Stronger Communities, Safer Kids’ – the theme for National Child Protection Week 3-9 September – highlights the importance of our school communities in supporting our kids to be and feel safe. Our best available research, practice recommendations, and regulatory requirements all point a comprehensive framework for situational prevention, healthy relationships, and child safe culture.
To support schools, the Child Safe Framework project is developing tools and resources, guided by a school leaders reference group. A self-assessment tool helps school leaders review current practices and behaviours, identify strengths and examples of what’s working well to promote and share, and consider areas for growth for annual school improvement planning. Classroom and VR simulators facilitate situational prevention and code of conduct discussions to inform professional behaviours and mindsets needed for child safe culture. Claned modules, starting with Mandatory Reporting, support our professional learning needs. Some of these were on display and discussed at the recent Leaders Forum, and the project team is inviting interest from schools to demonstrate these tools and resources and incorporate any feedback.
Another initial priority is Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum training, planning and support. Recently, over 50 colleagues attended train-the-trainer courses, tripling our Keeping Safe Trainers to over 80, with collaboration now supported on CEWA365 Teams. Trainers are vital to train teachers and staff and to support school-wide planning to integrate lessons in classes and share information with parents, as required by our schools’ registration Standard 12.1 from 1 January 2017. Schools are encouraged to nominate staff as Keeping Safe Trainers to support their own child protection curriculum training and planning, and can register interest in Keeping Safe Trainers courses being planned for Bunbury and Perth in Term 4 by contacting Galen Townson.
This Child Protection Week, what strengths can you see and share in child safety? What are your priorities and plans for Keeping Safe and other area of development to enable your child safe culture and stronger school community for safe kids?