Child safety in policy : Who is being kept safe and from what?

Journal article


Powell, Mary Ann, Graham, Anne, Canosa, Antonia, Anderson, Donnah, Moore, Tim, Robinson, Sally, Thomas, Nigel P. and Taylor, Nicola. (2020). Child safety in policy : Who is being kept safe and from what? Social Policy and Administration. 54(7), pp. 1160-1178. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12591
AuthorsPowell, Mary Ann, Graham, Anne, Canosa, Antonia, Anderson, Donnah, Moore, Tim, Robinson, Sally, Thomas, Nigel P. and Taylor, Nicola
Abstract

Keeping children safe from harm is a national policy priority in Australia. Extensive inquiries and reviews have highlighted institutions' persistent failures to respond ethically and appropriately to child abuse and its life-long impacts on survivors. Policy efforts now reflect considerable emphasis on safeguarding children, including through the development of ‘child safe’ organisations. The realisation of these policy aspirations requires close attention to how ‘child safe’ is conceptualised and operationalised in different organisational contexts. Drawing on an analysis of policy in Australia and other international jurisdictions, namely New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland, this article engages critically with the notion of ‘child safe’ in policy, to explore who is to be safe, from what and how, in organisational settings. The findings suggest emergent discourses of ‘child safe’ are bound up with particular constructions of both children and safety, reflect current social and political understandings and agendas, and have implications for organisations' approaches to safety. Ensuring the safety of children in Australia and other jurisdictions requires continuing scrutiny of policy implementation to make sure current policy efforts are not reduced to compliance-based imperatives that protect organisations, but fail to create the cultural conditions that enhance children's wellbeing and safety.

Keywordschild safe; children; policy; protection; rights; safeguarding
Year2020
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Journal citation54 (7), pp. 1160-1178
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN0144-5596
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12591
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85082054572
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range1160-1178
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Author's accepted manuscript
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Mar 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Mar 2020
Deposited28 Apr 2023
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDDP180100465
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