The Institute of Child Protection Studies has launched a national survey asking children and young people about safety in institutions.
The “ASK-Young People” (ASK-YP) survey is part of a larger study exploring what children and young people aged 10 to 18 experience and think about safety in institutional contexts.
The study has been commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and is being carried out by experienced children’s researchers from the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS), in partnership with Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology.
ICPS Senior Research Fellow Dr Tim Moore said the study is the first of its type and scope to engage directly with children and young people about issues of safety in institutions.
“History tells us that when children and young people’s needs and concerns are not understood, and their wishes are not acted upon, children and young people are at significant risk of experiencing a range of problems, including child sexual abuse,” Dr Moore said.
“To prevent child sexual abuse and deal with it when it arises, children and young people need adults to understand their issues, for their concerns to be taken seriously, and for adults and institutions to respond in ways that meet their needs. Unfortunately this has not always happened,” Dr Moore said.
The ASK-YP survey was developed in partnership with children and young people and is based on findings from focus groups conducted in 2014.
“By listening to children and young people talk about their perceptions of adults’ responses to their concerns about safety and abuse, we can learn what they need to be safe and feel safe in institutions; and this knowledge will lead to more appropriate organisational responses,” said Dr Moore.
The National Children's Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, will launch a report outlining the findings from the focus groups with children and young people in Canberra on Monday 17 August. You can read the findings here.
More information about the study is available here.
ICPS is a nationally recognised centre of research excellence in the area of child, youth and family welfare. ICPS researchers are experienced in undertaking research with children, young people, families and communities on sensitive issues.