Strengthening child safe practices

Commissioner for Children and Young People

The recent release of the Western Australian Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has highlighted the need for all organisations to have secure child safe principles and practices.

Mr Colin Pettit,  Commissioner for Children and Young People emphasised the need for state and Commonwealth governments, organisations and the community to work together to implement the recommendations of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

‘Some of the Royal Commission’s recommendations can be implemented immediately—organisations should already have child safe practices and policies in place—and must urgently take steps to do so if they are yet to act,’ Mr Pettit said.

‘Organisations working with children and young people must have strong child safe policies and practices, and need to create an environment where children feel comfortable to raise any concerns.’

Mr Pettit added, ‘Children have the right to be safe and respected wherever they are and all adults interacting with children—whether they be parents, family members, professionals or volunteers—have a responsibility to be proactive in considering the needs of children, to ask them if they are ok and to empower them to speak up about any concerns they may have.’

Some 285 children and young people under the age of 25 provided evidence to this Royal Commission, highlighting that child sexual abuse continues to occur.

Child Safe Organisations seminars will be held on Tuesday, 28 August and Thursday 20 September at the Commissioner for Children and Young People Subiaco office. These whole-day seminars are free and bookings can be made via the Commissioner’s Seminars web page.

Resources are available to assist agencies and community organisations working with children to implement child safe policies and practices. Additionally, Child Safe Organisations resources including guidelines, a self-assessment and review tool as well as materials for parents and children are also available on the Commissioner’s website under the Resources page.