The good practice guide to Child Aware Approaches: Keeping children safe and well

CFCA Paper No. 21 – May 2014

What is the purpose of this paper?

The Good Practice Guide to Child Aware Approaches: Keeping Children Safe and Well explains the Child Aware Approaches initiative, outlines core philosophies and key principles underpinning Child Aware Approaches, provides "case study" examples of how the principles can be applied in practice, and highlights relevant practice considerations and additional resources.

This document was developed from a point-in-time analysis of outcomes from the 2012 Child Aware Approaches grant round and 2013 Child Aware Approaches Conference that aimed to promote a better understanding of the relationship between child abuse and neglect and risk factors such as domestic and family violence, parental mental illness and substance abuse.1

This paper is intended as a practical resource for organisations, practitioners and individuals working in social services (particularly services for children, families and adults) to put the needs, views and aspirations of children and young people at the heart of actions to improve child and family wellbeing and safety.

The paper explains in more detail the five core philosophies and ten key principles underpinning Child Aware Approaches (see Box 1 and Box 2) to provide practical guidance for those working with vulnerable children and families and to inform policies, procedures and practices within organisations.

Each principle can be considered from multiple perspectives (e.g., at the organisational, managerial and practitioner levels). Practice considerations are provided throughout this paper as examples to inspire thought and discussion of the different levels at which action may be required in applying the principles of Child Aware Approaches.

The case study examples in this document also highlight the diversity of innovative and creative ways in which the principles of Child Aware Approaches have been applied in a variety of settings and situations.2

The full methodology for this project, including case study methodology, is outlined in Appendix 2. A list of all projects funded under the grant round can be found in Appendix 3.


1 Although this paper is a point-in-time document, there may be opportunities to document ongoing advancements (such as enhanced and expanded principles for a broader audience) as Child Aware Approaches evolves.

2 These case studies have been sourced from projects funded under the Child Aware Approaches grant round or presented at the 2013 Child Aware Approaches Conference. They are not a definitive list, but rather examples that demonstrate different elements of Child Aware Approaches.