Protective Participation: The Voices of Young People on Safety

Authors: Dr. Tim Moore, ICPS

Protective participation refers to the inclusion of children and young people in discussions, decision-making and processes which involve their safety, both from sexual abuse and other forms of harm. This practice tool, developed and written by Dr Tim Moore, supports schools, and other organisations, to consider how they can involve young people in safeguarding discussions and activities.

Research findings tell us that children and young people appreciate, and enjoy being included in decision-making processes which affect them. Including curriculum choices, legal matters and now child safety. Children in focus groups involved in research related to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the development of the Australian Safe Kids and Young People survey all valued having their thoughts heard by adults who care.

Including pulse checks, activities to work through with young people as well as assessment rubrics so staff can see how they’re doing as a whole organisation and areas they may wish to work on. Based on Sheir’s Model of Participation (2001) this empirical-based tool can help organisations in working towards meeting standards related to the involvement of children and young people in decisions which affect them (Vic standard 7, Draft National Principle 2).

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