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Leadership, governance and culture

“I think that adults think they know what kids need to be safe but I don’t think that they do. They base it on what they remember from when they were kids and the world is different now. So they need to talk to kids and find out what it means to them.” Young person

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National Principle 1: Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.

Leaders of organisations, including board and committee members, chief executives, directors and managers, are responsible for creating and maintaining an organisational culture that ensures the prevention of child abuse is the responsibility of all staff and volunteers.  

To be effective in establishing a child safe and friendly organisation, leaders will need to implement each of the ten principles and review them regularly. Whilst governance arrangements will vary depending on the type, nature, size and capacity of an organisation, they should be transparent and all members within the organisation – staff, volunteers, parents, carers and children should feel confident to safely discuss any child safety concerns.

All organisations concerned with children should work towards what is best for each child. (Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 3)

Commissioner's resources

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations WA - Guidelines

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National Principles for Child Safe Organisations WA - In brief

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National Principles for Child Safe Organisations WA - Self-assessment and review tool - Word template

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National resources

Child Safe Organisations: About - Australian Human Rights Commission

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations - Australia's National Children's Commissioner

National Office of Child Safety - Australian Government

Guiding principles of good governance - Australian Institute of Company Directors

Other resources and examples

Assessing the different dimensions and degrees of risk of child sexual abuse in institutions - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Outlines the differences between types of organisations in terms of level of risk of harm to children according to the characteristics of the organisation, the kinds of services/activities that it provides, and the children and young people it serves.

State Records Office of WA

Safeguarding children - YMCA Perth

Risk management - NSW Office of the Children's Guardian 

Risk management and litigation - Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People 

Explore the National Principles