29 August 2018

Understanding safeguarding practices for children with disability when engaging with organisations

This paper from the AIFS explores how an understanding of the abuse and neglect of children living with disability can assist in establishing child-safe organisations. Children living with disability have a nearly four times higher risk of experiencing violence than their non-disabled peers. This can relate to how care is provided, the effect of impairment, as well as the sparsity of available programs to support children, their families and organisations. Safeguarding strategies include the provision of protective behaviours information and education for children living with disability, recognising the importance of listening to children's voices, and embracing a community of practice approach. The authors concluded that Australia needs to prioritise the collection of data on the risk and abuse of children living with disability in order to develop a clearer understanding of safeguarding practices. There is also a need to evaluate the relevance of services and programs that aim to protect children living with disability.