Keeping children and young people safe
All children and young people have a right to feel safe, and to be safe at all times. Mission Australia will not tolerate any abuse or neglect of children or young people involved with our services.
We are committed to creating environments which are child safe and child friendly in line with our Founding Purpose and Values. We take a preventative and proactive approach to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, that everyone understands and where everyone feels confident to have a say and raise any concerns.
We respect and value the rights of all children and young people, and support them to reach their full potential. We recognise that particular consideration needs to be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. We also acknowledge the particular needs of children and young people arising from their cultural and linguistic background, sexuality, gender diversity, disability, or as a result of domestic and family violence or other trauma.
Safeguarding children and young people is the responsibility of all Mission Australia people, including the Board, Executive, leaders, staff, contractors, students and volunteers across the whole organisation.
Mission Australia will:
- Drive a culture of child safety at all levels of the organisation.
- Take all allegations or disclosures of abuse or neglect seriously, respond appropriately, report concerns to the relevant authorities, and uphold our values of Compassion and Integrity at all times. The safety of the child/young person will be our primary consideration and no Mission Australia person will obstruct any investigation or collude to protect any person or organisation.
- Empower children, young people, families and communities to participate in decisions which affect their lives.
- Value diversity and promote inclusive practices.
- Employ and engage only people who are suitable to work with children and young people and provide high quality supervision and support.
- Ensure children and young people who feel unsafe, or wish to raise a concern know who to talk with and feel comfortable to do so.
- Ensure staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe.
- Maintain the safety, suitability and security of our physical and online environments which children and young people access.
- Embed Child Safe principles within our quality assurance practices.
- Undertake regular review of policy and procedures that document how our organisation is child safe.
The above responsibilities are detailed within our Code of Conduct, organisational policies and procedures and our Reconciliation Action Plan.
Listening to children and young people
We believe involving children, young people and their families as users of our services and as part of the community helps us ensure what we do is relevant to them. Involving children and young people is much more than just asking them for their ideas and views. It’s about informing them of their rights, listening to them, taking them seriously and acting on their suggestions. It also encourages them to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
One way we do this is through our annual Youth Survey which enables young people aged 15 to 19 years to speak up about issues that really concern them. The findings equip Mission Australia and other organisations with current evidence to advocate on their behalf for the services and broader policy changes that they need.
A number of our services have developed different ways to include the voice of children and young people in their service planning. One such example is the Children’s Parliament in south-west Sydney.
Support for children and familiesSearch for a service or Ask us a question
For help with early learning and development, please visit our early learning website
Support for young peopleSearch for a service or Ask us a question
These organisations also offer health and wellbeing support for children and young people:
- Kids helpline - 1800 55 1800
- Youth Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636
- eheadspace - 1800 650 980
- The Butterfly Foundation
- Lifeline - 13 11 14
If you, or someone you know are in crisis, encourage them to call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you think their, yours or the life of any other person in the family is in danger, the best thing to do is to call 000.
Homelessness & social housing support
We believe every person in Australia should have access to safe and secure housing.
Early intervention and prevention allows us to address issues before they become major setbacks.
We provide youth services across the nation that support young men and women as they journey towards adulthood.
Disability, visible or not, shouldn’t prevent a person from being active in their community.
Employment can benefit a person's health and wellbeing, as well as their financial situation.
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