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Section 1 -Developing effective policies, procedures and practices

This guidance sets out to assist organisations in the development of an effective child protection policy, and to explore the safe working practices that support putting the policy into practice.

Organisation Health Check
The first step is to conduct an organisation health check which will help to evaluate current policy, procedures and practices in place and identify areas that may need to be changed, adapted or introduced.

Plan and Prepare
Once the areas for development have been identified, the next steps are to plan and prepare for the development of the policy and practice guidance. This step involves consultation and ensuring that the right people within the organisation are able to be involved to create and influence the development. This aspect is essential to the successful implementation once the policy and practice guidance has been written.

Develop and Implement
The third step is the development of policies, procedures and practices to ensure that:
•    All people working within the organisation are safe to work with children
•    The practices of the organisation are focused on keeping children safe
Policies, procedures and practice guides are only effective if they are successfully implemented, and all staff are using them appropriately.

Monitor and Review
Working through this guidance resource will assist in the development of effective policies, procedures and practices. Once this has been achieved, the next step is to develop a long term plan to ensure that the policies and procedure are 'living documents' that are used regularly by all staff within the organisation and continue to reflect the actual principles and practices of the organisation, as well as changing legislation.