
Strawberry Hills, NSW : NSW Advocate for Children and Young People, 2019.
This resource aims to help government and non-government organisations meaningfully and effectively involve children and young people in organisational decision making. It draws on the work of the NSW Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People and is aimed at all levels of government, policy makers, non-government and community organisations, youth workers, teachers, school executives, and private organisations. Sections include: top 10 tips; checklists for boards, CEOs and organisational leaders, managing contracts, and NGO frontline workers; why we should include children and young people in decision making; enabling participation; practical information for participation; ethical considerations; obtaining consent; evaluating the participation process; and where to get further information.

How to foster participation of children and young people in safeguarding activities in youth serving organisations

Australian Catholic University. Institute of Child Protection Studies
Watson, A.C.T. : Institute of Child Protection Studies, 2018.
Child safeguarding activities in youth serving organisations are successful when these organisations place a high priority on the promotion of participation and empowerment of children and young people. To foster participation, it is necessary to provide children and young people with opportunities to participate, while also openly acknowledging that their views will be valued. This paper provides some guidance on fostering participation. It outlines what is meant by participation and empowerment, how to foster and sustain a culture of child safeguarding, and the importance of listening and responding. It also includes a copy of the Engagement Framework on consulting and talking to children.

Child sexual abuse in residential schools: a literature review

Ward M and Rodger H
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2018.
To assist their work in the United Kingdom, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has commissioned this literature review into child sexual abuse and exploitation in residential schools. It provides an overview of the current evidence from the UK and abroad, including the role of residential schools in safeguarding children from sexual abuse, the number of pupils attending residential schools in the UK, the scale and nature of child sexual abuse in schools, abuse by peers, characteristics of victims and offenders, the factors that influence the incidence and response to child sexual abuse in schools, examples of where existing safeguarding measures have been unsuccessful, examples of positive approaches, and the gaps and limitations of the evidence. Although the focus of this literature review is on residential schools, there is not much evidence on the scale and nature of child sexual abuse within that specific sector and therefore sources about child sexual abuse in all school types have also been included.

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

Council of Australian Governments, Australian Human Rights Commission
Sydney, NSW : Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018.
These National Principles are ten elements that are fundamental to making an organisation safe for children. They aim to provide a nationally consistent approach to creating organisational cultures that foster child safety and wellbeing, and were endorsed in February 2019 by the Council of Australian Governments. The principles reflect the child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and are a key action under the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009-2020. They are not mandatory at present. This document presents the principles and their key action areas and indicators, to help organisations interested in implementing them.

Review of Victoria's Child Safe Standards: issues paper

Victoria. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Melbourne : Victorian Government, 2018.
Victoria's Child Safe Standards is a compulsory framework applying to all organisations that provide services or facilities for children or employ children or young people. The standards require organisations to implement policies and procedures to make sure that the safety of children is promoted and to prevent, respond to, and report allegations of child abuse. The Government is currently reviewing of the standards to ensure that they are as strong as possible and to assess whether they have been understood and implemented correctly, whether their regulatory scheme is operating effectively, and whether any adjustments are needed to make them align better with the standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This paper invites submissions from organisations, staff and volunteers, peak associations, authorities and regulators, and people who work with children to share their experiences with the standards and their views on how they could be improved. The paper provides background information on the standards and the Royal Commission's recommendations, and includes questions for consideration regarding implementation, effectiveness, compliance, regulation, and the national harmonisation of standards.

Annual progress report 2018: implementation of recommendations from the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations. As part of its response, the Australian Government has established an Implementation Taskforce to monitor and coordinate action on the recommendations of the Royal Commission. It intends to track progress made by all Australian governments annually until 2022 and then conduct a 10 year review in 2027, as recommended by the Royal Commission. This report is the first annual progress report, detailing the work of the Commonwealth and State governments towards these recommendations in the first 12 months since they were presented. It is arranged around the themes of: Making institutions child safe; Causes, support and treatment; Responses to abuse, including redress and civil litigation; Criminal justice and the protection of children; and Accountability and annual reporting. The full recommendations are included as an appendix.

Tasmanian response - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Tasmania, Tasmania. Dept. of Justice, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Hobart, Tas. : Tasmanian Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Tasmanian Government. It details their response to each of the relevant recommendations and also includes responses to recommendations made in the Working with Children Checks report, the Redress and Civil Litigation report, and the Criminal Justice report. The foreword, by the Tasmanian Attorney-General, notes that many of the Royal Commission's recommendations are consistent with reforms already underway.

Queensland Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Queensland, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Queensland Government. It provides an overview of how the state government will work to keep children safe and implement the Royal Commission's reforms, and details their response to each of the recommendations in the areas of working with children checks, redress and civil litigation, and criminal justice.

Victorian Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Victoria, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Melbourne, Vic. : Dept. of Justice and Regulation, 2018
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This website presents the official response of the Victorian Government. The Victorian Government welcomes the release of the Royal Commission's final report and thanks them for their commitment and dedication to these important issues. An overview document describes the Victorian Government's recent and future efforts to address child abuse, and is accompanied by a more detailed table of the responses to all 409 recommendations of the Royal Commission.

A guide for creating a child safe organisation

Victoria. Commission for Children and Young People
Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2018.
This guide offers advice for organisations to help them improve their child safety approaches and ensure they comply with the Victorian Government's compulsory child safe standards. It describes each of the new compulsory standards and how they can work in practice. The seven standards span the culture and leadership of organisations, the policies that are neeeded, how to put together a Code of Conduct, screening staff, supervising and training, responding to and reporting suspected abuse, identifying and removing risks, and promoting the participation and empowerment of children. This guide replaces the 2016 edition.

Australian Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Government, 2018
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations. In this official response, the Australian Government thanks the commissioners for their leadership and compassion over the 5 years of the inquiry and details the Government's response to each of the 409 recommendations. 84 of the recommendations deal with redress, which will be addressed through the creation of the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. Of the remaining 325 recommendations, 122 have been directed wholly or partially to the Australian Government. The chapters of the response are published separately: final report response; working with children checks report; criminal justice report; and redress and civil litigation report.

Understanding situational crime prevention for child sexual abuse: what services need to know

Morley S and Higgins D
Australia : Australian Catholic University, 2018
Situational Crime Prevention is one theoretical approach that can be used to develop whole-of-organisation responses for safeguarding children. Rather than focusing on the offender, this approach focuses on the crime event and its precursors. Written for concerned organisations, this resource outlines how Situational Crime Prevention can be used in organisations that work with children and highlights some of the strategies that can be implemented.

Child safety toolkit: how to create a child safe organisation

Moores Legal Pty Ltd, Our Community (Organization)
Melbourne, Vic. : Our Community, 2018.
This resource aims to help schools and other services working with children create a child safe organisation and ensure their organisation is acting appropriately. Creating a child-safe culture is not just having a set of policies and procedures in place, but about creating a culture where all staff, volunteers, and Board members take responsibility for promoting and ensuring child safety and the participation and empowerment of children. Sections address creating the right culture, recruitment, mandatory and voluntary reporting, and responding to a report, and sample policies and codes of conduct are included. This resource updates the 2016 'Child protection toolkit' in light of new legislation and the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Preventing abuse and promoting personal safety in young people with disability: final report

Robinson S, Graham A, Fisher K, Meltzer A, Blaxland M and Johnson K
Lismore N.S.W. : Southern Cross University, 2017.
This study explores what 'being safe' means to young people with disability, what helps and hinders them in feeling and being safe, and their ideas on improving safety. The views of family, carers, and service providers were also sought. This report presents the findings and the implications for policy and practice. 68 young people and 30 service providers took part part in interviews and focus groups, with another 35 young people and 138 support people completing online surveys: most of the young people were living at home. This study highlights an emphasis on the importance of relationships, with distinctions between the experiences of young people who are more self-reliant and those who depend more on others, and those who are able to draw on support and those who are socially isolated.

It's organisational leaders who fail to manage situational risks for the safety of children.

Higgins D
CFCA short article 22 Jan 2018
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has now concluded its 4 years of work and presented its final recommendations. This article briefly reflects on the Royal Commission's findings and considers how organisational leaders can best respond. It is evident that organisational leaders - CEOs and bishops, principals, managers, ministers or priests, team leaders and other practice leaders - must drive cultural change, better manage situational risks, and prioritise the participation of children and young people in institutions.

Addressing the needs of those who have experienced abuse in care as children - implications of findings from the Royal Commission.

McClellan P
Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal no. 47 2017: 81-94
In this article, the Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse discusses their work so far and highlights some of the findings regarding out of home care, child safe organisations, and listening to children.

Safe and sound: creating safe residential care services for children and young people

Moore T, McArthur M and Roche S
Watson, A.C.T. : Institute of Child Protection Studies, 2017
This is the second of two papers summarising findings from a study on the experiences of young people and their safety in residential care, which was commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The first paper discussed the factors leading to children and young people's vulnerability in residential care, and their safety concerns. This second paper explores the development of safe residential services, and discusses the factors preventing children and young people from seeking support over safety concerns. Participants in the study stressed the importance of workers and services providing good responses to those who experience abuse or assault or encountered unsafe peers or adults.

Safe and sound: the safety concerns of young people in residential care

Moore T, McArthur M and Roche S
Watson, A.C.T. : Institute of Child Protection Studies, 2017
This paper summarises findings from a study on the experiences of young people and their safety in residential care, which was commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The paper outlines the individual and structural factors leading to children and young people's vulnerability in residential care, and reports on what children and young people think about safety in the context of residential care and their key interpersonal safety concerns. The study draws on interviews with 27 children and young people aged 10-21 years old, with the full findings published in the report 'Safe and sound: exploring the safety of young people in residential care.'

Final report

McClellan P
Sydney, N.S.W. : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2017.
This Royal Commission was appointed on 11 January 2013 to inquire into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Australia. This report presents the final findings of this five year inquiry, and comprises 17 volumes. Through the work of the Royal Commission, the Australian public has learnt about the multiple and persistent failings of institutions to keep children safe, the cultures of secrecy and cover-up, and the devastating affects child sexual abuse can have on an individual's life. Through this final report - together with the three final reports already released on criminal justice, redress and civil litigation, and working with children checks - the Commissioners have made a total of 409 recommendations aimed at making institutions safer for children and responding better to abuse. The volumes are entitled: Our inquiry; Nature and cause; Impacts; Identifying and disclosing child sexual abuse; Private sessions; Making institutions child safe; Improving institutional responding and reporting; Recordkeeping and information sharing; Advocacy, support and therapeutic treatment services; Children with harmful sexual behaviours; Historical residential institutions; Contemporary out-of-home care; Schools; Sport, recreation, arts, culture, community and hobby groups; Contemporary detention environments; Religious institutions; and Beyond the Royal Commission.

Children and young people's views on institutional safety : it's not just because we're little.

Moore T
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 74 Special issue on the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Dec 2017: 73-85
Though the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has made a number of recommendations to identify and respond to institutional child sexual abuse, these recommendations address few of the concerns raised by children and young people themselves. This article presents findings from a research study of Australian children and young people's views of vulnerability and safety, and the ways that they would like adults and institutions to respond to their safety concerns.

Optimising implementation of reforms to better prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in institutions : insights from public health, regulatory theory, and Australia's Royal Commission.

Mathews B
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 74 Special issue on the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Dec 2017: 86-98
The Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia has made recommendations to help organisations adopt more effective measures to prevent, identify, and respond to child sexual abuse. However, how will these measures be implemented and regulated? With reference to public health theory, regulatory theory, and the literature on compliance and situational crime prevention, this article considers the challenges involved, analyses possible approaches, presents a theoretical basis for a model of implementation and regulation, and identifies the nature and functions of an appropriate regulatory body.
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