Key elements of child-safe organisations examined

We asked a panel of Australian and international experts to rate what elements make child-safe organisations.

The research was conducted by the Parenting Research Centre and Social Policy Research Centre, and was commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission).

The key elements, identified by the Royal Commission, included:

  • organisational leadership, governance and culture
  • human resources management
  • child-safe policy and procedures
  • child-focused complaint process
  • education and training
  • children’s participation and empowerment
  • family and community involvement
  • physical and online environment
  • review and continuous improvement.

The panel rated how important and how achievable each element could be, and commented on associated costs and risks of implementing certain practices or processes.

A majority of the experts considered the elements to be relevant, achievable and reliable. Many respondents expressed concern about how the elements might be implemented, the associated costs (particularly for organisations that are smaller, voluntary and community-based), and risks associated with implementation. The experts also gave suggestions for how the elements could be meaningfully implemented.

The findings have been published in the report Key Elements of Child Safe Organisations – Research Study prepared for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.