The good practice guide to Child Aware Approaches: keeping children safe and well

8 May 2014

Abstract: Child Aware Approaches is a grassroots initiative that engages civil society to develop local approaches, actions and initiatives to keep children safe and well, recognising that protecting children is a shared responsibility. This paper defines Child Aware Approaches, outlines the philosophies and principles underpinning this strategy, and offers case study examples of how the principles can be applied in practice. This paper is intended for service managers and practitioners working with vulnerable children and families, particularly those working in adult-focused service sectors.

Key messages:

  • There has been growing awareness that parental problems such as substance misuse, mental illness and family or domestic violence, are often related to negative outcomes for children.
  • This paper is intended as a practical resource for organisations, practitioners and individuals working in social services (particularly services for children, families and adults) to put the needs, views and aspirations of children and young people at the heart of actions to improve child and family wellbeing and safety.
  • The paper explains the five core philosophies and 10 key principles underpinning Child Aware Approaches, to provide practical guidance for those working with vulnerable children and families and to inform policies, procedures and practices within organisations.
  • Each principle can be considered from multiple perspectives (e.g., at the organisational, managerial and practitioner levels).
  • Practice considerations are provided as examples to inspire thought and discussion of the different levels at which action may be required in applying the principles of Child Aware Approaches.
  • Case study examples highlight the diversity of innovative and creative ways in which the principles of Child Aware Approaches have been applied in a variety of settings and situations.
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