What do children and young people have to say about safety in institutions?
Authors: Dr Tim Moore, Emeritus Professor Morag McArthur
In this article for The Conversation, Dr Tim Moore and Professor Morag McArthur discuss the need for organisations to listen to children and young people about their safety concerns. The article reports on findings from the first part of a study conducted by the ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies,
which aimed to develop an understanding of how children perceive safety and consider it within institutional contexts. The first part of this study included focus groups with children and young people aged 4-18 in the ACT, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Dr Moore and Professor McArthur report that children and young people who participated in the study provided valuable information about what makes them feel safe and unsafe in institutions, the characteristics of safe institutions, and how institutions could respond effectively to their needs and concerns.
They emphasise the need for adults and institutions to take children and young people’s views and ideas seriously, and to act on these in order to develop safer environments.