Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

It is acknowledged that all members of the community have a role in supporting children and young people's safety while providing safe, innovative, nurturing and inclusive service. Guiding children's safe and flourishing passage through childhood relies on an awareness of the many facets of the child's world that can impact on their wellbeing. This unit, informed by a knowledge base of the risk factors, the protective factors, the prevalence rates of abuse and other harms to children, explores the personal and professional contexts where an ethical commitment to the inclusion of the child and their perspectives can occur.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit covers the context, values and beliefs related to supporting and protecting children, and young people. Participants will develop and apply knowledge about the importance of wellbeing, rights, safety, dignity and the inclusion of children and young people's perspectives in addressing and preventing risk. The unit has a specific focus on responding to concerns and developing strategies to work with children and young people to support them in organisational and institutional contexts and within the broader community within participatory, proactive and preventative frameworks.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - identify the prevalence, risk factors and indicators of harm and abuse in order to review and evaluate current practices (GA1, GA3, GA5, GA8; AQF8 Kn1, Sk1, Sk2; Ap1; SCYP 1.1, 1.2, 2.3, 3.3)

L02 - interpret and critically evaluate the mandates of key international treaties and national and state policies relevant to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in organisational/institutional contexts (GA3, GA5, GA8; AQF8 Kn1, Sk1, Ap1; SCYP 1.3, 2.1, 2.2)

LO3 - apply practices that contribute to the wellbeing and safety of children and young people through strategic, preventative and responsive planning that include the perspectives of professionals, children and young people (GA1; GA5; AQF8 Kn1, Sk1, Ap1; SCYP 2.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Alongside the learning outcomes for this unit, on successful completion, students should have developed the ability to:

ACU SCYP 1.   Understand the nature of sexual abuse and other types of abuse experienced by children and young people and factors that influence the risk of abuse occurring 

1.1 Knows the nature and causes of sexual abuse and other types of abuse that are experienced by children and young people within institutions/organisations

1.2 Knows the risk and protective factors associated with children and young people 

1.3 Knows the risks inherent in their particular institutional/organisational context

ACU SCYP 2.     Foster child-safe organisational cultures and environments through leadership, governance, and practice

2.1  Knows what enables and encourages child-safe institutional/organisational cultures and environments and approaches that promote them 

2.2  Knows what child-safe practices are effective in their institutional/organisational context to prevent and respond to sexual abuse and other types of abuse

2.3  Addresses the attitudes, beliefs and values of staff and communities about children and young people, sexual abuse and other types of abuse to support child-safe behaviours 

2.6  Engages families and communities in culturally appropriate ways

ACU SCYP 3.   Develop and implement effective strategies that address risks, based on the situational prevention model and takes appropriate action when concerns and issues arise

3.1  Knows what strategies are effective and how to apply policies and strategies in their institutional/organisational context

ACU SCYP 4.   Facilitate children and young people’s engagement in child-centred participatory processes, including those that enable and respond to disclosures and complaint

4.1  Demonstrates an understanding of child and adolescent development and the needs of different groups of children and young people and applies them in their participatory processes

4.2  Involves children and young people and includes their perspectives  in addressing and preventing risk and promoting protective factors in institutions/organisations

4.3  Knows and utilises the resources available to help adults ask for—and respond to—the views of children and young people about safety within institutions/organisations


Topics will include:

  • Contexts, values and beliefs that impact on the safety and wellbeing of children and young people
  • Historical and prevailing values and ideas about children that influence the ways in which abuse in organisations, institutions and the community are identified
  • Children and young people’s perspectives on sensitive issues, wellbeing, education and harm prevention
  • Child abuse in the context of organisations and institutions, contemporary nature and scope of child abuse, and the prevalence and types of child abuse
  • International mandates, emerging trends in policy and institutional responses
  • Emerging issues and contemporary safety concerns in organisations, institutions and the community
  • Identifying and responding to child abuse within organisational/institutional contexts: Inclusive approaches
  • Enabling child-directed and child-respected responses to abuse and harm
  • Working with children in planning for prevention and response.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in multi-mode (i.e. delivered online and in face-to-face contexts) and uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of the essential knowledge associated with the identification and response to risk in supporting children and young people. Students will explore key issues and develop a deeper contextualised understanding of child safety, empowerment and flourishing through online asynchronous activities and where appropriate synchronous online webinars or face to face. 

The use of LEO will be integral to the unit. Other activities may include lectures and reading, self-directed learning, participant critical reflection against relevant professional standards with particular reference to case studies, engagement with the literature, dialogue and interrogation of concepts, theories and practices, and the application to current professional contexts.

The unit involves 150 hours of focused learning made up of an expected 24 hours of directed study. Directed study includes activities such lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours is private study and practice and assessment preparation.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed above. The focus of the assessments enable participants to draw on their professional knowledge, unit content and relevant literature to explore the contemporary issues relating to safeguarding children in institutional contexts. By synthesizing the key learnings through the assessment task, participants will develop a strategically focused response agenda relevant to their professional setting.

The total assessment will be equivalent to 5,000 words (Graduate Certificate). In order to pass this unit, students will be required to submit and pass all assessment tasks.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

Contemporary issues Briefing Paper and Presentation (2,500 words equivalent) 

Requires students to identify risk and preventative factors and child safe policies


LO1, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA8 

Assessment Task 2

Review of current safeguarding practices in context

(Written Report) (2,500 words)

Requires students to analyse and evaluate effectiveness of child safe strategies in a specific organisational context


LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA8 

Representative texts and references

Australian Children’s Commissioners and Guardians (2013). Submission to Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Issues Paper 3 – Child safe institutions Principles for child safety in organisations. Retrieved from

Australian Government Department of Education and Training (2010). National safe schools framework. Retrieved from

Khoury-Kassabri, M. (2011). Student victimization by peers in elementary schools: Individual, teacher-class, and school-level predictors. Child Abuse & Neglect35(4), 273-282.

Smallbone, S., Marshall, W. L., & Wortley, R. (2013). Preventing child sexual abuse: Evidence, policy and practice. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis.

Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC). (2013). National safe schools framework. Retrieved from

Victorian Government Department of Human Services Melbourne. (2013). Child sexual abuse: Understanding and responding: for professionals working with children who have experienced sexual abuse. Retrieved from:,-families-and-young-people/child-protection/about-child-abuse/what-is-child-abuse/understanding-child-sexual-abuse-and-responding/Child-sexual-abuse_0813.pdf

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