Describe human rights and ethical decision making as it applies to child protection. Provide examples pin your response.

Guidance: You should be discussing the human rights that relate to children. In relation to ethical decision making, you should be discussing an ethical decision-making model e.g. the REFLECT model as outlined within your Learner Guide

Human Rights: Children’s sense of themselves improves as they are treated with respect and encouraged to participate in age-appropriate decision-making. This can help children speak up for themselves or avoid situations in which they are at risk of harm or when their rights are being violated. 

In early childhood education and care setting, the expectation are as follows:

  • Children are in charge of their own bodies and are entitled to be safe and handled gently
  • Children deserve to be treated with respect and consideration, and each child should be dealt with appropriately
  • There shouldn’t be favourites who receive more of different interactions with educators
  • Children have the right to be provided with food, water, safety, a stimulating environment, and positive interaction with adults and peers
  • Each child has a right to have their needs consistently met by caregivers
  • It is expected that educators and staff members will help to create this kind of environment, and will speak up when they notice a threat to the rights of any child 

Ethical Decision Making: The Australian Public Service Commission developed a decision-making model using the acronyms REFLECT. This was designed to help a professional working with children evaluate and deal with any conducts that are concerning them and help them to make an ethical decision.

  • R and E stands for recognising a potential issue or problem and examining the situation
  • F stands for finding relevant information, such as gathering facts and evidence using the Code of Conduct 
  • L stands for liaising and consulting with peers and supervisors to get help and advice with the situation 
  • E stands for evaluating the options, figuring out what the best thing to do is based on the information gathered and what the risks could be 
  • C stands for coming to a decision, considering whether you would need to get permission to do this and recording your actions 
  • T stands for taking time to reflect, considering whether you are happy with your decisions and whether you would do the same thing next time. 

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