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Empowering children

Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children

Enabling and promoting the participation of children within your organisation has many benefits.

This means:

  • supporting children and young people to understand their rights, contribute to child safety planning and to raise concerns
  • actively promoting and encouraging children’s participation in decision-making
  • valuing and respecting children’s opinions
  • seeking children’s views about what makes them feel safe and unsafe, including cultural safety and acting on their concerns
  • establishing an environment of trust and inclusion that enables children to ask questions and speak up if they are worried or feeling unsafe.

Children have unique insights into their lives, their needs and the world around them. They have a right to be heard and have their concerns and ideas taken seriously, particularly on matters that affect them – including how to keep them safe.

A child safe organisation encourages children to participate in a range of organisational activities and decision-making processes. This may require your organisation to develop new strategies for listening to, and communicating with, the children you work with.

Promoting children’s participation in decision-making processes benefits your organisation because you will gain valuable information about how children experience your organisation and their safety.

Most importantly, participation and empowerment serves to protect children. When children are provided with opportunities to participate and feel that their contribution is valued, they are more likely to speak up if they are harmed and if they feel unsafe.

To help you implement this standard, download the Empowerment and participation of children tip sheet (pdf 266kb).

More information