The Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) provides surveys that can help your organisation measure change. These evidence-informed assessment tools can help your organisation measure how children perceive their sense of safety and how your workforce perceives their skills in safeguarding children. The surveys form part the Children and Young People’s Safety (CAYPS) research.

If your organisation wants better safeguarding practices for the children and workforce in your organisation, these tools can help:

  • Children’s Safety Survey
  • Safeguarding Capabilities in Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Survey

Access to the survey tools and support is subject to a fee and a sign-up procedure.

Children and Young People’s Safety research findings

We have published our first report from the Children and Young People’s Safety research project. The findings from 2018-2020 outline children and young people’s views of safety and adult safeguarding capabilities.

Surveys were undertaken by organisations that wanted to know how safe children feel and how capable staff feel about their role in safeguarding children. Changes to policy and practice and greater focus on developing a culture of safety can lead to improvements in safeguarding children. Participating organisations will use findings to measure ongoing improvements and measure the success of child sexual abuse prevention efforts from the perspective of children and the workforce.

This knowledge can support organisations to develop and improve their child-safe culture, and help protect children and young people from grooming and sexual abuse.

Read the full report (PDF, 3.7MB)

Children’s Safety Survey

The Children’s Safety Survey measures children and young people’s perceptions of safety. It gives you an opportunity to hear directly from children about how safe they feel in your organisation by measuring the following:

  • perceptions of safety
  • confidence in adults and in your organisation to prevent and respond to their concerns related to child sexual abuse and other forms of harm
  • barriers that restrict attempts to seek help.

During the survey period, you will have access to real-time results, and at the end, you will receive a report that will help you make decisions about how to improve the safety climate of your organisation.

For more information about the Children’s Safety Survey, download our prospectus (PDF, 969KB) or contact us.

Download prospectus (PDF, 969KB)

We have created a child-friendly infographic of the 2018-19 results. The results show us that while most children and young people feel safe, not all young people would tell someone if they felt unsafe. We also found that half of the young people we spoke to said there were things stopping them from seeking help. Download the results to share with young people in your organisation.

Download infographic (PDF, 98KB)

Safeguarding Capabilities Survey

The Safeguarding Capabilities in Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Survey (Safeguarding Capabilities Survey) measures the capabilities of the workforce – staff and volunteers – in preventing and responding to safeguarding concerns. It gives you an opportunity to assess the capabilities, behaviours and attitudes of staff in relation to safeguarding children by measuring the following:

  • organisational culture and awareness of policy and procedures
  • confidence to act
  • attitudes to prevention and agency of children and young people
  • situational prevention knowledge and education.

During the survey period, you will have access to real-time results, and at the end you will receive a report that will help you identify where you need to change policy and procedures and how to improve the conditions of safety for children and young people.

For more information about the Safeguarding Capabilities Survey, download our prospectus (PDF, 699KB) or contact us.

Download prospectus (PDF, 699KB)

We have created an infographic of the 2018-19 results for the Safeguarding Capabilities Survey data. These quick accessible results can help practitioners, organisational leaders and participants of the survey see the results at a glance. The findings tell us that people working in youth-serving organisations have positive attitudes towards safeguarding and keeping children safe, but that confidence in knowing what to do and doing it is an area to keep working on.

Download infographic (PDF, 306KB)

Children and Young People’s Safety

Children and Young People’s Safety (CAYPS) is an ongoing research project. It examines children and young people’s perceptions of safety in institutional settings, and adults’ capabilities in safeguarding children in their work with youth-serving organisations.

Listening to the views of children, young people and the workforce is a central element in understanding how to improve child-safe practice. Findings from the CAYPS research project will inform further research, policy development and child-safe strategies.

Background to CAYPS

The methodology for CAYPS was originally developed to inform the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, final report published in 2017. It informed their assessment of the effectiveness of prevention programs.

In 2014 to 2015, we  partnered with Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology, to develop an understanding of how children perceive safety and consider it within institutional contexts. Together we developed and deployed the Australian Survey of Kids and Young People survey (ASK-YP) for the Royal Commission Advisory Group. Survey scales were validated by Monash University, University of South Australia and ACU.

We conducted focus groups with children and young people to learn what issues were important to them so we could address those issues in the ASK-YP survey. The survey aimed to gauge the extent to which institutions met the safety needs identified by children and young people. The survey was conducted online and completed by 1480 children and young people across Australia in 2015. We presented the findings in a report, ‘Taking us seriously: Children and young people talk about safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns’.

Read the report: ‘Taking us seriously’

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800

This portal is aimed at people working in youth-serving organizations to help them better prevent and respond to harm to children.

If you would like to talk to a trained professional about what you’ve seen on the Portal, or need help, please call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


If you believe a child or young person is in immediate danger, call Police on 000.

Emergency and safety

Further information

For further information on crisis responses and reporting child abuse and neglect, see: Australian Institue of Family Studies website.

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