Parishes, agencies and entities of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne (CAM) recognise that child safety requires a proactive approach that systemically identifies and assesses risk on an ongoing basis to minimise opportunities for child abuse or harm to occur.

Situational risk prevention focuses on specific behaviours and practices within a parish, agency or entity that permit or promote specific outcomes. In relation to child safety, physical and social environments within an organisation can be designed or altered to minimise the risk of child abuse (Wortley & Smallbone 2010). The way in which the physical environment is structured and the way in which programs, activities and events are run impacts the safety of children and young people.

A focus on ‘how we do things’ and ‘where we do things’ in a parish, agency or entity is important in promoting the safety of children and young people.

Risk management

Risk management is a formal and structured approach to the identification and management of risk. The Archdiocese is committed to ensuring that child safety risk management processes are implemented within parishes, agencies and entities to prevent, detect, reduce and/or remove potential child safety risks.

Practice and behavioural guidelines

Practice and Behavioural Guidelines have been developed to guide the planning and delivery of programs, activities and events involving children and young people and situations that may arise in the course of our work with children and young people.

These guidelines seek to address situations (e.g. procedures, physical environments) that place children and young people at risk. Safeguarding Committees within parishes, agencies and entities can use these Child Safety Practice and Behavioural Guidelines in developing and reviewing existing programs, activities and events to promote the safe participation of children and young people and assist in planning future initiatives involving children and young people.