Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
“Creating a culture of child safety within your organisation is vital to lowering the risk of harm to children. Child abuse must be acknowledged, expectations of behaviour must be clearly explained and accepted, and strategies such as robust recruitment practices must be in place. By building a strong culture of child safety, you will reduce the ability for potential abusers to be opportunistic. There should be a high expectation that everyone is your organisation is committed to child safety. This needs to be led and facilitated by your leadership and should be consistent with your organisation’s aims and values.”
(Commission for Children and Young People (2015), A guide for creating a child safe organisation 2.0, pg 16).
Develop a child safe committee and work through the checklist with them. This committee should include representatives from your child and youth populations as well as key leaders, staff, volunteers and perhaps even some parents.
Look at the policies and procedures your organisation already has in place and identify strengths and areas for improvement. As you are working through the child safe review checklist, let your conversation focus on the diverse needs of children and the child safe principles.
When you have completed the child safe review, you will have identified the areas in which your organisation needs to improve. Decide what tasks need to be done, who is going to do it and by when. Then set another date for the next review where discussion will take place around these tasks. You need to also set a date for an annual review where you reflect on how effective the new procedures and policies are.
Note: As a second stage to the implementation of the Creating Safe places for Children, the Victorian Government through its agency, Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP), have introduced a Reportable Conduct Scheme. The VCC strongly recommends that you view the summary video and familiarise yourself with the requirements of the legislation.
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