Parents and carers play an important role in making sure their children are spending time in places that are safe.
What a ‘child safe organisation’ aims to do
A child safe organisation means that the place where our children spend time is safe from physical, sexual, psychological, ill-treatment and neglect. A child safe place will have established rules to make sure children and young people are kept safe.
What parents and carers can do
Parents have a right to know who is working with their children.
They can tell an organisation puts children first in a few different ways. The most important thing to do is ask questions and talk about any concerns. When looking at a new service they can:
- Ask to review the organisation's policies, procedures and Code of Conduct. These documents will provide an indication of how well the organisation values children.
- Find out if the organisation has implemented or started to implement the Child Safe Standards. Organisations are required to apply the Standards under the new Child Safe Scheme. Find out more about the Child Safe Scheme.
- Ask for a tour to see how workers interact with children. Ask their leaders about staff training and how they ensure staff are aware of appropriate behaviour with children.
- Be involved in the organisation where possible. Child safe organisations are more likely to involve parents and children in decisions that affect them.
- Find out about the organisation's complaint handling process.
- Leaders in the organisation should welcome questions and want to demonstrate that they put children first.
It’s also important for parents to ask children about their experiences and show them they are interested in what the children do. Parents should talk about safe behaviours and let their children know they can talk to them if they ever feel scared, worried, upset or uncomfortable.
What organisations should do
Child-related organisations can show they are child safe by implementing the Child Safe Standards, which may include:
- Promoting information about being child safe on their website or social media, or prominently displaying posters in their organisation.
- Being respectful in the way they communicate with children and young people.
- Providing information in a way children understand – including how to make a complaint.
- Showing children that they are welcome no matter their ability, family or cultural background.
- Telling parents and children what is expected from their staff and volunteers.
- Giving parents information on the skills of their staff and volunteers.
- Demonstrating that workers and volunteers are supervised when working with children.