We are all part of the village it takes to raise a child.
I always like to try to see things through the eyes of a child, and I invite you to reflect on what the world looks like right now, through the eyes of a child.
Does it look and feel like a safe place? Do you believe Australian businesses give enough consideration to how their organisations can impact on vulnerable children?
According to a recent consumer poll, nearly 90% of respondents did not think so. The need for a childsafe culture within Australian businesses is a community priority.
What more can we all do to ensure that children and young people feel safe and are safe?
Businesses may inadvertently put the safety and wellbeing of children and young people at risk through their products and services, marketing and distribution methods, and relationships with and investments in local communities. Could your business inadvertently put children and young people at risk?
Providing safe spaces of belonging
Offering safe spaces for kids to enjoy being kids is one of our greatest privileges. Whether it’s at a Recreation Centre, an Early Learning Centre, an Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) program, gymnastics or a camp – we offer so many programs and services for Children and Young People – places of connection and belonging.
As one of the largest employers of young people – we are committed to ensuring that children and young people feel safe, and are safe at the Y, in their families and in their communities. We understand the great privilege we have to serve children and young people, and with that the great responsibility.
It takes a global village
We believe it also takes a global village to raise a child.
At the Y’s recent global gathering, held in Aarhus, Denmark in July 2022 (the 20th YMCA World Council) – Ys around the world (120 of them) voted to continue to amplify safeguarding and strengthen our safeguarding policies and practices globally.
As a global movement, we declare our stance against abuse of children, young people and adults and strongly condemn all forms of harm and neglect. We believe in their right to be heard, respected, included and to feel and be safe.
Prioritising Safeguarding in your organisation
At the Y, we want all organisations to prioritise safeguarding children and young people, so we would like to gift to you the resources we have developed – for you to adapt and adopt to suit your organization, and the children and young people you serve.
Including our Safeguarding Framework:
Feel Safe, Be Safe –Culture, Operations and Environment
We are also able to support you in your safeguarding journey by helping you develop resources, providing high quality training and also undertaking safeguarding reviews.
If you would like some help, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Childsafe Business Initiative:
This week, the Y, in partnership with the Australian Childhood Foundation are also bringing together representatives from businesses from the financial, technology, insurance, telecommunications, consumer goods, travel and tourism and retail sectors to drive action on safeguarding and improving outcomes for children and young people.
To learn how your business can become part of the Childsafe Business Initiative, please visit: https://www.childhood.org.au/childsafe-businessinitiative/
–Phil Doorgachurn, Acting CEO, Y Safeguarding