Protection through participation: involving children in child-safe organisations

In the past, children and young people have been excluded from discussions about their safety. This has often been as a result of adult’s beliefs about children’s limited capacity to contribute to conversations about safety and strategies to both prevent and respond to risks of harm. By contrast, children in this study demonstrated their capacity and willingness to talk about issues such as abuse and harm and strongly encouraged adults to provide them with opportunities to do so.

According to researcher Tim Moore, enabling children and young people to understand, identify and raise their safety concerns with a trusted adult and within safe organisations is vital. However, there is little advice provided to adults and institutions about how this might be done in child-centred and child-informed ways.

Drawing from the Children’s Safety Study, a study that considered children’s perceptions of safety, their safety needs and how well they believed adults and institutions protected them from harm, Tim Moore’s paper provides practical guidance based on what children and young people have said themselves, as well as observations about how this might be put into practice.

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