Important: new free resources to support child safe organisations

by Brad Poynting

August 27

It’s been a busy few weeks for the National Office for Child Safety and the Australian Children’s Commissioner. We’ve seen the release of two big pieces of work to support organisations to protect the wellbeing, welfare and rights of children and young people. With National Child Protection Week commencing on Sunday, September 1st, it’s a great time to be sharing these amazing resources!

 

Child Focused Complaint Handling

 

The first resource to share comes from the National Office for Child Safety. It’s the ‘Complaint Handling Guide: Upholding the rights of children and young people.’ This Guide, which was developed by the NSW Ombudsman, provides comprehensive information to support organisations to implement Principle 6 of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. Principle 6 holds that, “Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.”

 

From the Abstract of the Guide: “The Guide provides practical advice to organisations about how to develop, implement and maintain a complaint-handling system that prioritises child safety and promotes the rights of children and young people to have a voice in decisions that affect them.”

 

I believe the Guide is a great resource for all early education providers of all shapes and sizes. Regardless of the position of an organisation, be they  yet to develop a formal complaints process, or with a highly sophisticated process, the National Office for Child Safety’s new Guide will help early education providers, and all child-serving organisations, ensure that the rights of children are a core tenant of the complaint resolution process.

 

To ensure easy access, bookmark the Guide or save a copy for your electronic resource library. This new Guide should be a touchstone every time your organisation’s Complaint Resolution Policy is reviewed and updated.

 

E-Learning Modules

 

The Australian Children’s Commissioner developed the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The National Principles are informed by the Child Safe Standards which were developed by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In February 2019, the National Principles were endorsed at COAG by the federal government and every state and territory government of Australia.

 

To support organisations to learn how to implement and work toward the National Principles, the Australian Children’s Commissioner has been quietly developing a series of online learning modules for individuals. The obvious news being shared here is that these e-learning modules are now available for use!

 

To support the National Principles, 11 e-learning modules have been released on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Child Safe website. There is an introductory module which gives an overview of the development and content of the National Principles. If nothing else, all staff of child-serving and child-contact organisations should complete this module. The remaining 10 modules each cover one of the National Principles. Each module takes around 20 minutes to complete and best of all – the entire suite of e-learning modules is provided on the Child Safe website for free.

 

It’s great to have these child safe organisation (CSO) modules available for free. When I am working with organisations who aspire to be child safe, one of the biggest concerns they share is that they’re not able to get all their staff together to justify the budget spend for a face-to-face CSO session.

 

These modules are short, cover every Principle and are available when people have time and they’re free. It’s great to see the Children’s Commissioner delivering on the Royal Commission’s recommendations around training and awareness of ways to prevent institutional child abuse from occurring.

 

The modules are only one of many resources available on the Child Safe website. There is a wealth of resources and tools to help organisations create child safe environments. Bookmark this page, sign up to their mailing list and start ticking off those e-learning modules.

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