If you see something – do something.
Organisations have a responsibility to encourage staff, volunteers and children to speak up when they are uncomfortable or concerned.
All staff and volunteers must understand their role in keeping children safe, including their reporting responsibilities. It is important that your organisation’s reporting process specifies the requirement for all child safety concerns to be reported and that it outlines the necessary steps involved in doing so.
Children who disclose that they are feeling unsafe or being abused must be heard, must be taken seriously and must be treated with sensitivity and compassion. They and their families and carers should be connected with services that can provide them with support to manage a difficult or traumatic experience. Your response should be the same no matter how you feel about the child’s disclosure or the person or persons implicated in their disclosure.
Simple, transparent, well-communicated processes for reporting a concern about the behaviour of a staff member or volunteer will significantly increase the likelihood that people within your organisational community will not turn a blind eye if they see something or feel something that they find concerning, or if they believe that a child is being harmed. Your reporting process must also be known by children and provided in a developmentally appropriate form.
A clear reporting process includes:
To assist your organisation, download the Flowchart: Child Safety Reporting Process (Word, 91kb).
Call the police on triple zero (000) if you have immediate concerns for a child’s safety or if you reasonably believe child abuse may have occurred. Investigation of any matter by police must always take priority over internal investigations.