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  • Writer's pictureHelen Haydock

Why Should Organisations Invest in Child Protection Training? (Part 2)

In the last post we explored why trauma informed child protection training is important. Today we are going to consider who should receive this training and why.

Across Australia we have the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and various state/territory based Child Safe Standards. All have some variation of National Principle 7:

a young boy wearing a spiderman costume and another young boy wearing a blue superhero costune
Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.

As you will see this Principle highlights that organisations must ensure both staff and volunteers receive training and that this is an ongoing process.

Many organisations may have “Child Safety Champions” or dedicated welfare staff but the reality is that this may not be who a child turns to for help, they may not be the staff member that directly witnesses a behaviour or the one who is responsible for supporting that child every day.

Child safe organisations should ensure that children receive a consistent response to a disclosure or behaviour of concern, regardless of which staff member they turn to.  We know that one of the significant barriers to disclosure is fear that they will not be believed or that they will receive a negative reaction or response. If a child makes a disclosure and a staff member dismisses it, or worse, responds inappropriately, this can result in the child not making further disclosures and abuse continuing.

What About Volunteers?

The backs of 2 people wearing t shirts with the word volunteer

The issue of volunteers can be complicated due to funding and time constraints, but volunteers do play an important role in organisations and organisation training plans should include consideration of what knowledge and skills are needed by volunteers.

Consideration should be given to the nature of their role when considering how much training is provided. A volunteer who is never alone with children and closely supervised by a well-trained staff member( for example a parent helping with reading in a classroom setting, supervised by a teacher) may require less training than one who is working directly with children without active supervision (coach of a junior sporting club). However, all volunteers should receive information and guidance about the limits of their role and what to do if they have concerns for children. (In addition to appropriate screening etc as per the organisations volunteering policy and child safe policies)

Join us for an upcoming webinar with our eLearning partners etrainu to learn how to foster a learning culture that enhances children's safety and wellbeing through creating a culture of learning.

When: Tuesday, 21st May at 11:00 - 11:45 AM AEST
Can't make it? Register anyway and we'll email you the recording!

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