Safe from Harm: Development of Online Child Protection Training for Scouts New Zealand

Elizabeth Asbury
Whitireia New Zealand

Emma Addington
Whitireia New Zealand

George Orsborn
Whitireia New Zealand

John Williams
SCOUTS New Zealand


Introduction: SCOUTS New Zealand place paramount importance on keeping young people safe from harm. New Zealand (NZ) has one of the highest rates of child abuse and child death by maltreatment in the developed world. SCOUTS NZ engage with 14,500 children and young people, supported by 4,500 adult volunteers in 340 locations across New Zealand. SCOUTS wanted to inform and educate all their members about the importance of child protection (CP), while managing the challenges of a geographically disparate population through online learning.

Method: “Introduction to Child and Youth Protection” module was created collaboratively with SCOUTS NZ and online educators at Whitireia NZ. The aim was to provide an accessible, evidence based, self-paced online module illustrating the realities of child abuse and neglect in NZ, while enabling the participants to understand the role of SCOUTS NZ in child and youth protection. The module was developed using “Articulate Storyline”, peer reviewed by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) working in Youth Development and Social Work, and evaluated using the Kirkpatrick framework.

Results: 1102 SCOUTS leaders and volunteers have completed the CP module and evaluation to date. Significant improvements in the learning outcomes “Understanding the realities of child abuse and neglect in NZ” (5.32 ± 1.35 vs. 6.26 ± 0.79, p < 0.001), “Understanding the importance of child and youth protection in NZ” (5.99 ± 1.13 vs. 6.51 ± 0.71, p < 0.001) and “Understanding the role of SCOUTS in child protection” (5.74 ± 1.22 vs. 6.46 ± 0.79, p < 0.001) were found on completion of the module. Participants found the module engaging (95%), useful (97%), applicable (99%) and relevant to their role (99%).

Conclusion: By using tailored, appropriate content, emotive topics can be addressed through online learning, as this successful collaboration has demonstrated.

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