A child safe organisation has:
- employees who are aware of their duty of care and reporting and responding to concerns and complaints.
- procedures in place for listening to children and dealing with concerns or complaints about behaviours towards a child, a disclosure of abuse or abuse.
A child safe organisation knows what constitutes harm to a child and what to do when it is detected.
The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 makes certain occupations mandatory reporters of child abuse. However, anyone who has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person is at risk of being neglected or physically, sexually or emotionally abused should make a report to the Child Protection Helpline. Remember that allegations of child abuse must be handed by professional. Call Family and Community Services Helpline on 132111 (24 hours a day 7 days a week) if you suspect child abuse or 133 627 (for mandatory reporters).
Many people find it difficult to raise a concern or a problem about the organisation they are involved in, particularly children who are often reluctant to complain and may feel powerless. A well defined incident/concern reporting and management arrangement should make it clear that a child can approach any person in the organisation to express concerns about their treatment and they will be taken seriously. It should also inform employees and volunteers about whom they can approach to express concerns.