Children's Safety in 2021: a message from the National Office for Child Safety
As we settle back in to the workplace, school and the ‘new normal’ that COVID-19 brings, it is important that we continue to prioritise the safety of children and young people.
COVID-19 has been challenging for all Australians and brought many changes to our daily lives, with particular impacts on regular activities of children and young people, such as schooling, childcare, sports and other extracurricular activities. It is crucial that we, as individuals and as a community, stay focused on the safety and wellbeing of children and young people as we adjust to frequently changing conditions and restrictions, and as we go back to regular routines.
There are some valuable, up-to-date resources available to help parents, carers and educators to keep children and young people safe as they return to school, interact online and go about their usual activities in the community.
- The Australian Federal Police published an informative article reminding parents and carers of important considerations when sharing information about their child at school on social media.
- As children and young people return to recreation and sports clubs in person, it is timely to remind parents and carers of the child safety expectations of these organisations:
- The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Child Safe Organisations: Guide for Parents and Carers may help parents and carers know what to look for in organisations that work with children. This resource is available in a range of languages.
- Play by the Rules is a national program and website designed to make sport safe, fair and inclusive. It provides information on how to create a child safe organisation and the considerations for parents and carers when engaging in sporting clubs, such as recording or photographing children. The program also has a child protection online course for coaches, administrators, officials, players, parents and spectators.
- The eSafety Commissioner continues to produce valuable resources and information about keeping children and young people safe online. As part of Safer Internet Day 2021, eSafety released an online safety picture book and song and launched a series of webinars for parents and carers.
- The Commissioner for Children and Young People Western Australia, with the National Office for Child Safety, recently published a series of 'Speak up and make a complaint' resources to remind children and young people about their right to speak up when they feel unsafe, unhappy or unfairly treated. They also include information for adults to help children and young people use the resources.
Throughout 2021, the National Office for Child Safety will continue working on its key priorities— including developing the National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse— to support organisations and sectors to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and work with state and territory governments on harmonisation and consistency in national child safety strategies and initiatives.
You can stay up to date with the latest news from our office through our website.
Wishing you all the best in 2021.
National Office for Child Safety