Child Safe Organisations
A child safe and friendly organisation places children and young people at the heart of what they do. A commitment to protecting children is embedded into the organisation’s culture, and is understood, accepted and acted upon by everyone. Another word for this is safeguarding.
Safeguarding is about identifying risks early and taking mitigation action – BEFORE it becomes a child protection issue.
We can help you become a child safe organisation.
How do you create a Child Safe Organisation and a Safeguarding Culture?
Creating and embedding a Safeguarding Culture begins at the top of the organisation. The commitment must include the resources and budget to bring it to life. The approach results in the commitment cascading through the organisation in a meaningful way.
- Child-Centred Practice. The safety and wellbeing of children and young people at the heart of every decision that staff and the organisation makes.
- A child protection policy and procedures that are understood by staff, volunteers, children and young people, and adhered to in every situation.
- A detailed Safeguarding Code of Conduct.
- Safe ways of working.
- Safeguarding training during induction that is updated annually.
- An Inclusivity Policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment and bullying.
- Safer Recruitment of staff and volunteers.
- Working together with children, young people, parents, carers, the community and other organisations to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.
How we work with you
We work with many different organisations, from leading national businesses to small community groups.
In most instances we begin with speaking to and surveying staff, so that we understand the true picture of what’s happening on the ground.
We take a whole systems approach, developing the skills and knowledge of staff and volunteers through training and enhancing internal processes and procedures, including safe recruitment. A strong child protection policy and good procedures are the cornerstone of any organisational change. Our experts too often find that many policies and procedures are either not fit for purpose, or are not used or applied by staff in the way they were intended.
Finally, we measure results. Staff report more confidence in organisational policies and procedures and the role they have to play. Some organisations see confidence in handling child protection concerns increase by 70 per cent. One staff member told us: “I have had a student disclosure since the workshop. I knew how to handle it and what to do with the information. It helped me know how to best support the student during the disclosure and I was then able to describe to them what steps I would take next.”
External funding sometimes allows us to work free of charge or at a reduced fee on a one to one basis with frontline community organisations undertaking important work with New Zealand’s most vulnerable who are unable, or would struggle, to pay. If you feel you fall into this category, please contact us for a discussion.
Why work with us?
If you provide services to children and young people, you most likely hold responsibilities under the Children’s Act 2014 (formerly the Vulnerable Children Act). If not under the Children’s Act 2014, you should hold these responsibilities under best practice.
Oranga Tamariki has a dedicated section on their website to help organisations understand and meet the requirements of the Children’s Act. It includes:
- Information about the Act
- Safety checking
- Child protection policies
Sectors we work with
- Education – schools, early childhood education providers, kindergartens and youth services, out of school care
- Health – GP practices, nursing organisations, student training, DHBs, PHOs, pharmacists, national providers
- Sport – national sporting codes, local sports clubs, regional sports organisations
- Special needs – disability services, mental health services
- Faith – religious institutions and family and community services
- Maori and Pasifika organisations including iwi and marae
Safer Organisations, Safer Communities
We believe we all have a responsibility for the children and young people around us. Through our safer communities work we raise awareness of child abuse and neglect, the impact it has, and encourage members of the public to speak up on behalf of children. We have a highly active community on our Facebook page.
Recent campaigns have increased awareness of:
- The impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
- Asking the right questions of organisations working with children eg safe recruitment
- Organisations that can help