The current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has brought the matter of keeping our children safe in organisational settings into sharp focus. Tasmania has recently introduced mandatory Registration to Work with Children (or ‘Working with Children Checks’) for many people who work with, or provide services to, children. This in turn has prompted many organisations to think about how they can improve upon their efforts to promote children’s safety and well-being while in their care.
What were our aims?
Because this is an issue primarily about children we felt the most important thing was to hear what children have to say. We also wanted to raise awareness of the importance of adopting child safe policies and procedures and provide some support and guidance to those wishing to provide a safer organisational environment for children in Tasmania.
Our consultations with children
Over 400 Tasmanian children and young people were involved in our consultation process. Children took part in group discussions, individual interviews and completed written questionnaires. We were impressed by the insight shown by children – by far our best learning over the course of this project came from listening to children’s views and experiences of safety in the varied organisational settings (school, sports groups etc) they spend time in.
Involvement of Tasmanian Organisations
We also held forums in Launceston and Hobart for members of organisations who work with, or provide services to children and young people in Tasmania. Participants discussed their views about what makes organisations child safe and identified areas in which some organisations may require guidance and support.
What the report does not do
This report is NOT designed to present a framework or specific recommendations for Tasmanian organisations. Organisations have unique needs and risks to children’s safety; while there are overarching child safe principles that apply to all organisations, it will ultimately be a matter for each organisation to determine how these principles should be implemented.
What the report does do
Our key findings included the following:
There are many aspects to becoming a child safe organisation. This report explores some of these with a particular emphasis on learning from children and incorporating their voice into our child safe strategies. The Commissioner hopes those who read this report are inspired by children’s wisdom and will find new motivation to listen to and include children in their journey to becoming more child safe.
The Commissioner will be providing Recommendations for future action to Government. Those Recommendations will be informed by the work of the Royal Commission and will take account of its forthcoming report on child safe organisations which is expected to be released soon.
Level 1, 119 Macquarie St.
Hobart, TAS 7000
GPO Box 708
Telephone: (03) 6166 1366
Fax: (03) 6173 0266
Mobile: 0427 008 268
Concerned about the current safety of a child or young person?
Contact Child Protection Services on 1300 737 639, or use their online form:Child Protection Notification Form