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  • Writer's pictureHelen Haydock

Reflections on Child Safety Beyond Compliance.

Principal consultant Helen, in a red t shirt on a beach with blue sky and sea in the background

You may have noticed there's been a bit of a break in blog posts over the last month. I took a well needed break to travel back to Europe to spend some time with family. I had a lovely break during which I had time to reflect on the work I do at Growing Futures. During my travels I spoke to people across different countries and in different industries about child safety and I was struck by how this is something that is on the radar everywhere. Sometimes the language used is different, and of course the legislation and compliance requirements are different, but at the heart of it the focus is the same. Keeping children safe.


In Australia we have The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and various State/Territory based legislation and industry specific compliance requirements. One of the things I personally like about The National Principles is that they are very much a common-sense set of steps to take to keep children safe within organisations.


According to the Australian and New Zealand Children's Commissioners and Guardians, a child safe organisation is one that:

  1. Creates conditions to reduce the likelihood of children being harmed.

  2. Creates conditions that increase the likelihood of identifying and reporting harm.

  3. Responds appropriately to disclosures, allegations, and suspicions of harm.


(For more about Child Safe Organisations see this earlier blog post


What does “Keeping kids safe beyond compliance” mean?

A photo of hands placed on top of each other with coloured blocks in the background. The words "Keeping Kids Safe Beyond Compliance" are written across the top and bottom of the image.

Organisations will often have compliance indicators or checklists that they have to do for accreditation or to meet regulatory audits. Whilst this is important it can become a tick box process, where only the bare minimum is done, simply to pass inspection. Keeping children safe requires a broad range of approaches and ultimately a culture where children’s wellbeing and safety is the priority rather than an organisation simply ticking the boxes.


How can Growing Futures help?

We have a wide range of training available to ensure that staff have the practical skills required to keep children safe. Reflecting on the Australian and New Zealand Children's Commissioners and Guardians definition of a child safe organisation, our training

1)Supports staff to understand the risks children can face within organisations

2)Increases their understanding of the types of harm children can experience and what to look out for

3)Provides them with practical skills and strategies to respond appropriately to concerns a child is at risk (whether from outside or within the organisation)





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