All children and young people are vulnerable to abuse and harm however the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that some children and young people have an even higher risk of being targeted for abuse than the general population.

Children and young people at greater risk are:

  • those who have previously experienced abuse
  • those with a disability
  • those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • those experiencing poverty or homelessness or in out of home care
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

While we emphasise the responsibility of Archdiocesan clergy, employees and volunteers to actively promote the safety of children and young people, an effective child safety approach requires parishes, agencies and entities to empower and build the capacity of children and young people to raise concerns.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne values the contribution of children and young people and recognizes that empowerment is a protective factor that reduces the risk of mistreatment and child abuse.

Parishes, agencies and entities in creating opportunities to educate children and young people in relation to safety, involving them in decision-making and seeking to promote their “voice”, help to create safer environments for children and young people.

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