The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has published the practitioner resource Protection through participation: Involving children in child-safe organisations.
The resource was informed by understandings from the Children’s Safety Study in 2016, which was commissioned to assist the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Children’s Safety Study considered children’s perceptions of safety, their safety needs and how well they believed adults and institutions protected them from harm.
As a result, this practitioner resource provides practical advice for organisations about how child safety can be put into practice in child-centred and child-informed ways. Key messages include involving children and young people in developing strategies and responses for their own safety to increase the likelihood they will utilise and feel positive about plans and, for children’s participation to be successful, the whole organisation needs to be supportive, with dialogue about safety needs to be ongoing and built into as many interactions between adults and children as possible. The guide includes insights into how children conceptualise risk, harm and safety, and offers practice tools for actively responding to children’s concerns.