Child Safety: Empowering Children Through Body Safety Awareness

February 18, 2021 - 4 minutes read

Children have a right to be listened to and to feel safe around adults. Find out how you can empower kids by teaching them about body safety.

Baby and adult handsAny organisation that works with children must demonstrate a thorough commitment to child safety. This requires more than doing WWC (Working With Children) checks – it also involves putting the 10 National Principles for child safety into action.

The National Principles include embedding child safety into the organisational culture, setting up processes for addressing complaints and concerns, providing safe environments for children and more. You can read more about putting the Principles into action here.

Empowering children to be safe

Children also need to be empowered when it comes to their own safety and wellbeing. This can be done through teaching them about body safety. This includes:

  • Teaching kids their body belongs to them.
  • Talking about feelings and teaching children to recognise when they feel safe or unsafe.
  • Giving kids the time and opportunity to choose 3 to 5 trusted adults they can talk to about anything that can be added to their ‘safety network’.
  • Teaching kids that their private parts are just that – private – and that no one has the right to touch them.
  • Giving kids permission to say no – such as if they don’t want to be hugged or kissed.

Standard 7 of the CCYP Vic (Commission for Children and Young People) titled ‘Empowering Children’ states that children have a right to be heard and have their concerns and ideas taken seriously. According to CCYP kids and young people are more likely to speak up and report abuse or concerns when they feel more empowered about their own safety and wellbeing. Listening to kids’ concerns also helps organisations develop better child safety policies and practices.

ChildSafe’s new Body Safety Training program

In light of these concerns, ChildSafe Australia has introduced a new Body Safety Education & Training program. This program has been created in partnership with Educate2Empower Publishing (E2E) – a publisher of child safety resources and children’s books.

ChildSafe’s Body Safety Education can be used by any organisation that works with kids of pre-school and primary school age. This includes churches, sports clubs, schools, childcare centres, Sunday schools, and kindergartens. Essentially it involves an education session for child educators focussed on teaching kids how to understand and use ‘safety rules’ regarding their own bodies.

The lesson plans include talks about the importance of building a trusted safety network of the 5 most trusted people for children, and the 5 ‘safety body rules’ that kids can apply.

The program comes with a set of E2E pre-school and primary school resources in the form of a ‘Teachers Pack’. The pack includes a range of items including books, posters, cards, and lesson sheets. Organisations that book a 90-minute training session can choose the resources to suit the age of the children they will be teaching.

Each training session is tailored to the organisation’s specific needs and can be done face-to-face or online. To find out more or to book a session, go to the ChildSafe website.

Safety training for your faith centre or charity

Faith Insurance also provides access to organisational safety training for insured members free of charge. To find out more about this or how church or non-profit insurance can financially protect your organisation, get in touch with our team.

For further reading

CCYP – Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children;

FI – article on becoming a ChildSafe member;

FI – link to all child and youth safety articles.

Written by Tess






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