Volunteer organisations have a special place in the heart of every community. The vital work that they carry out most often involves providing assistance to those who are in need. Issues of poverty, homelessness, abuse, infirmity and mental illness are just some of the challenging aspects within the day-to-day operations of many volunteer groups.
Volunteering and our kids
Children and young people can often have a strong connection to one or more volunteer organisations in the community. This might be as a recipient of food parcels, being minded while parents sort out finances, or assisted to find accommodation. On the other side of the equation, children are increasingly involved in volunteer activities themselves as parents encourage their children to do their bit. Whether planting seedlings in waterways, helping to sort second hand clothes or lending a hand at the local pet shelter – children are involved members of many volunteer organisations throughout Australia.
Constant evaluation of child safety initiatives
The broader child safety equation
When we consider hazards such as the availability of inappropriate computer or television content at volunteer sites, physical and emotional damage from clientele interaction, bullying from other volunteers, accidents, or the potential for sexual abuse where inadequate supervision exists, it becomes clear that child safety within volunteer organisations should be much more broadly conceptualised that it perhaps is currently.