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Networking to promote child safe cultures

19 March 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearings has prompted a major increase in enquiries from organisations and services who want to be more ‘child safe’.

More than two hundred Network of Community Activities members from across the state have participated in the Child Safe Organisation training delivered by the Office of the Children’s Guardian.

The workshop was hosted by the Network of Community Activities which is the peak body for out of school and vacation child care providers. The association has been working with the Office of the Children’s Guardian to promote child-centered cultures and child safe environments.

The Chief Executive Officer of Network of Community Activities in NSW Robyn Monro Miller said that the training aims to support organisations in the growing Out of School Hours (OOSH) sector.

“The training provides the sector with up to date information and guidelines on the best practices for child safe organisations and methods for conducting a self audit,” said Mrs Monro Miller.

“It outlines best recruitment practice to find the appropriate staff, questions to ask prospective employees, what to ask referees, what to look for in presentation and the language used at interviews.”

Participant Sasha Hoare, a coordinator from the OOSH Care at Kensington Public School, said the training demonstrated employers need to go beyond the Working With Children Check when recruiting new staff to ensure a child-centered culture that hires and keeps the right people.

The state wide seminars cover includes risk management strategies, the new Working With Children Check obligations, legal responsibilities, recruitment tips, how to apply child safe policies in daily practice, complaint handling procedures and developing child safe and friendly cultures.

Myriam Bahari with Sasha Hoare

Caption: The Child Safe Organisations seminar presenter Myriam Bahari with Sasha Hoare from OOSH Care at Kensington Public School at the Network of Community Activities training event.