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Child Safe Framework


Child Safe Framework

Schools are called to be Christ-centred and child-focused places of learning.

Children and young people reach their God-given potential through developing and flourishing in a safe environment. No child or young person can learn and flourish if he or she feels unsafe.

Child safety continues to be a key priority for all Catholic schools. The Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) Child Safe Framework, launched in 2018, encourages and supports every member of Catholic school communities to make good decisions that always keep the best interests of the child or young person first.

This Framework comprises nine elements.

  • Support and Healing
  • Culture
  • Voice of the Child
  • Governance and Leadership
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Human Resources
  • Risk Management
  • Investigation and Reporting
  • Quality Assurance

The framework is based on the latest research in child safety for institutions, is evidence based, best practice and consistent with Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommendations. It highlights that we need to be driving a mindset in our schools of modelling healthy and respectful relationships. We want to prevent problem behaviours and abuse from occurring in the first place.

The framework is founded on two primary concepts:

  • Situational Prevention – involves enacting strategies to make it easier for good practice to flourish. We promote professional behaviours, and increase the effort to avoid the risks of engaging in problem behaviours. We set clear expectations, as detailed in the College Code of Conduct, for staff, students, parents and visitors to the College. We intentionally design various elements of our schools, staffing, governance, leadership, physical and online environments, behaviours and culture to prevent abuse.
  • Extended Guardianship – leaders, staff and school community are well informed and share a collective responsibility to take an active role in the safety and well-being of children. It is creating a culture that normalises discussion and feedback no matter who is involved, particularly of ambiguous situations.

As part of this framework, we have implemented the Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum from Pre-Kindergarten to Year Six. The programme is integrated into the curriculum and is presented in a developmentally, age-appropriate manner and delivered within the teachings of our Catholic identity.

Like the Child Safe Framework, the  Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum is an evidence based, best practice programme developed collaboratively with child protection experts, teachers, educational leaders and other professionals. The programme aims to empower students with the understanding that they have the right to be safe and teaches lifelong skills that will help them to be safe by talking to people they trust.

Further information regarding the Child Safe Framework can be found at the below website.

Child Safe Catholic Schools