What to expect?
What is a Child Safety Decision-Making Model?
Why are there 4 different types of assessments?
How can you implement assessment outcomes?
How do you close, appeal and review responses?
Do you work for an organisation?
Do we care about people?
Do we care about you?
What are the principles behind response strategies?
Do you want to keep learning?

Principles behind the Response Process

Principle Based Process

A Child Safety Response should utilise a principle based approach rather than a rules based approach. A principle based approach is when a set of guidelines are implemented by a set of principles. It is opposed to rules-based process that is strictly governed by a set of detailed rules and procedures.

Benefits of principle-based process

Individual outcomes.  Allows for individualized, personalized responses, accommodating to the variety of safety issues and circumstances, therefore obtaining better outcomes and less likely to fall prone to inappropriate legalist decisions.

Less complicated.  Does not require a list of detailed rules in order to accommodate for the variety of child safety issues and circumstances.

Values.  Provides freedom for faith-based organizations to ensure that all decisions reflect their beliefs and values.  The policy serves the organization rather than the organization becoming enslaved to the policy.

Example set of Principles

Following is a selection of principles for a Child Safety Response.

Three main principles are:

Children are a priority

Children are vulnerable and so their care and safety, need to be a priority.  Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the right of all who are destitute.”  This is the main guiding principle of the Child Safety Program.  


Seek counsel with wise and knowledgeable people when dealing with child safety concerns. 


Compassionately respond to the trauma of all who have been affected by a child safety concern – being aware that people have different responses to trauma, and these can change over time. 

Other Principles

The child safety program is also guided by the following principles:


There are always risks to the safety and well-being of children.  We cannot assume that our children, workers, and programs are safe.


Our organisations are responsible for the safety and well-being of children. We are responsible for our projects, ministries, and the actions of our workers.  


Our organisations have the right and responsibility to set and monitor standards of behaviour for our workers, safety standards for children, and standards of practice. 


We have an ethical and legal responsibility to maintain confidentiality for all involved in a child safety matter.  This means providing different levels of information to different parties.

Due Process

We need to follow legal, including civil, processes for the protection of all involved.  Romans 13:1 (NIV) “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”