On February 19, 2019 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has unanimously endorsed National Principles for Child Safe Organisations in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission).
The national endorsement of child safety principles means that every organisation in Australia that works or engages with children in any way, will have to ensure they provide a safe environment, where children are protected from harm.
The Royal Commission demonstrated that historically organisations have failed to keep children and young people safe in their care. Throughout the five years of the Royal Commission more than 8,000 adults shared their story of the abuse they endured as children in the ‘care’ of institutions.
The Royal Commission found that “the sexual abuse of children has occurred in almost every type of institution where children reside or attend for educational, recreational, sporting, religious or cultural activities” (Royal Commission Final Report 2017).
Some common findings that contributed to this include:
- Poor practices
- Inadequate governance structures
- Failures to record and report complaints, or understating the seriousness of complaints
- A culture where the best interests of children were not a priority.
From leadership to governance and culture, the Principles offer organisations clear guidance to ensure they are set up to protect children from harm
What does this mean for your organisation?
If your organisation works or engages with children in any way, Child Wise can help you ensure your organisation meets the National Standards for Child Safe Organisations. Contact us to find out more.