Standard 6: risk management and mitigation

To reduce the likelihood of harm organisations must think about and define the risks.

Child Safe Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

Risks always exist for children and there may be some risks that are beyond your organisation’s control. But you must do what is in your power to reduce the risk of children being harmed.

Risk assessment

Creating a child safe organisation begins with a clear  understanding of the potential risks to children in an organisation’s setting – what could go wrong and what you can do to reduce or remove these risks.

To reduce the likelihood of harm, think about and define your organisations risks.

This includes:

  • thinking about your organisation, its activities and the services it provides to children
  • planning how to make activities as safe as possible
  • being proactive to reduce the likelihood of risks.

How do you start?

Organisations should ask:

  • What could go wrong within the organisation or in any specific activity?
  • Are there any circumstances that expose children to risk?
  • Does the work the organisation does involve bodily contact between adults and children?
  • Is there a low level of parental involvement?
  • Are there places where interactions between adults and children can be obscured from sight?
  • Are there circumstances where a staff member or volunteer could be left alone with a child?
  • Does the organisation work with children who are particularly vulnerable?

Engage children in the process

We suggest that your organisation involves children and young people in the process of identifying and managing risks. Communicate with them about the measures you are putting in place to keep them safe.

An ongoing process

Remember that reducing risks to children is an ongoing process. Your organisations should monitor the strategies in place to reduce risk and be willing to incorporate the learnings that happen when things work well or don’t work so well.