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Aware. Protective. Safe. Strategy

We are strengthening our approach to keeping all children and young people safe from sexual abuse in Queensland schools and early childhood services by implementing the Aware. Protective. Safe. strategy (PDF, 2.8MB).

The strategy reinforces our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people and identifies how we are building on our existing child safe environment by implementing the national principles for child safe organisations.

The actions outlined in the strategy reflect our response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and additional initiatives to enhance our culture of awareness, protection and safety for all Queensland children and young people.

Our commitment

The Department of Education is committed to:

  • ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all Queensland children and young people
  • providing safe, supportive and disciplined environments for all children and young people across Queensland supporting our education partners to keep children and young people safe and well
  • responding promptly to allegations of harm or risk of harm to children and young people in our care supporting people who have experienced sexual abuse
  • providing a child safe environment through implementation of the national principles for child safe organisations.

Our approach

  • Reflect—Respond to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and identify strategies to strengthen our approach.
  • Strengthen—Implement improvements to our approach and build the capacity of education partners through provision of information and resources.
  • Embed—Integrate improved strategies into core business for all members of the education community.
  • Review—Assess the efficacy of our approach and identify strategies to strengthen our approach with evidence-based best practice.

Our implementation values

Involve

We will consult with children and young people in the decisions that affect them and listen to what they have to say.

Include

We will reflect equity and the diverse needs, lived experiences and cultural safety of all children and young people in our approach.

Inform

We will work with our families and communities to ensure they are aware and equipped to recognise, prevent and respond to child sexual abuse.

Implement

We will implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and respond to recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Improve

We will continuously improve our understanding and approach to preventing and responding to child sexual abuse.

National principles for child safe organisations

The national principles (PDF, 1.9MB) were created by the National Children’s Commissioner and build upon the child safe standards that were recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in their final report, released in 2017. The national principles were endorsed by the Council of the Australian Governments (COAG) in February 2019.

The strategy uses Aware. Protective. Safe. to organise the national principles into areas of implementation focus. The Department of Education currently satisfies the principles and will continue to review and strengthen its approach as an ongoing commitment to the safety and wellbeing of Queensland children.

Aware

Families and communities are involved in safety settings.


Ongoing education and training.


Robust recruitment and screening.

Protective

Committed leadership, governance and culture.


Effective complaints management.


Regular improvement.


Child safety and wellbeing policies and procedures.

Safe

Children and young people are safe, informed and actively participate in the organisation.


Safe physical and online environments.


Equity and diversity promoted.

Our child safe environment

The department achieves a child safe environment by reflecting the national principles for child safe organisations in our policies, procedures, guidelines and leadership throughout all levels of the organisation. The Department of Education’s Child safe environment map (PDF, 1.3MB) illustrates how we are currently upholding each of the national principles.

The Royal Commission into Institution Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (‘the Commission’) was established by the Australian Government in January 2013 to investigate how institutions have responded to child sexual abuse allegations emerging in Australia. The Commission sat for 5 years and made a total of 409 recommendations across 4 reports.

Resources and links

Office of the eSafety Commissioner (OeSC)
The OeSC website provides guidance on specific safety issues including cyberbullying, adult cyber abuse, image-based abuse, technology-related concerns for people at risk of family or domestic violence.

National Office for Child Safety
The National Office for Child Safety (the National Office) provides national leadership, working across governments and sectors, to deliver national policies and strategies to enhance children’s safety and reduce future harm to children.

Human Rights
The Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (the Act) makes it unlawful for public entities (i.e. state schools and departmental staff) to act or make a decision in a way that is not compatible with a human right or, in making a decision, fails to give proper consideration to a relevant human right.

Staff who develop or review policies and procedures may use this resource to assess compatibility with human rights, and identify any changes needed.

National Redress
The National Redress Scheme has been created in response to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse listened to thousands of people about the abuse they experienced as children. The abuse happened in orphanages, Children’s Homes, schools, churches and other religious organisations, sports clubs, hospitals, foster care and other institutions.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ )
Last updated
28 August 2020