National Child Protection Week (5-11 September) theme for 2021 is ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’. To treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.

 

In Child Protection Week 2021 the Blue Mountains Coalition Against Violence and Abuse (CAVA) is promoting the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations to local organisations who work with children and young people.  Every child and young person have a right to be safe and treated fairly, and organisations around Australia are incorporating the National Child Safe Principles into their operations.

 

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.

 

 

“We believe that every child in every community has a right to feel safe, to feel loved and to know that they belong. By focusing on the 10 National Principles for Child Safe Organisations we are doing our part in building a child safe community,” said Sophie Corbett from Gateway Family Services.

Linda Croyston from THRIVE put it another way, “A safe child is a child that feels empowered to make decisions about their world”.

Venessa Possum, Manager at the Blue Mountains Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre said, “the Centre promotes culturally safe practices across all of our support services. Our relational approach is increasing wellbeing and building capacity for a stronger, cohesive Aboriginal community of children, youth, families and Elders”.

While Kim Martin from Connect Child and Family Services says, “we see being a Child Safe Organisation as critical to our work. It is every child’s right to be safe. We pay attention to each child and family, and notice signs that indicate they may need support. We know it takes the whole community to work together to keep children safe.”

“Being a Child Safe Organisation supports DV West’s commitment to reducing risks and increasing protective factors in children’s lives. Every child has the right to be safe, respected and to be the voice in their life. DV West is passionate about supporting children to heal and live their lives free from domestic and family violence”, said Jude Sayers Manager of Blue Mountains DV West.

Tatiana Lozano, Manager of MOCS says, “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.”

Local organisations who are committed to the National Principles for Child Safety so far are:

Belong Blue Mountains 
https://www.belongbm.org.au/

Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre
https://banc.org.au/

Blue Mountains Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre
https://www.acrc.org.au/

Blue Mountains DV West
https://www.dvwest.org.au/

Connect Child and Family Services
https://www.connectcfs.org.au/

Gateway Family Services
https://www.gatewayfamilyservices.org.au/

Mountains Outreach Community Service
https://www.mocs.org.au/

Mountains Youth Services Team
https://myst.com.au/

Springwood Neighbourhood Centre
https://www.sncc.org.au/

THRIVE Family Services
https://thriveservices.org.au/

 

CAVA encourages all organisations to embark upon the Child Safe journey for more information go to   https://childsafe.humanrights.gov.au/national-principles

Visit https://www.napcan.org.au/get-involved-2021/ to find out more about National Child Protection Week.

 

1.The National Principles were devised by the Australian Human Rights Commission and ensure for emotional, mental and physical safety when children and young people engage with organisations.