All organisations have a duty of care and responsibility to safeguard children. Even more so when they provide services to children and young people. Staff or volunteers who are responsible for children without parents/carers present are in a position of trust, a privileged position which can be abused. The news, reports and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into State and Faith-Based care highlight that many organisations are failing to meet this duty of care and in some cases this has resulted in children being abused. Don’t let that be your organisation. Assess how well your organisation meets these standards as laid out above and suggest to senior leadership what needs to be improved so you know you have done all you can to Stop Child Sexual Abuse.
It’s not your burden as a staff member or volunteer with children to bear alone. You are part of a supportive web around a child. Understand your role and share the responsibility. That is what the above model does, ensures people know their roles and accountability is shared. Encourage your leadership team to ensure they have reviewed and updated their child safe systems and processes so that it is easier for you to navigate the challenges of recognising and responding to child sexual abuse. You have the power to request more support and initiate change in your workplace. You are not alone in this, and together we can make a difference.
Examples of different organisations who have ended up failing to protect the children they were responsible for: