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Implementing the 10 principles

Children and young people have the right to be safe and respected wherever they are. That is why the community expects organisations to take appropriate steps to promote their safety. The ten National Principles for Child Safe Organisations provide guidance about what behaviours and practices organisations should have in place. A clear organisational plan that focuses on how the principles will be implemented will increase the likelihood that the key actions and supporting practices will yield their intended outcomes. This table summarises best practice considerations in implementation.

P - Plan implementation

  • Leadership commitment to implementation and an open culture
  • Child safety is the clear and constant focus
  • Children and young people are empowered to participate
  • Create a supported structure for implementation and reporting back

R - Readiness of individuals and organisations

  • Assess the needs of individuals and the organisation
  • Self-assessment and review processes are suited to the complexity of the organisation
  • Training and continuous support for those leading implementation
  • Everyone is clear why improvement is needed

A - Ability and capacity of individuals and the organisation

  • Improve knowledge, attitudes and skills of staff and volunteers
  • Support individual behavioural change
  • Feedback mechanisms are in place

C - Coordination

  • Clear coordinator(s)
  • Active planning processes that foster involvement and team work
  • Clear roles and responsibilities across the organisation
  • Early focus on sustainability of child safe practices
  • Monitoring or evaluation of ongoing activities

T - Targeted

  • Adopt a risk management approach
  • Barriers to implementation are identified and addressed
  • Right mix of implementation strategies

I - Iterative cycles - continuous improvement

  • Plan, do, check, act
  • Areas of risk are mitigated
  • Learning from mistakes, complaints and successes
  • Accountable structure for moving change forward

C - Collaboration

  • Identify who can help
  • Active engagement of internal stakeholders, parents, community members and children and young people
  • Seek support from funding agencies or peak bodies
  • Source specialist knowledge or external review

E - Effectiveness and efficiency

  • Align to existing organisational development activities, accreditation or funder requirements
  • Exchange successful strategies with similar organisations
  • Embed principles into routine practices in your organisation

Adapted from: John Litt, Michael Weingarten 2010, Putting prevention into practice: how can you do it ethically, effectively and efficiently? Swiss Primary Care. 2010;10(14):266-7.147 and Parenting Research Centre 2016, Implementation best practice: A rapid evidence assessment, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Sydney.

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