This resource is intended to support organisations engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (National Principles) in a culturally-safe way.
- Cultural safety needs to be ensured when engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In a culturally safe environment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families define what is comfortable and safe. Within this environment, the service provider looks for guidance from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families on how to provide the service and considers how delivery of service will impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s culture.
- Cultural safety needs to be consistently applied across all levels of child protection organisations. This is a way to address the racism and discrimination that still exists across service systems today, impacting children and their families, and in some cases leading to a loss of confidence in organisations.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have the right to learn about and practice their culture, language and religion with their family and communities. These children are part of families and communities that historically have not had a voice and have had their rights denied and violated. If they do not feel culturally safe, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are less likely to engage, participate and tell anyone if they are feeling unsafe or being abused.
- Self-determination is a fundamental requirement for better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Self-determination is realised through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people having control over decisions affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. Organisations should respect and value the wealth of knowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities can bring, including how to keep children safe, and incorporate this knowledge in organisational practice where possible.
- Organisations need to have appropriate child safety recruitment practices and staff and volunteer development policies in place. This includes appropriate screening, training, and supervision of staff and volunteers, as well as making sure they understand their child safety responsibilities and cultural safety.