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LESSONS & TOPICS

CHCPRT025-1 Identify children and young people at risk

CHCPRT025-1 Identify children and young people at risk

1. Identify children and young people at risk

1.1. Observe signs and indicators to identify children, families, and young people at risk of domestic violence, abuse, and neglect.

1.2. Collect information and document signs and indicators of abuse by legislative requirements and organizational policies and procedures.

1.3. Use communication and information-gathering techniques with children and young people according to organizational policies and procedures.

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1.1 – Observe signs and indicators to identify children, families, and young people at risk of domestic violence, abuse, and neglect 
1.2 – Collect information and document signs and indicators of abuse following legislative requirements and organizational policies and procedures

By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:

  • Identify and observe the signs and indicators of abuse and neglect 
  • Ask open and non-leading questions to find out the information needed
  • Use the correct child protection procedures to report a child protection matter.       

Signs and indicators

When identifying children, families, and young people at risk, it is important to observe the signs and indicators that may indicate they are being abused or neglected. It can be difficult for young victims to talk about what is happening to them as they may be scared, embarrassed, or may not understand it or know it is wrong. Children or young people experiencing abuse may show it through their behavior, emotions, or physical. 

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Child abuse

This is defined as any behavior that harms a child or young person physically or emotionally. It may have been a single incident or abuse that has happened for a long time. Whether it was done intentionally or in intentionally, it is still classed as child abuse. There are different types of child abuse, including physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect and you must understand what each one means.

The different types, indicators, and dynamics of abuse are:

  • Physical – this means using physical force to hurt or injure a child or young person intentionally. This includes hitting with hands or objects, slapping, punching, kicking, shaking, poisoning or burning, etc. It also includes making up the symptoms of an illness or causing a child to become unwell. Children or young people experiencing this type of abuse are likely to show physical signs such as cuts, bruises, bites, fractures, or burns.
  • Prenatal – this is when women experience physical or emotional abuse during their pregnancy from a partner, ex-partner, or family member. This is also referred to as domestic violence, which is a pattern of abusive behavior by a current or former spouse or partner that is used to exert power and control over another person. This may include physical violence such as slapping, punching, kicking, using weapons, or striking a woman’s belly to harm the pregnancy. It may also include forcing the pregnant woman to smoke, drink alcohol, or take drugs, or stopping them from going to prenatal appointments or receiving other pregnancy-related medical care. 
  • Witnessing domestic violence – this is when a child or young person experiences a parent or sibling being subjected to abuse in their home or experiences the damage caused to a person or property by violent behavior. 
  • Emotional – this means using inappropriate words or symbolic acts to hurt or damage a child or person emotionally and mentally. For example, this may involve name-calling, rejecting, frightening, or putting them down and making them lack confidence. Emotional abuse can have psychological impacts, such as causing depression and anxiety. 
  • Psychological – this is when someone makes you or other people question your sanity or recollection of reality through lying and manipulation. It is behavior that aims to cause emotional or mental harm. Psychological and emotional abuse often occur in tandem; however, psychological maltreatment is slightly different. Examples of psychological abuse include someone telling you that things didn’t happen when they did (often referred to as gaslighting), telling you that you are crazy or have mental health problems, and telling you that you are imagining or exaggerating their behavior. They may also tell you or other people (friends, doctors, police, counselors) that you are the one being abusive towards them when you are not. 
  • Sexual – this is when a person uses power or authority to force or persuade a child or young person into sexual activities. There are two types of sexual abuse – contact and non-contact abuse. Sexual abuse can happen in person or online. This can include acts that involve physical contact, such as assault by penetration, or non-penetrative acts, such as kissing and touching. It also includes exposing children or young people to pornography and sexual images or encouraging them to behave inappropriately.  
  • Neglect – This means failing to provide the child or young person with the necessities they need, such as food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, or supervision. Without these necessities, a child’s physical and emotional development and well-being will be seriously affected. They may be starved, underweight, have little clothing, or may have cuts or illnesses that have not been treated. 
  • Parental – this is any behavior used by a young person to control, dominate, or coerce their parents. It is intended to threaten and intimidate them and put their safety at risk. This type of abuse may be verbal, psychological, or physical. For example, it may include yelling, screaming, and swearing in an abusive way, playing mind games, or pushing, hitting, or throwing objects around the house. Many abused parents will struggle to admit that their child is being abusive as they may feel embarrassed, ashamed, and disappointed. They may also blame themselves for the situation or be in denial convincing themselves this is normal adolescent behaviour. 

In most cases, children are abused by their parents or carers of either sex, but it could also be a family member, friend, or someone from school or the local area. Abuse can damage a child in many ways and can affect them through to adulthood. If a child or young person is unhappy or stressed, then this will usually affect how they behave. These behavioral or physical signs are known as indicators, and you must recognize the signs and find out what the root cause is. 

However, if a child displays any of these behaviors, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are being abused; it is also important to take into consideration their age and vulnerabilities. For example, they may have a disability or illness that causes certain behaviors or symptoms. The lists below are not exhaustive, but they are indicators to look out for. 

Some indicators of child abuse include:

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  • Being wary or distrusting of adults 
  • Rocking, sucking, or biting excessively 
  • Bedwetting or soiling 
  • Demanding or aggressive behavior 
  • Sleeping difficulties – tired and falling asleep
  • Low self-esteem and confidence 
  • Difficulty relating to adults and peers 
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs 
  • Being accident prone 
  • Broken bones or unexplained bruising, burns, or welts in different stages of healing 
  • Being unable to explain any injuries or providing unbelievable or vague explanations
  • Feeling suicidal or attempting to commit suicide 
  • Having difficulty concentrating or focusing 
  • Being withdrawn 
  • Being overly obedient 
  • Reluctant to go home 
  • Creating stories, poems, or artwork about abuse

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Some indicators of neglect include:

  • Malnutrition, begging, stealing or hoarding food
  • Poor hygiene, matted hair, dirty unwashed skin, or body odour
  • Unattended physical or medical problems 
  • Comments from the child indicating no one is home to look after them, or they are not being cared for properly 
  • Being constantly tired or unable to focus 
  • Frequent lateness, absence, or truancy from school 
  • Inappropriate clothing for the time of year 
  • Ripped, damaged, or old clothing 
  • Frequent illnesses, infections, or sores
  • Being left unsupervised for long periods.
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Protective and risk factors

There are several risk factors or attributes that are commonly associated with maltreatment. The main risk factors for victims of abuse or neglect include any reason that an individual might be dependent on someone else for their care. This includes young age, old age, chronic illness, mental illness, and physical disabilities. 

Age

Age, health, and physical, mental, emotional, and social development are factors that may increase a child’s vulnerability to maltreatment. For example, infants and young children, due to their small physical size and need for constant care, can be more vulnerable to certain types of mistreatment, such as abuse and physical or medical neglect. They spend the majority of their time being cared for in domestic settings. The demands of caring for children may overwhelm some parents and therefore put the child at risk. 

Older children come into contact with a wide range of adults because they are involved with fewer home-based activities and spend more time away from home. For example, they spend time at school, in sports clubs, leisure and social activities. Therefore, they are more vulnerable to abuse perpetrated by a non-family member. 

Gender

Gender also influences the type of maltreatment children are likely to experience. Girls are statistically more likely to be a victims of child sexual abuse than boys, and boys are more likely to be physically abused than girls. These findings are based on recorded crime data in Australia from 2003, which showed that of victims of sexual assault under 15 years of age, 76% were female, and 24% were male (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2004).

Disability

Children with disabilities and special needs can also be at higher risk for abuse or neglect from organizations such as out-of-home care providers. This is because challenging behaviors and burdens can lead to frustration on the part of a caregiver and harm to the child. Children with disabilities may be in the care of babysitters or in residential treatment facilities, placed with caregivers who do not know the child, or are not able to cope with the behaviors as well as the child’s parents. Vulnerability also contributes to this risk due to children’s cognitive impairment and inability to communicate clearly with others. 

Culture

Culture is another factor that influences the risk of maltreatment. There is evidence to suggest that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are more vulnerable to maltreatment than non-Indigenous children. In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in referrals to statutory child protection services and out-of-home care. Rates of child sexual abuse are also much higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities than in non-Indigenous communities. The heightened risk may be because children of this culture are more likely to reside in out-of-home care because of health issues or disabilities. Therefore, they are more vulnerable to maltreatment in organizational settings. 

Sexuality

The sexuality of children and young people also influences their risk of maltreatment. Children who identify as LGBTQ+ or are in the process of understanding their sexual and/or gender identity can be at risk of feeling socially isolated and alienated from their peers. This fear and uncertainty could make them more vulnerable to perpetrators who might take advantage of this vulnerability and convince the child that they are the only one who understands and accepts them. A child who is afraid to open up to their parents about their sexuality may be less likely to disclose this abuse as the perpetrator can use their secret against them to prevent them from reporting it. 

Protective factors

Protective factors are certain conditions or attributes that may reduce the likelihood of children being abused or neglected. These may be conditions or attributes in individuals, families, and communities that promote the health and well-being of children and families. Identifying these factors can help parents and caregivers find resources and support that emphasize these strengths, as well as identify areas where they might need assistance. Overall, this reduces the chances of child abuse and neglect. 

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Protective factors include:

  • Caregivers who create safe, positive relationships with children from a young age
  • Caregivers who practice nurturing parenting skills and provide emotional support
  • Caregivers who can meet the basic needs of food, shelter, education, and health services
  • Caregivers who have a college degree or higher and have steady employment.

Individuals who have self-regulation skills are less likely to experience abuse. This refers to a youth’s ability to manage or control their emotions and behaviors, which may include anger management, character, self-control, and emotional intelligence. These skills are more likely to develop with age, provided they have been brought up in a safe and positive home environment. 

Relational skills refer to a youth’s ability to form positive connections with others and their interpersonal skills, e.g. communication and conflict resolution skills. Problem-solving skills refer to a youth’s adaptive functioning skills and their ability to solve problems. These are all protective skills as they are related to positive outcomes such as resiliency, having supportive family and friends, positive school performance, social skills, and good cognitive functioning. Children and young people who have developed more positive life skills and are involved in positive activities are less likely to experience negative outcomes, which could lead to maltreatment. Factors such as disabilities and special needs are likely to affect children’s ability to develop these skills.

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Establishing rapport

When working with children and young people, a good rapport can help build psychological safety and trust. There are many ways to build rapport with a child, such as playing with them, listening, or spending quality time getting to know them. Children find it difficult to talk about what they are feeling and going through; they communicate more through play. You could also give them praise and encourage them to make choices instead of telling them what to do. Building rapport helps you to learn more about the child, such as finding out their likes and dislikes, personality, and behaviors. However, building rapport with children can take time. 

The most important to focus on is providing a safe, non-threatening, and trusting environment where the child can start to feel like they can talk, process, and play out what is happening to them in their lives. A range of factors, such as a child’s age, emotional state, maturity disabilities, etc., can also influence the time it takes to build rapport and connect. 

Building rapport with a young person is a crucial first step in developing a trusting relationship where they feel they can talk to you. Working with young people requires an understanding of the unique emotional, psychological, and cognitive changes of adolescence. Their age, maturity, and cultural background will also impact the approach you need to take when communicating with them. Many young people will be anxious and nervous about seeing a service provider; therefore, you will need to approach them with warmth and openness and spend time building rapport to help you form a connection. It may take time for a young person to feel comfortable and develop trust in your relationship with them. 

You will need to engage with the person, be yourself, and show genuine interest and understanding in what they are going through. Reflecting on the feelings they are expressing can be a useful technique for building rapport and helping them understand what they are experiencing. You should also show respect and understanding for their culture and lifestyle. Think about your verbal and non-verbal communication, including your body language, and make sure it is open and non-threatening. You should be open and honest with them about confidentiality. 

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Asking questions 

Children or young people experiencing abuse often struggle to talk and communicate about it, especially if they are very young, so it can be difficult to find the information you need. It is best to use open and non-leading questions to make them feel more comfortable and encourage them to give reliable answers. These questions usually start with what, why, where, or how, prompting a response more than yes or no so you can find out what the child knows and what they are feeling. 

Examples of open and non-leading questions to ask:

  • When did this happen?
  • What did the person do?
  • Can you tell me a bit more about that?
  • Have you told anyone else about this?
  • Where did this happen?
  • How did it make you feel?

You should avoid asking children leading and direct questions as it can confuse them or make them feel uncomfortable and stop them from speaking to you. The questions are often too direct and inappropriate to use when discussing this matter with a child.

If you are unable to speak to the child, it is worth speaking to the parents and asking them questions, as you may be able to judge by their responses or body language whether there is anything you should be concerned about. 

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Active listening techniques

Active listening is a skill that can be used to help improve your communication with children and young people. It is about not just hearing the child but tuning into their thoughts and feelings. Using active listening can strengthen communication and improve relationships with children as it shows them that you care and are interested. It can also help you learn and understand more about them. Active listening involves letting the child talk, showing you are interested and understanding, and summarising their words and feelings back to them. The techniques used may vary depending on the age of the child. You should make sure you are communicating in an age-appropriate way that they will understand.

Active listening techniques include:

  • Giving the child or young person your full attention, e.g. by sitting close when they are speaking, making eye contact, and using non-verbal language to show you are listening
  • Let them do the talking without interrupting 
  • Show them that you are interested by nodding your head and giving verbal feedback
  • When they have finished talking, ask questions that show interest
  • Summarise their words and feelings to show you have been listening and are trying to understand. Try repeating what the child has said in your own words
  • Avoid making judgments and respect their point of view. 

Child protection procedures 

It is important if you have any concerns or worries about a child or young person that, you contact a local Child Protection Service and ask them for assistance and advice. Statutory child protection in Australia is the responsibility of state and territory governments. This information is stated on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare government website: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/health-welfare-services/child-protection/overview# 

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‘Departments responsible for child protection will assist vulnerable children who are suspected of being abused, neglected, or harmed, or whose parents are unable to provide adequate care or protection. Contacts made to these departments regarding allegations of child abuse or neglect, child maltreatment, or harm to a child are called notifications.’

Notifications

Notifications made to these departments will be assessed to determine if intervention is required and to what level. The investigation will involve the department obtaining more detailed information about the child and making an assessment of the level of harm to the child and their protective needs. This may involve meeting and interviewing the child if it is practical to do so. The investigation aims to determine whether the notification is substantiated or not substantiated. A substantiation would indicate ‘there is sufficient reason to believe that a child has been, is being, or is likely to be, abused, neglected or otherwise harmed.’ 

Protecting children

The department would then try to ensure the safety of the child through an appropriate level of involvement. The child may be placed on a care and protection order, which is a legal order giving child protection departments some responsibility for a child’s welfare. They may also be placed into out-of-home care, which is overnight care for children up to 17 years old. 

Reporting a child protection matter

To report a child protection matter, you should contact the relevant agency responsible for child protection in your state or territory. However, if a child is in immediate danger or a life-threatening situation, you would need to call 000.

Here is a list of the child protection authorities across states and territories in Australia:

State/TerritoryDepartmentWebsite/Contact
New South WalesDepartment of Communities & JusticeTel. 132 111
www.community.nsw.gov.au/preventing-child-abuse-and-neglect/reporting-suspected-abuse-or-neglect
VictoriaDepartment of Families, Fairness, and HousingTel. 131 278 (after-hours emergency)
https://services.dffh.vic.gov.au/reporting-child-abuse 
QueenslandDepartment of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural AffairsTel. 1800 177 135 (after hours and weekends)
https://www.cyjma.qld.gov.au/protecting-children/reporting-child-abuse 
Western AustraliaDepartment of CommunitiesTel. 1800 273 889
a/h: 1800 199 008
https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-communities/child-protection 
South AustraliaDepartment for Education Tel. 131 478 
https://www.education.sa.gov.au/schools-and-educators/child-protection/reporting-child-abuse 
TasmaniaDepartment of Health Tel. 1800 000 123
https://www.health.tas.gov.au/health-topics/child-and-youth-health/child-safety-and-wellbeing/mandatory-reporting-department-health-staff 
Australian Capital TerritoryCommunity Services DirectorateTel. 1300 556 729
https://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/ocyfs 
Northern TerritoryDepartment of Territory, Families, Housing and CommunitiesTel. 1800 700 250
https://tfhc.nt.gov.au/contacts/report-child-abuse-or-neglect 
1.3 – Use communication and information-gathering techniques with children and young people according to organizational policies and procedures.

By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:

  • Communicate with children and young people effectively         
  • Use effective information-gathering techniques when communicating.

Good communication 

Communication is important for building trust and respect with children, and it will help you find out what they are thinking and feeling. However, it can be difficult to communicate with children, get your message across, and find out the information you need. They may not always understand what you are asking or give reliable answers. For example, if you ask something direct like ‘Did your parents do this to you’, this would be a leading question that could cause them to say yes even if it wasn’t true. So it is best to ask open and non-leading questions, such as ‘How did you get that bruise?’ to get the best response and make them feel more comfortable. 

Information-gathering techniques

When communicating and gathering information from a child, it is important to provide them with the support they need and to be patient. You may not be able to gather all the information you need in one conversation as it could be too much for the child to take, and they may struggle to pay attention. Make sure you sit down and talk to children at their eye level, and if they don’t want to make eye contact with you when they are talking, you could play a game together to give them something to do. Use open and non-leading questions when talking to them and get them to tell you about things instead of assuming; for example, instead of asking them, ‘Are you scared and unhappy at home’ say, ‘How do you feel when you’re at home’. Actively listen to them throughout the conversation and let them know that you believe what they’re saying.

Tips for communicating and information-gathering with children:

  • Talk to the child at their eye level so you’re not looking down on them
  • Keep them occupied throughout the conversation by playing a game 
  • Use open and non-leading questions when speaking to them
  • Lean towards them to show empathy and make them feel more comfortable
  • Make eye contact with them when you can 
  • Sit comfortably and relax while you’re talking to them
  • Be patient and allow them time to talk
  • If they seem uncomfortable or they’re losing interest, don’t be pushy with them
  • Make notes whenever you can so you remember what they said. 

Once you have gathered enough information and reasonably believe that the child is being abused or neglected, this would need to be reported to your supervisor or manager and a child protection agency. They will need to interview the child again, so it is best not to spend too long talking to the child and asking them questions as they will have to go through it again. If the child is too young and isn’t yet verbal, you would need to observe them and look out for any signs and symptoms of abuse to be able to assess whether something needs to be reported. In this case, you may also need to speak to their parents and gather more information from them to make the decision. 

2. Report indications of the possible risk of harm

2.1. Ensure documentation in a person’s record is completed accurately, in a detailed and factual manner, according to organizational policies and procedures for privacy and confidentiality.

2.2. Report risk of harm indicators, using the relevant reporting mechanism by legislative requirements.

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2.1 – Ensure documentation in a person’s record is completed accurately, in a detailed and factual manner, according to organizational policies and procedures for privacy and confidentiality
2.2 – Report risk of harm indicators, using the relevant reporting mechanism by legislative requirements

By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:

  • Make sure all documentation and reports in the person’s record are completed accurately and are detailed
  • Complete documentation following privacy and confidentiality requirements
  • Record and report any risk-of-harm indicators promptly to help the child and prevent further harm.     

Complete documentation accurately

If you suspect a child or young person is being abused or neglected, you should record any details or information that could be a risk of harm indicators. This is any information or circumstances that have led you to believe that a child or young person is in danger of being harmed. It is important that the information is detailed, recorded clearly and accurately, and that the report contains everything required. This information should be kept confidential and not shared with anyone other than your supervisor/manager and the authorities. You will need to follow organizational policies and procedures to ensure privacy and confidentiality. 

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What you should record when reporting child abuse:

  • Any signs or symptoms of different types of abuse, such as physical, sexual, psychological, and neglect – make sure you give detailed descriptions of anything you have noticed or know about and any comments from the child about cuts and bruises they have, etc. (refer to criteria 1.1for signs and symptoms of abuse).
  • Any disclosures from the child – if a child reports to you that they have been abused, you should make sure you write exactly what they have said and the date and time of the disclosure so you don’t get any of the details wrong and report anything inaccurately.
  • Write down any questions and answers from conversations you have had with the child – this will show the information-gathering technique you used when talking to them to make sure it was appropriate and to see if the answers are reliable enough.
  • Detailed descriptions of any injuries or illnesses the child has that are believed to be caused by the abuse or neglect.
  • Describe any behavioral problems the child has that you have experienced when they have been in your care.
  • State whether you believe the child is in danger and whether the abuse is ongoing.
  • You may also need to record details about the child’s family – any history you know about them, living situations, health problems and addictions, etc.
  • Details of the suspected abuser if you know who it could be.

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Duty of care

People working with children and young people have a special duty of care to them. Duty of care is a legal concept that refers to your responsibility to protect children in your care from harm adequately. It applies to all staff members working in caregiving roles. It is usually expressed as a duty to take reasonable steps to protect children from a reasonably foreseeable injury. What constitutes reasonable steps will depend on the individual circumstances, including the nature of the service and the role within it. There will be a breach of duty of care if staff members fail to act in the way a diligent professional would have acted in the same situation.

People working in caregiving roles must provide a high level of care to children and young people and take all reasonable steps to reduce risk, such as:

  • Provision of suitable and safe premises
  • Provision of an adequate system of supervision
  • Implementation of strategies to prevent bullying
  • Ensuring that medical assistance is provided to a sick or injured student
  • Managing employee recruitment, conduct, and performance.
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Mandatory reporting

This is a legislative requirement for people working in certain roles to report suspected abuse and neglect to government child protection services in Australia. The mandatory reporting laws are different across states and territories, with the main differences concerning who has to report and the types of abuse and neglect that must be reported. The occupations most commonly named mandated reporters involve dealing with children frequently, such as teachers, doctors, nurses, and police. This means that people working in these roles would be legally required to report any suspicions of abuse. It generally states that except for sexual abuse, in which case all suspicions must be reported, it is only cases of significant abuse and neglect that must be reported. 



State/Territory


Mandatory reporters


What must be reported
New South WalesA person who, in the course of his or her professional work or other paid employment delivers, or supervises the provision of:
. Healthcare
. Welfare
. Education
. Children’s services
. Residential services or law enforcement, wholly or partly, to children.



Reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is at risk of significant harm and those grounds arise during or from the person’s work.
 
Victoria
.Registered medical practitioners, midwives, registered nurses
.Teachers registered under the Education, Training, and Reform Act 2006 or teachers granted permission to teach under that Act
.Principals of government or non-government schools
.Members of the police force.





Belief on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection on a ground referred to in Section 162(c) or 162(d), formed in the course of practicing his or her office, position, or employment.
.Physical abuse
.Sexual abuse
A doctor or registered nurseAwareness or reasonable suspicion during the practice of his or her profession of harm or risk of harm
QueenslandSchool StaffAwareness or reasonable suspicion that a child has been or is likely to be sexually abused; and the suspicion is formed in the course of the person’s employment.
An authorized officer, an employee of the Department of Child Safety, or a person employed in a departmental care service or licensed care service.Awareness or reasonable suspicion of harm caused to a child placed in the care of an entity conducting departmental care services or a licensee.
. Physical abuse
. Sexual abuse or exploitation
. Emotional/psychological abuse
.Neglect
Western Australia. Doctors
.Nurses and midwives
.Teachers
.Police officers
Belief on reasonable grounds that child sexual abuse has occurred or is occurring.
. Court personnel
. Family counsellors
. Family dispute resolution practitioners, arbitrators, or legal practitioners representing the child’s interests.
Reasonable ground for suspecting that a child has been:
.Physically or sexually abused, or is at risk of being abused.
.Ill-treated, or is at risk of being ill-treated.
.Exposed or subjected to behavior that psychologically harms the child.
South Australia.Doctors
. Pharmacists
.Registered or enrolled nurses
.Dentists
.Psychologists
.Police officers
.Community corrections officers
.Social workers
.Teachers in educational institutions including kindergartens
.Family daycare providers
Reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has been or is being abused or neglected; and the suspicion is formed in the course of the person’s work (whether paid or voluntary) or carrying out official duties.
.Physical abuse
.Sexual abuse
.Emotional/psychological abuse
.Neglect

.Employees/volunteers in a government department, agency or instrumentality, or a local government or non-government agency that provides health, welfare, education, sporting or recreational, child care or residential services wholly or partly for children; ministers of religion (except disclosures made in the confessional)
Employees or volunteers in a religious or spiritual organization.
Tasmania.Registered medical practitioners, nurses, midwives
.Dentists, dental therapists, or dental hygienists
.Registered psychologists
.Police officers
.Probation officers
.Principals and teachers in any educational institution including kindergartens
.Persons who provide child care or a child care service for a fee or reward
.Persons concerned in the management of child care services licensed under the Child Care Act 2001
.Any other person who is employed or engaged as an employee for, of, or in, or who is a volunteer in, a government agency that provides health, welfare, education, child care, or residential services wholly or partly for children, and an organization that receives any funding from the Crown for the provision of such services; and any other person of a class determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be prescribed persons.




A belief, suspicion, reasonable grounds, or knowledge that a child has been or is being abused or neglected or is an affected child within the meaning of the Family Violence Act 2004.
.Physical abuse
.Sexual abuse
.Emotional/psychological abuse
.Neglect

Exposure to family violence
Australian Capital Territory.Doctors
.Dentists
.Nurses enrolled nurses
.Midwives
.Teachers
.A person providing education to a child or young person who is registered, or provisionally registered, for home education under the Education Act 2004
.Police officer
.The person employed to counsel children or young people at a school
.A person caring for a child at a childcare center
.A person coordinating or monitoring home-based care for a family day care scheme proprietor
.Public servant who, in the course of employment as a public servant, works with, or provides services personally to, children and young people or families
.The public advocate
.An official visitor

A person who, in the course of their employment, has contact with or provides services to children, young people, and their families and is prescribed by regulation.


A belief on reasonable grounds, that a child it young person has experienced or is experiencing sexual abuse or non-accidental physical injury, and the belief arises from information obtained by the person during, or because of, the person’s work(whether paid or unpaid).
Northern TerritoryAny person A belief on reasonable grounds that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer harm or exploitation.
.Physical abuse
.Sexual abuse
.Emotional/psychological abuse
.Neglect
.Exposure to physical violence(eg., a child witnessing violence between parents at home)
Registered Health ProfessionalsReasonable grounds to believe a child aged 14 or 15 years has been or is likely to be a victim of a sexual offense, and the age difference between the child and offender is greater than 2 years

Report risk-of-harm indicators

The harm experienced in childhood can have significant and lasting effects, and children can respond in different ways. It may negatively impact a child’s emotional, psychological, and physical development as a result of the trauma. Children may experience mental health disorders, eating disorders, and learning challenges as a result of abuse. When working with children and young people, you have a duty of care to them, so it is important to be alert and look out for any signs or symptoms that could indicate that they have been harmed. Noticing these signs and symptoms early and taking the appropriate course of action could prevent any further harm to the child in the future. The list below is not exhaustive, but these are the common risk-of-harm indicators that you may notice. 

It is important to look out for the following:

  • Physical signs of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect – if you notice any marks or cuts on the child that they can’t explain, or the story is not believable
  • Behavioral signs of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect – if they seem to be behaving unusually or in a disruptive way 
  • Disclosures by the child or young person – anything they report to you should be written down in detail and reported further to your supervisor/manager and the relevant authorities.

It is important to remember that not all indicators are due to abuse or neglect. For example, other issues such as witnessing a traumatic event, health problems, and behavioral problems can also seriously affect a child or young person, and these should be reported to other relevant organizations that can help them. Your job would be to notify the relevant authorities, and once any incidents of child abuse have been reported, it will be the child protection worker who will do the interviewing and risk assessment by going through the information that has been gathered, and they will determine whether or not there is a risk of harm to the child.

Reporting requirements 

Under the National Law and Regulations, the approved provider must notify the regulatory authority of any serious incidents, complaints, or circumstances at the service that pose a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of children. This must be reported within 24 hours of them becoming aware of the serious incident. Providers must also report any incident or allegation that physical or sexual abuse of a child/children has occurred or is occurring while the child/children are being educated and cared for by the service.

Approved providers and care service staff may also be required to report on incidents or suspected incidents involving children under other state and territory laws, including child protection legislation. Each state and territory has its own Act of Parliament (laws) that governs how child protection interventions work. You will need to find out the contact details for your relevant state or territory.

Impact of Trauma/Impact of Risk of Harm

Children and young people who have experienced trauma may have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing their emotions. The impact of risk of harm is what is the result of the harm on the child. They may experience significant mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or anger due to internalized and/or externalized stress reactions (amongst many others). The damaging effects of abuse can also slow down children’s development, and they may experience problems with learning new things, concentrating, and coping with new people or situations. The memories of abuse will be so pronounced that they may react to a reminder of a traumatic event with strong emotions such as anger, sadness, or avoidance. Reminders of these traumatic events could be everywhere around them, so the world will look like a dangerous place with new threats. Children and young people will often be very vigilant and cautious when interacting with others and are less likely to trust people.

Responding to disclosure 

When a child or young person has been abused or is being abused, it is often very difficult for them to talk about it and tell someone how they feel. This can be for several reasons and could also depend on their age and the severity of the abuse. For example, “They may feel uncomfortable, scared, embarrassed, or guilty.” If they are very young, they may not understand what has happened and may not realize how serious it is, or the abuser may have made them believe it is their fault. Being abused or neglected can also cause young people to have low self-esteem and confidence, which would make it even more difficult for them to talk to someone and report it. 

They may also be worried about the repercussions of telling someone, especially if the abuser has threatened them or if the abuser is a member of their family and they don’t want to report them. Therefore, they may ask that anything they tell you remain a secret; however, any child protection matters must be reported, so it would not be possible to do this. In this situation, the best thing to do is to reassure the child and encourage them to speak out.

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If a child or young person tells you they have been abused or neglected, it is important to first consider how they must be feeling and to make them feel safe and supported in your company. You should explain to them that they have done the right thing and ensure they don’t feel guilty or ashamed for speaking to you. It is also important that you remain calm and conceal any emotions you may be feeling, as it could make them feel worse. Let them know that you are there to listen to them and help them.

How to manage disclosure of abuse or neglect:

  • Keep your emotions under control; stay calm, and don’t express that you are shocked, disgusted, angry or upset
  • Ask open and non-leading questions to get the right responses 
  • Listen carefully and be understanding 
  • Take the child seriously and let them know that you believe them
  • Communicate with them in a way that they will understand; don’t use complicated words or terminology 
  • Make sure they know what has happened isn’t their fault 
  • Reassure them that they have done the right thing by telling you
  • Tell the child that you will support them throughout the process 
  • Explain to them that you will need to tell someone else who can help them 
  • Allow them to talk at their own pace; don’t be pushy or pressure them 
  • Ensure you make notes throughout or after the child has left so that you remember everything.

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A disclosure may happen when you least expect it. It will most likely happen if a child or young person feels safe with you and trusts you, as they will feel more comfortable. Any disclosed incidents of abuse or neglect must be reported to the relevant persons, and you should follow your workplace’s procedure for reporting child protection matters. If you suspect any child or young person is being abused or neglected, but you are unsure about reporting it, remember that you have a responsibility to the child, and by reporting it, you would be helping them and preventing them from coming to any harm. You should explain to the child or young person what will happen next and make sure they are fully aware of the process you need to take. They must be in the know as this will prevent them from worrying about it and make them feel safer. 

Interagency collaboration

Interagency frameworks engage all child and family-serving agencies from various sectors. For example, this may include child welfare, mental health, education, youth justice, and the agency responsible for serving Aboriginal families. These agencies work together to address the complex needs of children and families in a community partnership. Child protection practitioners may need to work closely with a diverse range of practitioners across a wide variety of professional disciplines to ensure children are safe and can access the opportunities they need.

State legislation 

Whichever state or territory you live in, there is legislation relating to children’s education and care that you will need to follow. You should be aware of the legislation to make sure you carry out your role in a legal, safe, and ethical manner. In Victoria, the Education and Care Service National Law Act 2010 was passed, and it was also adopted by other jurisdictions through an Application Act or passed corresponding legislation




State or Territory 



Legislation



Application Act

Victoria 
New South WalesEducation and Care Services National Law Act 2010 Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application) Act 2010
Australian Capital TerritoryEducation and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011
Northern Territory Education and Care Services (National Uniform Legislation ACT 2011)
South AustraliaEducation and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011
TasmaniaEducation and Care Services National Law (Application) Act 2011
QueenslandEducation and Care Services National Law (Queensland) Act 2012Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) Act 2911
Western AustraliaEducation and Care Services National Law (WA) Act 2012

3. Apply ethical practices in work with children and young people

3.1. Recognise and uphold the rights of children and young people in the provision of services.

3.2. Employ ethical practices and observe professional boundaries when working with children and young people.

3.3. Recognise and report indicators for ethical concerns when working with children and young people.

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3.1 – Recognise and uphold the rights of children and young people in the provision of services

By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:

  • List and explain the rights of children and young people 
  • Explain the core principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Explain the rights of children in early years settings. 

Children’s rights

Anyone providing services to children and young people must understand and protect their rights. They should work with the child’s best interests in mind and set a good example for how children should be treated. Children and young people have the same human rights as adults, and they also have the right to special protection due to their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse. The main international human rights treaty on children’s rights is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which Australia ratified in 1990. This means that Australia and other countries worldwide must ensure that all children enjoy these rights. The Convention sets out the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights to which all children are entitled.

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The core principles of the CRC, as stated by the Australian Human Rights Commission, are:

  • Respect for the best interests of the child is a primary consideration 
  • The right to survival and development 
  • The right of all children to express their views freely on all matters affecting them
  • The right of all children to enjoy all the rights of the CRC without discrimination of any kind. 

The Convention ensures that all children and young people, regardless of whether they have a disability or illness, are viewed as being entitled to the same human rights as adults with additional special protection. It also encourages children’s participation and allows their voices to be heard, so they have the right to form and express their own opinions when decisions are made that could affect their lives. 

Early years settings

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child also states the rights that are specific to working with children in the early years. These rights apply to all children around the world. The early years are a very important time for a child as they are constantly learning and developing, so those who are working with children must have their best interests at heart, be aware of their rights, and make sure children are protected by them daily. They should also make sure children are aware of their rights by incorporating them into curriculum and activities so that children can learn what is and isn’t acceptable and feel valued. This will help children and young people to have the best start in life.

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Children’s rights in early years settings include:

  • Children have the right to live and should have a name
  • Children should live with their parents or someone who cares for them
  • Children should be listened to and be able to say what they think about things 
  • Children should be able to find out things 
  • Children should be able to worship as they wish 
  • Children should be able to meet together and have friends 
  • Children should be safe from harm. No child should be hurt by a grown-up or child
  • Children in need of special care should get it
  • Children should have clean water, food that is good for them, a clean place to live, and good health care
  • Children should be able to go to school
  • Children should be allowed to play 
  • Children should not be allowed to do dangerous work 
  • Children should be protected from activities that stop them from growing up in a healthy, happy way
  • Everyone, children and adults should know about children’s rights. A group of children eating at a table  Description automatically generated with medium confidence

It is the duty of anyone working with children to look out for them and prevent them from harm. You also must provide a safe and secure environment for children and young people to flourish in, and you should allow them to participate and have their voices and opinions heard. Therefore, if you notice any issues or anything wrong, you should report it immediately to child protection agencies to help protect the child from further harm. 

Child-focused work practice

People working with children have a responsibility and duty to provide a safe environment for them. They can have a big impact on children’s lives and development, so it is important to consider and uphold the children’s needs and rights and adapt these to the workplace environment. Being child-focused is based on the belief that every child or young person has the right to a safe passage through childhood and the right to grow in an environment free from harm. It also means that the child’s needs and welfare are the primary concern and the primary focus of practice. Professional knowledge and practice need to be examined in terms of the potential for furthering the best interests of children and young people.

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Child-focused practice includes:

  • Listening to the child or young person
  • Being understanding with them and trying to see things from their point of view
  • Showing that you believe the child or young person and take them seriously 
  • Respecting them and their wishes 
  • Communicating with them on their level 
  • Treating them as an individual with rights 
  • Having realistic expectations 
  • Showing empathy and being patient 
  • Focusing on the child’s or young person’s needs 
  • Make sure they participate in decision-making 
  • Maintaining appropriate boundaries 
  • Accommodating special needs and different cultures 
  • Promoting positive experiences and outcomes 
  • Making sure services are relevant, accessible, and child-friendly.
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Decision-making

Children and young people must be allowed to participate in age-appropriate decision-making to help them develop new skills and to give them a sense of responsibility. It is also important to be able to show them that they are taken seriously and have the same human rights as an adult. This will encourage them to form their own opinions and express how they feel.

Below are some ways you can encourage decision-making:

  • Offer them choices in everyday scenarios 
  • Ask them for help in choosing things
  • Allow them to make decisions whenever possible 
  • Encourage them to interact with other children 
  • Teach them problem-solving skills 
  • Talk to them and ask what their interests are.

3.2 – Employ ethical practices and observe professional boundaries when working with children and young people

By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:

  • Use ethical and nurturing practices when working with children and young people
  • Explain what professional boundary violations are and provide examples 
  • Make ethical decisions in the workplace. 

Ethical and nurturing practices 

Ethics are very important and should be at the heart of everyday practice when working in children’s services. It involves thinking about your actions and decisions and responding respectfully, taking into account the individual’s needs and requirements. People working in a childcare setting should have the child’s best interest at heart at all times. You may experience ethical dilemmas in your work, which will require careful thought and consideration to achieve the best outcome. The ethical nature of working with children and young people is recognized by organizations and workplaces adopting a professional code of ethics for staff to follow. A code of ethics should be used as a guidance document for professionals working with children to help them cope with any difficult situations or issues that may arise in childcare settings. 

The Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Code of Ethics is designed especially for early childhood education and care environments and is based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1991). It reflects current pedagogical research and practice and provides a set of statements about the ethical responsibilities and expected behavior of early childhood professionals who work with or on behalf of children and families in early childhood settings. The ECA Code of Ethics also acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional ways of being and caring for children.

The core principles in the Code of Ethics are based on the fundamental principles of the profession. They are designed to guide decision-making with ethical responsibilities, and they require a commitment to respect and maintain the rights and dignity of children, families, colleagues, and communities.

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The core principles in the ECA Code of Ethics are:

  • Each child has unique interests and strengths and the capacity to contribute to their communities
  • Children are citizens from birth with civil, cultural, linguistic, social and economic rights
  • Effective learning and teaching are characterized by professional decisions that draw on specialized knowledge and multiple perspectives
  • Partnerships with families and communities support shared responsibility for children’s learning, development, and wellbeing
  • Democratic, fair, and inclusive practices promote equity and a strong sense of belonging
  • Respectful, responsive, and reciprocal relationships are central to children’s education and care
  • Play and leisure are essential for children’s learning, development and wellbeing
  • Research, inquiry, and practice-based evidence inform quality education and care.

Commitments to Action about children include acting in the best interests of all children, creating and maintaining safe, healthy, inclusive environments that support children’s agency and enhance their learning, and providing a meaningful curriculum to enrich children’s learning, balancing child and educator-initiated experiences.

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Licensing

Australia has a dual regulatory system for the provision of childcare. This is because the state and territory governments and the Australian Government have different roles and responsibilities. 

There are two types of approvals:

  • Provider and service approval from your state or territory government (National Law) – this approval deems you suitable to ensure children’s health, safety, and wellbeing under the National Law. To be approved for this, you will need to demonstrate you understand your obligations under The National Law and Regulations. The National Law sets a national standard for children’s education and care across Australia. National Regulations support the National Law by providing details on various operational requirements for an education and care service.
  • Provider and service approval from the Australian Government (Family Assistance Law) – this approval deems you suitable to administer Child Care Subsidy (CCS) under The Family Assistance Law. If you are applying for CCS approval, you must demonstrate you understand your obligations under the Family Assistance Law. Children’s education and care providers must be approved under National Law to be eligible to administer CCS.

A childcare provider can operate and charge fees for childcare services if they are approved under National Law, even if they are not approved by the Australian Government under Family Assistance Law. 

State and territory governments are responsible for ensuring providers are meeting standards for the safety, health, and well-being of children. They do this through the National Quality Framework under the National Law and National Regulations.

To be approved under the National Law, providers and services must meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework, which provides a national approach to regulation, assessment, and quality improvement for childcare services across Australia. The National Quality Standard sets the benchmark for the quality of education and care services and promotes the safety, health, and well-being of children by assessing and rating approved services. 

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Key aspects of the National Quality Framework include:

  • Specified educator-to-child ratios so that each child receives the individual time and attention they need
  • An approved learning framework to support each child’s learning and development
  • Educator qualification requirements so that educators are better able to lead activities that inspire children and help them learn and develop
  • An assessment and ratings system so that parents know the quality of early learning and child care being provided and can make informed choices.

The Australian Government is responsible for the administration and payment of Child Care Subsidies and Additional Child Care Subsidy for families. This is done under the Family Assistance Law, which sets out the entitlement families have to subsidies and the rules that apply to childcare providers who provide subsidized care to children. To become an approved provider under Family Assistance Law, a provider must hold the required approvals or licenses to provide child care in the state or territory in which the child care services operate.

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Accreditation registration to professional bodies 

Registration is not a requirement for early childhood teachers (ECTs) under the National Quality Framework (NQF); however, it is a requirement under some state and territory legislation. You will need to contact your local teacher regulatory authority in your state or territory to find out more information: https://www.acecqa.gov.au/qualifications/early-childhood-teacher-registration-and-accreditation. Below are the Teacher regulatory authorities for the different states and territories:

  • Australian Capital Territory – Teacher Quality Institute
  • New South Wales – NSW Education Standards Authority
  • Northern Territory – Teacher Registration Board of the Northern Territory
  • Queensland – Queensland College of Teachers
  • South Australia – Teachers Registration Board of South Australia
  • Tasmania – Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania
  • Victoria – Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • Western Australia – Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia.

There are several other organizations and professional bodies that can provide help and support to people working with children and young people. For example, this includes the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Early Childhood Australia, Department of Education, and Australian Childcare Alliance. These, along with many other organizations, can be found here: https://www.acecqa.gov.au/help/links 

Professional boundaries 

Professional boundaries are essential for developing and maintaining safe and appropriate relationships with children and young people in care settings. A caregiver can have a positive impact on the child’s future and provide them with good experiences growing up. However, the professional boundary can be breached if the carer misuses their power and takes advantage of the child’s trust, which could affect the child’s safety and welfare. Therefore, when interacting with children, professionals should be careful of engaging in certain behaviors with them and consider the implications and consequences of their actions at all times. The needs of the child should always be at the forefront of your mind and should influence the decisions you make in your role. 

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Professional boundaries can sometimes be broken without you being aware, and this can have a detrimental effect on the relationship and the child and can also result in disciplinary action. Professionals working with children should be provided with guidelines, such as the code of ethics, to inform and guide them about managing professional boundaries. This will help them to understand the importance of boundaries, minimize the risk of any boundary violations occurring, and encourage them to use their judgment positively in situations. 

Examples of professional boundary violations:

  • Treating a child differently from others and favoring them
  • Being more of a friend or counselor to the child than your actual role
  • Meeting the child or young person outside of the workplace 
  • Using power or authority to harm them 
  • Offering money to a child or young person 
  • Buying them new clothing or gifts 
  • Talking to them inappropriately or about personal matters 
  • Using social media to interact with them outside of the workplace 
  • Asking them inappropriate and personal questions 
  • Offering them advice beyond your job role.
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If you are considering helping a child or young person who is mistreated or disadvantaged or offering them your advice because they have come to you and want to talk, you should discuss this with your supervisor first. Be open and honest with your supervisor about your intentions to find out what their thoughts are and whether you would be violating any professional boundaries by doing this. It is important to do this before acting on anything, as it could have serious consequences for yourself and the child or young person.

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Ethical decision-making

Ethical decision-making is a process by which educators or childcare providers choose a course of action to address an uncertain situation or resolve an ethical dilemma. This process is informed by professional ethics and by examining their beliefs, perceptions, and biases. It also involves considering the alternatives and potential consequences of your decisions. Following an ethical decision-making process will allow you to reflect on your practice and act in the best interests of children.

The principles of ethical decision-making include:

  • Identifying and focusing on the facts of the situation
  • Examining your values, beliefs, perceptions, and biases
  • Consulting the Code of Ethics, relevant legislation, and your workplace policies
  • Generate a list of options for a course of action and identify the potential consequences of each one
  • Seek guidance and information from your employer, colleagues, or mentor
  • Make your decision ensuring you are acting in the best interests of children and their families
  • Document your decision and the results or outcome of your actions
  • Reflect on the outcomes of your action and discuss the next steps if required.
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Ethical decision-making model

The Australian Public Service Commission developed a decision-making model using the acronym REFLECT. This was designed to help a professional working with children evaluate and deal with any conduct that concerns them and help them make an ethical decision. 

  • R and E stand for recognizing a potential issue or problem and examining the situation
  • F stands for finding relevant information, such as gathering facts and evidence using the Code of Conduct 
  • L stands for liaising and consulting with peers and supervisors to get help and advice with the situation 
  • E stands for evaluating the options, figuring out what the best thing to do is based on the information gathered and what the risks could be 
  • C stands for coming to a decision, considering whether you would need to get permission to do this, and recording your actions 
  • T stands for taking time to reflect, considering whether you are happy with your decisions and whether you would do the same thing next time. 

Maintaining professional boundaries 

As long as you follow your organization’s code of ethics and work within the parameters of your role, maintaining boundaries with children and young people should come naturally, and you should be able to tell if something isn’t right before you take action. 

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How you can manage professional boundaries:

  • Follow work policies and procedures and legislation
  • Be aware of your role and work within these parameters 
  • Be professional, open, and honest at work
  • Treat all children equally and with respect 
  • Report any issues or concerns you have about a child or young person
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for children 
  • Understand when something needs to be kept confidential 
  • Build a trusting relationship with every child in your care
  • Supporting and encouraging children’s relationships with their parents 
  • Ask your supervisor for advice if you’re unsure about whether to do something. 
3.3 – Recognise and report indicators for ethical concerns when working with children and young people

By the end of this chapter, the learner should be able to:

  • Explain what ethics are and why they are important 
  • Recognize and explain potential ethical concerns when working with children and young people
  • Report any indicators of potential ethical concerns in the workplace.

Ethical concerns 

It is important to be able to recognize potential ethical concerns in the workplace so you can report any indicators immediately. Ethics are moral principles that affect how people make decisions and live their lives daily. It is about doing what is right for people and society and can be described as moral philosophy. The term comes from the Greek word ethos, which means custom, habit, character, and disposition. Ethics are usually concerned with other people’s interests or the interests of society instead of our own, and they can affect the way we behave, encouraging us to do good instead of bad if we realize our actions would be unethical. 

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However, it is important to distinguish between ethical and legal issues and to identify whether a certain issue has both legal and ethical implications. For example, the legal responsibility in children’s services is the worker’s duty of care to children, which states that they must report any suspected child protection issues by law. An ethical issue could involve being honest with children and colleagues, which is something that would be expected of you at work, but it is not legally required. Ethical issues don’t have any law behind them, but they can affect people around you, and unethical behavior can have serious consequences. 

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Examples of unethical conduct would be:

  • Treating children in different ways and not equally 
  • Avoiding helping a child or young person because you don’t like them
  • Not giving certain children or families the help and advice they need
  • Buying gifts for children or young people 
  • Asking them for personal information about themselves or their family
  • Talking to them about personal issues 
  • Meeting the child or young person outside of the workplace 
  • Interfering with the child or their family outside of the workplace 
  • Building a personal relationship with them that goes beyond your role.

Reporting ethical concerns 

You must be professional and follow workplace policies, procedures, and code of conduct when carrying out your role. You should adhere to them at all times to ensure you are behaving ethically and in the way that the company expects you to. If you notice any ethical concerns in the workplace by other members of staff, then you should speak to your supervisor and report it so they can investigate it further. It is important to report anything unethical to help children and protect them from harm.

If anyone asks you for advice regarding an ethical dilemma they are dealing with, you should advise them to speak to their supervisor and refer to the code of conduct and use it as a guide to making their decision. You should avoid offering advice to people in the workplace as it could land you in trouble if it turns out to be incorrect advice, and it could also have serious consequences for everyone involved. 

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4. References

ACECQA, Approved provider reporting requirements: https://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/applications/reporting

ACECQA, National Law: http://www.acecqa.gov.au/national-quality-framework/national-law-and-regulations/national-law.

ACECQA, Opening a new service: https://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/opening-a-new-service#More%20resources

AIFS, Australian child protection legislation: https://aifs.gov.au/resources/resource-sheets/australian-child-protection-legislation                                                             

AIFS, Child maltreatment in organizations: risk factors and strategies for prevention: https://aifs.gov.au/resources/policy-and-practice-papers/child-maltreatment-organisations-risk-factors-and-strategies

AIFS, Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/mandatory-reporting-child-abuse-and-neglect.

Aussie Childcare Network, ECA – Code of Ethics: https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/articles/childcare-articles/eca-code-of-ethics

Australian Childhood Foundation, The impact on children: https://www.childhood.org.au/the-impact/

Australian Human Rights Commission, About children’s rights: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/childrens-rights/about-childrens-rights. Unicef, How we protect children’s rights: https://www.unicef.org.uk/what-we-do/un-convention-child-rights/ 

Barnardos, Child sexual abuse: https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what-we-do/protecting-children/sexual-abuse

BBC, What is ethics?: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/intro_1.shtml

Better Health Channel Victoria, Recognising when a child is at risk: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/recognising-when-a-child-is-at-risk

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Risk and protective factors: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/riskprotectivefactors.html.

Child protection agencies (AIHW): https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/health-welfare-services/child-protection/links-other-information

Child Protection Manual, Interagency collaboration: https://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/our-approach/multi-disciplinary-practice/interagency-collaboration

Child Welfare, Guiding principles of systems of care: interagency collaboration: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/reform/soc/history/interagency/

Child Welfare Information Gateway, Child factors that contribute to child abuse and neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/factors/child/#health

Child Welfare, Promoting protective factors: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/in_risk.pdf.

College of Early Childhood Educators, Ethical decision-making: https://www.college-ece.ca/en/Documents/Practice-Note-Ethical-Decision-Making.pdf 

Department of Education, What approvals or licenses are required?: https://www.education.gov.au/child-care-package/child-care-provider-handbook/becoming-approved-provider/what-approvals-or-licences-are-required

Early Childhood Australia, Code of Ethics: https://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/our-publications/eca-code-ethics/ 

Education Victoria, Understand your obligations to protect children: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/professionals/health/childprotection/Pages/ecunderstanding.aspx.

Health Autism Centre, How to have fun, build rapport, and help your child learn: https://www.healisautism.com/post/have-fun-build-rapport-help-your-child-learn

Health Direct, Child abuse: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/child-abuse

Health NSW, Youth-friendly communication: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/kidsfamilies/youth/Documents/youth-health-resource-kit/youth-health-resource-kit-sect-3-chap-1.pdf

NCTSN, Complex trauma effects: https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects

No Violence, Adolescent to parent abuse – the facts: https://noviolence.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/adoltopar.pdf

NSPCC, Physical abuse: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/physical-abuse/

Queensland Government, Effects of child abuse: https://www.qld.gov.au/community/getting-support-health-social-issue/support-victims-abuse/child-abuse/what-is-child-abuse/child-abuse-effects

Raising Children, Active listening with pre-teens and teenagers: https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/communicating-relationships/communicating/active-listening 

Safe Steps, Psychological abuse: https://www.safesteps.org.au/understanding-family-violence/types-of-abuse/psychological-abuse/#

Saprea, 11 factors that increase the risk of child sexual abuse: https://defendinnocence.org/child-sexual-abuse-risk-reduction/proactive-parenting/reduce-risk/11-factors-that-increase-the-risk-of-child-sexual-abuse/

Teacher Registration Board, Professional boundaries guidelines: https://www.trb.nt.gov.au/professional-responsibilities/teaching-practice/professional-boundaries-guidelines 

Unicef, Communicating with children: http://www.unicef.org/cwc/

Victoria State Government Families, Fairness and Housing, Services: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-individuals/children,-families-and-young-people/child-protection/about-child-abuse/what-is-child-abuse

Welfare Information Gateway, Protective factors to promote wellbeing and prevent child abuse & neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/promoting/protectfactors/

What to Expect, Abuse and Domestic Violence During Pregnancy: https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what-we-do/protecting-children/sexual-abuse

Yerp, Communicating with young people: https://yerp.yacvic.org.au/build-relationships/involve-young-people/communicating-with-young-people