In 2017, the ACU Safeguarding Children Capability Framework (the Framework) was developed, which informs all courses, programs, services and information provided by ACU. The Framework draws on research by the ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, as well as government standards, such as the Victorian Government’s Child-Safe Standards, which apply to all organisations providing services to children and young people up to the age of 18.
Child-safe standards, elements of good practice, and principles that underpin them that have been articulated by the Royal Commission, the National Children’s Commissioner, and the Victorian Government. They all encourage organisations to develop approaches to child safety that reflect the nature of their work. In order to do this effectively, organisational leaders and professionals must develop the relevant capabilities to undertake appropriate risk assessment, be equipped to identify and examine the issues, and tailor organisational responses. To facilitate this, ACU identified the capabilities that adults need to have, in order to implement child-safe organisational standards.
The Framework includes the following six capabilities:
As an education provider, and one of the largest providers of undergraduate (pre-service) training and continuing education for teachers and health/allied health professionals in Australia, ACU is keenly aware of what this means for equipping professionals: upskilling and supporting current professionals, and preparing future professionals to enter the workforce. ACU has framed the capabilities in relation to what adults need to know and do within their organisations and sectors to keep children safe, and to create the conditions of safety that support effective prevention and responses to harm.
The ACU Safeguarding Capability Framework is:
Focused on equipping adults with the skills needed to keep children safe through implementation of strategies and compliance with regulatory regimes and standards;
Applicable to safeguarding children from all forms of maltreatment, including harm from peers;
Tailored to the specific issues and challenges of child sexual abuse prevention and responses; and,
Framed in terms of the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed of adults to support and empower children and young people, and implement effective strategies to prevent harm and respond to risks.