Child Safe Organisations

Children have a right to safety - emotionally, mentally, and physically. Everyone has a role to play in keeping children safe from harm. Harm can take many forms such as accidental injury, exposure to physical hazards, bullying by peers, neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Organisations providing services to or working with children, whether run by staff or by volunteers, have a duty of care to keep children safe and to respect their rights.

A child safe organisation puts the best interests of children and young people first.  

Children can gain great benefits from being involved with organisations of various kinds – such as local sports clubs, pre-schools, schools, or youth centres. Organisations can enable children to meet friends, learn new skills and be active participants in their community. 

Most organisations, staff and volunteers are motivated to do what is best for children and young people. Many organisations are already working to ensure child safety and wellbeing, for example, by having a child safety and wellbeing policy or screening workers for suitability to work with children.

The Australian community should be confident that all organisations working with children and young people provide safe environments where their rights, needs and interests are met. Policies and procedures alone are not enough to keep children safe and well in organisational settings. A child safe organisation is one that creates a culture, adopts strategies, and takes action to promote child wellbeing and prevent harm to children and young people.

A child safe organisation consciously and systematically:

  • Creates an environment where children’s safety and wellbeing are at the centre of thought, values, and actions.
  • Places emphasis on genuine engagement with and valuing of children and young people.
  • Creates conditions that reduce the likelihood of harm to children and young people.
  • Creates conditions that increase the likelihood of identifying any harm.
  • Responds to any concerns, disclosures, allegations, or suspicions of harm.

There are several practical tools and resources that can help organisations implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, and help parents and carers learn about child safe organisations.  

Child Safety Resources