Working together and taking action to improve child safety

The Healing Foundation facilitated the first in a series of stakeholders workshops organised by the National Office for Child Safety today. The workshops are aimed at developing the most effective ways to implement the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Michelle Landry thanked participating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations for their engagement and contribution to the workshop.

“The Coalition Government is committed to listening to the concerns and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It is important that we are working together to develop strategies which improve outcomes and prevent future harms to children,” Minister Landry said.

“The Government acknowledges that some children and communities in Australia are facing particularly complex challenges, which can impact on their emotional, social, educational and economic outcomes.”

“These workshops provide a valuable opportunity for discussion on how we shape initiatives being led by the National Office such as the National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse,” Ms Landry said.

“Through the National Office, the Australian Government plays a pivotal role in national leadership, working in partnership with state and territory governments, and stakeholder groups to effect the changes that are needed.”

The National Office also provides national leadership for the implementation of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The National Principles have been developed to embed a child safe culture across all sectors in Australia and make organisations safe for children and young people to reduce future harm in institutional settings.

The National Principles are expected to be endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments by early 2019.  Once endorsed, these Principles will be able to be adopted and implemented by all relevant sectors including child protection and youth justice systems.

The National Principles emphasise the importance of culturally safe environments and practices, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and require organisations to pay particular attention to the needs of children and young people who may benefit from trauma informed approaches.

The Government is also finalising the Fourth Action Plan under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, which includes a focus on providing culturally appropriate support to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people at risk of entering, or in contact with, child protection systems, ensuring their connection to family, community, culture and country.

The Fourth Action Plan is expected to be finalised before the end of the year.

“As the Assistant Minister for Children and Families, I am delighted to work with all stakeholders to support the safety and wellbeing of children in Australia”, Ms Landry said.