From Words To Actions

Fulfilling the obligation to be child safe


The Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for Children and Young People tabled its report From Words To Action – Fulfilling the obligation to be child-safe, following its inquiry into monitoring and enforcing child safe standards.

The Valuing Children Initiative contributed to the report which is now available on the Committee’s website (under the reports tab)

Some significant extracts from the report that highlights the importance of valuing children and the need for a cultural shift in communities are stated below;

Finding 8: Prevention and child-safe education should include information about the inherent value and status of children in order to influence community views of children and help bring about the cultural shift required to keep children safe.

Children are safer when they are valued, their rights are respected and their best interests are paramount.

As the Western Australian Council of Social Services (WACOSS) has pointed out, prevention education should include information about the value and status of children in order to influence community views of children and help bring about the cultural shift required to keep children safe.

According to the submission from the Valuing Children Initiative, without strategies to highlight children’s ‘inherent value to both individual families and society,’ effort to improve child safety through implementing structural tools like child safe standards will ‘always only be a partial response.’

The Committee supports this view, noting evidence that children are more at risk of abuse and neglect when they lack status, dignity and respect.