Standard 3: Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously

Minimum requirements

In complying with Child Safe Standard 3 an organisation must, at a minimum, ensure:

3.1    Children and young people are informed about all of their rights, including to safety, information and participation.

3.2    The importance of friendships is recognised and support from peers is encouraged, to help children and young people feel safe and be less isolated.

3.3    Where relevant to the setting or context, children and young people are offered access to sexual abuse prevention programs and to relevant related information in an age-appropriate way.

3.4    Staff and volunteers are attuned to signs of harm and facilitate child-friendly ways for children and young people to express their views, participate in decision-making and raise their concerns.

3.5    Organisations have strategies in place to develop a culture that facilitates participation and is responsive to the input of children and young people.

3.6    Organisations provide opportunities for children and young people to participate and are responsive to their contributions, thereby strengthening confidence and engagement.

Compliance indicators

What will the Commission look for when assessing this Standard?

Organisations will generally comply if they produce these documents and undertake these actions in a way that supports the organisation to achieve this Standard. The nature or characteristics of your organisation may mean you need to do something different to what is proposed below. Read our guidance materials for more information.

Documents

  • Age-appropriate and easy to understand documents, in print or online, are easily accessible and support children to:
    • understand their rights, including to safety, information and participation
    • know how adults in the organisation should behave
    • understand the organisation’s complaints process and how to raise safety concerns for themselves, their friends or peers
    • know about support services aimed at children. (3.1)
  • The organisation’s policies and procedures:
    • promote children’s empowerment and participation
    • embed support for the rights of children. (3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6)

Actions

  • Staff and volunteers in the organisation engage with children to help them to:
    • understand their rights, including to safety, information and participation
    • know how adults in the organisation should behave
    • understand the organisation’s complaints process and how to raise safety concerns for themselves, their friends or peers
    • know about support services aimed at children. (3.1, 3.4)
  • Practices in the organisation that disempower children are identified and action is taken to change them. (3.5, 3.6)
  • Staff and volunteers are provided with information to help them understand, recognise and act on signs of child abuse or harm. (3.4)
  • Where relevant, the organisation provides access to sexual abuse prevention programs and other relevant information to children in an age-appropriate and accessible manner. (3.3)
  • The organisation creates opportunities for children to express their views and participate in decisions that impact them. What is heard and learnt from children influences how the organisation works. (3.5, 3.6)
  • Staff and volunteers are supported to develop knowledge and skills to help children participate, express their views and raise their concerns. (3.4)
  • The organisation supports children to develop social connections and friendships with their peers, build skills in children to support their peers and challenge bullying or isolating behaviour between children. (3.2) 

Learn more about Standard 3

Our Guide for creating a Child Safe Organisation has detailed information and advice on how to comply with each Standard. This guide is helpful for people who are responsible for implementing the Child Safe Standards:

If you’re looking for an overview of all the Standards and requirements, download the Short Guide to the Child Safe Standards. This guide is useful for people who are just getting started with the Standards, or people who have oversight of the Standards in their organisation.

The Commission also has a range of tools and templates to help organisations develop key policies, practices and procedures. These are available in the resources section of our website.