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Updated resources to aid organisations in keeping WA children and young people safe from harm

Updated resources released today by the Commissioner for Children and Young People aim to help WA organisations to ensure they have strong policies and procedures in place to protect children in their care.

Commissioner Colin Pettit said that all children and young people had the right to feel safe, be safe and be respected wherever they are.

“WA children and young people are regularly involved in activities and organisations outside of the home – including school, sport, recreation, churches and health care – that are provided by government, non-government and community-based organisations,” Mr Pettit said.

“Children rely on the adults entrusted with their care to both protect and empower them to be safe from any form of abuse or harm.

“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has unfortunately highlighted that child abuse within organisations is an ongoing concern and that constant vigilance is essential.

“The updated resources reflect the ten National Principles for Child Safe Organisations that have been endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments.

“Each of the ten principles are achievable and relevant in reducing the risk of children and young people experiencing harm when in the care of organisations.”

The Commissioner has also produced a checklist for parents and carers to help them in choosing organisations and outlines they can support their children to speak up on concerns.

“These resources are available through my website and I urge all WA organisations working with children and young people to ensure they both fully understand and implement the National Principles,” Mr Pettit said.

“While there is currently no legislative requirement in WA making the implementation of these principles compulsory, there is an imperative to protect children and young people from harm and a community expectation that organisations will take all appropriate action.

“I particularly challenge those in leadership roles to ensure that they have identified risks, have the right strategies in place that are reviewed and that children and young people are empowered to participate in decision-making and are able to speak up about any concerns.”

There will be a free information session on the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations WA resources on Monday, 16 December. Registrations are essential.