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Child friendly complaint processes and reporting

“Make an email address for complaints. Have a helpline available to call. Handing out weekly surveys. A tell-it-all box which kids that feel unsecure or uncomfortable can write their worries and only camp leaders can read and try and solve the issue. Remind the children to tell them when there is a problem. Ask how we are doing once in a while.” Children and young people

National Principle 6: Processes to respond to complaints and concerns are child focused.

Child safe and friendly organisations establish guidelines for listening to children and young people about any concerns or complaints about behaviour towards a child, and disclosure or discovery of abuse.

‘Complaints systems are a fundamental part of ongoing organisational development to meet the needs of its intended consumers. They are also an important mechanism for correcting mistakes and for protecting people from abuse and mistreatment. Independent inquiries into child abuse, in Australia and internationally, consistently cite the same reasons children and young people give for not reporting abuse. These include not knowing how or who to complain to, and fear of not being believed or other repercussions if they do make a complaint.’1

Children have a right to know about their rights. (Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 4)

Commissioner's resources

Child Friendly Complaints Guidelines

pdf 2MB Download pdf

Monitoring of complaints systems report 2019

pdf 752Kb Download pdf

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations WA: Guidelines

pdf 2MB Download pdf

National resources

Speak up and make a complaint resources - National Office for Child Safety

Speak up and make a complaint - National Office for Child Safety (including translated resources in Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, Hindi, Greek, Italian, Punjabi, Spanish and Vietnamese).

Complaint Handling Guide: Upholding the rights of children and young people - Australian Government

Guidelines for complaint management in organizations, Australian and New Zealand Standard - Standards Australia

Other resources and examples

Effective handling of complaints and procedural fairness (natural justice) - Ombudsman WA

Advocate for Children in Care - WA Department of Communities

Safety of children with a disability - Commission for Children and Young People Victoria

Bringing Child Rights into Your Classroom: An Educator’s Guide - SNAICC - National Voice for our Children

Explore the National Principles


  1. Commissioner for Children and Young People WA 2013, Are you listening? Guidelines for making complaints systems accessible and responsive to children and young people, Commissioner for Children and Young People WA, Perth, p. 5.