Creating a culture of child safety in practice

While not all Osteopaths will treat children or young adults, many may provide clinical support and assistance to them and their caregivers for musculoskeletal and related issues. As such it is important to ensure that you have child safety and wellbeing practices embedding into organisational or individual leadership, governance and culture.

As such, we have complied resources below that can be used by individual practitioners and larger Osteopathic groups to ensure that child safety and wellbeing is a priority in everyday practice.

Information, tools and resources:

The National Office for Child Safety introduced the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (National Principles) in 2019 as a practical response to the child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

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

2. Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.

3. Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.

4. Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.

5. People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.

6. Processes to respond to complaints and concerns are child focused.

7. Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.

8. Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.

9. Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved.

10. Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.

Practical Tools

Alongside the National Principles, Practical tool for the implementation of the National Principles have been developed.

The following tools are now available on the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) webpage:

  • Introductory self-assessment tool of organisations. This tool helps an organisation evaluate their current practices and identify areas for improvement
  • A Charter of Commitment to Children and Young People. Contains examples and templates to help organisations create their own Charter of Commitment to show how an organisation will commit to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children.
  • Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy Template. A template to help organisations develop their polices and procedures on how they will address the National principles.
  • Example of Child Safe Code of Conduct. To be used as a guide for developing a contextual code of conduct for organisations, setting out expected behaviours for members of an organisation.
  • Checklist for online safety. A tool to help organisations understand online risk and what they can do to help keep kids safe online.
  • 11 e-learning modules are available and aim to help organisations to increase their knowledge and understanding of the National Principles.

The National Office for Child Safety, has the additional following resources that can be used to help implement the National Principles: