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Conducting a Child Safety Review

Child Wise can conduct a Child Safety Review for your organisation as part of Accreditation or as part of a tailored Consulting service.  


Child Wise uses a whole-system approach to help clients develop a deeper understanding of child safety across their  organisation. By necessity, Child Wise undertakes this process without fear or favour, recognising that the most important beneficiaries of the process are children and young people. 

What are the objectives of the Child Safety Review?

  • Equitably and proportionately examine child safety across the organisation; 
  • Engage all stakeholders, including children, young people families; communities, staff, volunteers and leaders;
  • Provide a transparent, system-wide view of child safety in the organisation; 
  • Identify strengths, areas for development, risks and mitigation; and 
  • Provide your organisation with meaningful, achievable and tailored recommendations designed to shape an improvement plan. 

Your organisation will be able to utilise the findings from the Child Safety Review to support continuous improvement.  

What is the Child Wise Approach to conducting a Child Safety Review?

Our approach is thorough and methodology unique.  Our reviews not only examine the quality of your child safety policies, procedures and processes, but consider the extent to which the broader organisational system enables child safe practice.  To develop a comprehensive picture of child safety in your organisation, including strengths and areas for improvement, we engage with all stakeholders – children, young people, families, communities, staff, volunteers and leaders.  We then analyse data and collaborate with you to develop a tailored improvement plan.  When you engage Child Wise to conduct a Child Safety Review, you will benefit from nearly 3 decades of sector experience, a skilled and knowledgeable team,  resources and tools which reflect best practice, and an enduring commitment to building safe environments for children and young people.

What are the different phases of the Child Safety Review?

Child Safety Reviews include the following phases: 

  • Desktop review - A review that examines key child safety policies and procedures against the requirements of Child Safety Standards;
  • Leadership interviews - One on one interviews conducted with leadership teams including the CEO, directors, managers and board members;
  • Stakeholder engagement - Surveys and focus groups conducted with children and young people, parents/carers involved with the organisation and well as employees and volunteers;
  • Site visits - On site child safety-focused surveys of facilities where children and young people spend time;
  • Presentation of Child Safety Review findings and Improvement Plan - Overview of findings of the Child Safety Review and development of an improvement plan to address any gaps.

Desktop Review

Child Wise will conduct a desktop review that examines key child safety policies, procedures, relevant documents and other platforms including, but not limited to:  

  • Website;
  • Social media platforms;
  • Child Safety and Wellbeing policies;
  • Code of Conduct;
  • Staff and volunteer recruitment and supervision policies and procedures;
  • Policies, procedures and other child safety related documents produced for children, young people, families and communities;
  • Staff and volunteer training requirements and content;
  • Reporting and investigations policies;
  • Posters, brochures or flyers / videos / online induction or training modules.

Where examples of activities or documents do not exists, there is no expectation that they are produced for the purposes of the Child Safety Review. 

Leadership Interviews

As part of the Child Safety Review process, face-to-face and online interviews are conducted with a cross section of leaders.

These interviews offer a window into the strategic vision and values of an organisation and can provide vital evidence as to the potential for sustainability. 

Roles that may be involved in the leadership interviews:

  • Chair or Board representatives;
  • Directors;
  • CEO (or equivalent);
  • Service Delivery Managers;
  • Volunteer Managers;
  • People and Culture Manager;
  • Risk Officer;
  • Child Safe Officer.

Objectives:

  • Explore the understanding of child safety in the organisation;
  • Contribute to an overall understanding of the culture of the organisation;
  • Illustrate the strategic vision of the organisation;
  • Enable an assessment of the potential for sustainable change;
  • Identify strengths, risks and potential mitigation.

Stakeholder Engagement

To enable a complete and balanced assessment of child safety in your organisation, Child Wise aims to engage with a broad range of stakeholders – children, young people, parents, carers, staff and volunteers.  In this way, the Child Safety Review enables child safety to be considered from multiple perspectives.  This approach also ensures those who are most impacted by child safety practice – children and young people - have an opportunity to influence the review.  

Focus Groups

Focus groups are run by Child Wise Advisors and separate sessions are run for different participant groups.   The number of focus groups will be determined at the start of the review and is largely guided by size and complexity of the organisation.  

Focus groups usual comprise between 8-12 participants and aim to elicit a range of information pertaining to child safety, including:

  • Awareness of policies and procedures;
  • Concerns or worries;
  • Organisational strengths;
  • Ideas for improvement.

Surveys

Surveys are conducted via an online system (and in some cases manually) and are coordinated by Child Wise staff and Advisors. Surveys are brief and provide another option for stakeholders to share their views pertaining to child safety.  

Site Visits

As part of the Child Safety Review process, Child Wise conducts site visits to client organisation facilities to assess the extent to which they are child safe.  Should your organisation operate from multiple sites, priority will be given to facilities where services are provided directly to children and their families. In case your organisation has multiple facilities where services are provided to children and their families, Child Wise will visit a number of sites that is proportionate to the size, scope and complexity of the organisation. 

Child Wise will also endeavour to visit sites in urban, regional and rural locations, where relevant, to ensure a cross-section of facilities is assessed.  

In summary, site visits should include a review of:

  • Physical space and any particular risk areas (e.g. areas without sight lines such as windowless offices; toilets or change areas shared by children and adults);
  • The extent to which child-friendly information is on display;
  • Signing in/out procedures;
  • Site security, including reception and CCTV coverage; 
  • How practice meetings policy/ procedures.

Child Safety Review findings and Improvement Plan

At the conclusion of the Child Safety Review, Child Wise will present the findings to the organisation. This might include a meeting with the organisation’s leadership team to summarise the process and outcomes.  

Whilst findings must be appropriately critical, they will also include strengths on which to build.  

At the conclusion of the Child Safety Review, Child Wise will work with your organisation to develop and deliver a tailored improvement plan which addresses how, when and by whom recommendations will be implemented. This is an iterative process where organisations determine the most suitable course of action and work in partnership with Child Wise to ensure they meet the benchmarks for the required standards/ principles.  

For clients who purchased a Child Safety Review only, this will conclude Child Wise’s engagement. If the Child Safety Review was conducted as part of the Accreditation program, Child Wise will – in most cases - make recommendations which your organisation will need to implement prior to Accreditation.

Become child safe with Child Wise

It’s time for your organisation to make child safe service delivery and compliance with the required standards/principles a priority. For more information on our Child Safety Review, contact our expert Advisors.

Interested in learning more about child safety? Child Wise offers virtual classroom trainings on a range of child safety related topics. View our current events for more information about upcoming online child safety training sessions



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