Child Protection Week
National Child Protection Week (4- 10 September) theme for 2022 is "Every child, in every community, needs a fair go". To treat all children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.
In Child Protection Week 2022 the Blue Mountains Coalition Against Violence and Abuse (CAVA) is continuing to promote the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations within the community. The National Principles were devised by the Australian Human Rights Commission and ensure emotional, mental and physical safety when children and young people engage with organisations.
Local organisations and services have been working towards adopting the National Principles into all their operations.
“Working to create a child safe organisation means that we are committed to providing services in a way that fulfils children's rights and includes children having a voice and being partners in the development, implementation and evaluation of MOCS children's programs.”
Organisations adhere to Child Protection policies and laws, but Child Safety Guidelines go further to look at things like the child or young person’s voice, how much say they have in decisions made on their behalf and that their culture and diversity are respected.
The Human Rights Commission has developed a self-assessment tool for organisations as a first step to becoming a Child Safe Organisation. Many Blue Mountain organisations have signed up to do this checklist to ensure they can work with children and young people in the best and safest ways.
Connect Child and Family Services is committed to supporting children’s rights to safe environments within their communities and work in partnership with families and other organisations to achieve this. Connect is focused on embedding child safety into their organisational culture and ensuring their employees understand and implement child safe practices, regardless of their role.
Other organisations such as DV West and Gateway Family Services are finding new and creative ways to incorporate the voices of children whom they work with. DV West has introduced a Children’s Welcome Pack and Gateway a booklet to introduce their services to a child. Both organisations are committed to capturing the voice of children by facilitating conversations and providing opportunities for written or drawn feedback.
We have developed an online campaign to promote the ways we adhere to the National Principles.