Towards Protective Participation: Improving children’s safety through their meaningful engagement in institutional contexts

Research with children and young people
Friday 27 July, 1215 – 1235


Tim Moore
Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia

Among its findings, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that children are at risk of abuse because they have limited opportunities to have a say and because institutions have failed to empower them to take an active part in their own protection.
This paper will consider children and young people’s vulnerability within organisations and promote “protective participation” as a way of redressing their powerlessness and influence child-informed child-safe practices. It will draw on findings of two Royal Commission-funded studies that directly engaged children and young people and explored their experiences of institutional safety and the ways that they would like adults and organisations to respond when they are harmed.
The implications and benefits for the development of child-safe policy, practice and research will be discussed.