⚠️ Content note: Discussion of child safety.
Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) will co-design comprehensive resources to help organisations across sectors better address the safety and wellbeing of children and young people with disability.
This comes on the heels of a funding boost from the National Office for Child Safety (NOCS) at the Attorney General’s Department, and marks the second phase of an ongoing campaign to help Australian organisations implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
CYDA CEO Skye Kakoschke-Moore said the funding would go a long way in helping organisations, big and small, achieve this goal.
“We have found that organisations want to do better but often aren’t sure where to start when it comes to inclusion, accessibility, and safety for children and young people with disability,” she said.
“This is particularly true for small, volunteer-run organisations such as sports clubs.
“With this additional funding from NOCS, we will create the tools and guidelines CEOs, front-line staff and volunteers need to foster organisational cultures that put well-being first.
“We are pleased to announce this project during National Child Protection Week, which highlights every child’s inherent right to grow up safe.”
Assistant Secretary Rebekah Kilpatrick said NOCS is looking forward to working with CYDA to develop resources to help organisations implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, and better understand and support the safety and wellbeing for children and young people with disability.
The National Principles were developed in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which in 2017 found children and young people with disability were more vulnerable to discrimination and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
CYDA was originally commissioned to make recommendations on the types of resources that organisations needed to implement these standards.
In August and September 2022, the not-for-profit conducted 14 consultations with 53 participants ranging from young people with disability and their parents to advocacy bodies, disability service providers and other stakeholders.
The need for co-design to play a central role in the development of resources and strategy was a key recommendation by CYDA in its resulting report.
This means involving children and young people with disability directly in decision-making about resource development and strategy and ensuring their needs and lived experiences are prioritised.
“Nothing about us, without us,” one young person with disability told CYDA.
Co-design meetings for phase two of the project are scheduled to kick off in October.
CYDA’s original full report can be viewed via this link: National Principles for Child Safe Organisations Consultation Report.
CYDA is the peak national body for children and young people with disability in Australia aged 0 to 25.