Children at risk

Identify and respond to children and young people at risk CHCCHILD401B

This unit is about how to address duty of care requirements, working within an ethical framework and applying relevant legislation, policies and procedures in responding to children and young people.



1. Follow practices that support the protection of children and young people

  1. Identify children and young people at risk of harm by observing signs and symptoms, asking non-invasive questions, being aware of protective issues and using child protection procedures where appropriate
  2. Respond to disclosure, information or signs and symptoms according to accepted standards, techniques, and legislative obligations
  3. Consistently comply with lawful instructions, regulations and duty of care
  4. Routinely use child-focused work practices so that you uphold the rights of children and young people to take part in making decisions where it is age appropriate
  5. Use ways of communicating with children and young people and gathering information from them that follow current recognized good practice
  6. Make sure that your decisions and actions are within your own level of responsibility, work role and legal requirements
  7. Keep up you knowledge and skills you need to work effectively and participate in practice supervision
  8. Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
  9. Respond appropriately according to your organization's procedures, legal and work role obligations

2. Report indications of possible risk of harm

  1. Accurately record relevant specific and general circumstances surrounding risk of harm according to your organization's procedures, ethics and legal requirements
  2. Promptly report risk of harm indicators according to statutory and organization procedures
  3. Work collaboratively with relevant agencies to ensure maximum effectiveness of report

3. Apply ethical and nurturing practices in your work with children and young people

  1. Protect the rights of children and young people in the provision of services
  2. Identify and seek supervision support for issues of ethical concern in practice with children and young people
  3. Develop ethical and nurturing practices according to professional boundaries when working with children and young people
  4. Recognize indicators for potential ethical concerns when working with children and young people
  5. Respond to unethical behavior of others by reporting to the appropriate person

Other skills

  1. Respond appropriately to signs of risk of harm
  2. Use indicators of abuse to make judgements about risks of harm
  3. Follow procedures and instructions
  4. Apply principles of ethical decision-making
  5. Maintain professional boundaries in work with children and young people
  6. Give required reports and records, including using a computer according to OHS guidelines
  7. Distinguish between legal and ethical problems
  8. Work within a legal and ethical framework
  9. Apply problem solving and negotiation skills to resolve problems of a difficult nature within your organization's protocols.
  10. Use child focused work practices including:
    1. communication skills
    2. awareness and sensitivity to children and young person's needs
    3. inclusiveness of children and young people in participatory decision-making process
    4. making special allowances to met needs of children and young people
    5. ways of engaging children and young people
    6. observance and presence of children and young people as primary clients


  1. Your assessor will do a walkaround in your workplace.
    1. Explain the kinds of risks and what to do about them. Include reviews of any cases that you have faced.
    2. Answer the knowledge questions below. (The assessor can also ask follow-up questions if necessary.)
  2. Your assessor will also get a reference from your supervisor.

Interview questions:


  1. What are the most common risk to child's safety in your context? (Make sure you get all the important ones.)
  2. What are the main signs of these different kinds of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, neglect, domestic violence?
  3. What are the main effects of each different kind of abuse?
  4. What are the main dynamics of each different kind of abuse? (E.g. relationships, psychological responses) Include as they apply to age, gender, disability, culture, sexuality.
  5. How would you respond appropriately to a disclosure of abuse?

Your procedures

  1. What are your organization's guidelines and policies for responding to risks of harm to children and young people?
  2. What recording procedures do you have in your job role? (e.g. incident forms)


  1. What ethical obligations do you have? (They may be written in relevant codes of practice in your organization or professional body, or licensing, accreditation or registration standards, or service agreements.)
  2. Explain ethical approaches that incorporate the conventions on the rights of the child and human rights.
  3. What is your specific role and where are the ethical boundaries? (You are responsible to clearly define your role and and responsibilities and the client's roles and responsibilities in behaving ethically and following professional relationship boundaries.)
  4. What are your ethical obligations as defined by your job specification and your employer?
  5. Explain your top three key principles of ethical decision-making.


  1. What are your duty of care responsibilities?
  2. What are your state/territory requirements and processes for reporting suspected abuse?
  3. What other statutory and policy requirements relate to your job role?
  4. How does the child protection system work? (Include reporting protocols, responses to reporting, interagency policies)
  5. Explain briefly how the legal system works as it pertains to your job role.
  6. What are the common legal issues relevant to your work with children and young people? Consider the following:
    • abuse in all forms
    • domestic and family violence
    • neglect
    • exploitation
    • alcohol and other drugs (AOD) concerns
    • systems abuse.