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Preventing child abuse – how can you play your part?

National Child Protection WeekAustralians are being urged to ‘play their part’ in protecting children from child abuse and neglect this National Child Protection Week (September 7-13).

The issue is one of Australia’s most significant social problems – last year more than 35,000 Aussie children were proven to have been abused or neglected.

It is rarely a one-off and it is always harmful.

The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) has a number of child protection resources available on their website so you can play your part in preventing child abuse and neglect.

They have also recognised the work of the following individuals and organisations who have already been instrumental in creating a child-friendly community.

We want to congratulate each of the 2014 recipients of the NAPCAN Play Your Part Awards. They are …

National: Wollongong City Council, for the Child Friendly Cities initiative. The initiative sees Council staff engaging children and young people at schools, childcare centres, youth centres, playgrounds or wherever appropriate. To date over 1000 children and young people have been consulted by staff.

National: White Ribbon, for the “Breaking the Silence” Schools Program. The program has provided a platform for schools to become agents of social change by providing the schools with a framework, strategies and tools for preventing men’s violence against women.

National: East Arnhem Northern Territory Top End, for Families and Schools Together (FAST) NT. The FAST NT program strengthens the relationships between schools and daily family life; to ensure better outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Tasmania: Sallyanne McShane, for being an inspiring advocate for children’s rights. Sallyanne is a passionate advocate for children, and someone who goes above and beyond to be a positive influence in their lives.

WA: Jillian Locke, for being an inspiring and dedicated advocate for children’s health. Jillian Locke is a volunteer with Fair Game’s Healthy Communities Program. This program provides at risk populations within WA with valuable education in evidenced based health practices.

WA: Richard Wells, for having an inspiring commitment to the wellbeing of children. Richard led the Boss of My Body DVD project in 2012. The DVD has now been shared throughout many communities within Australia and overseas and used as a tool to have important protective behaviours conversations with children.

NT: Gray Primary School and The Smith Family, for the Partners Engaging Gray School (PEGS) Parntership. The program’s focus is on encouraging, supporting and empowering the Gray School Community to access quality school and community services.

NT: Ernest Numamurdirdi, for being an inspiring individual in the Numbulwar community. Ernest is Team Leader of the Night Patrol within Roper Gulf Regional Council Numbulwar community.He spends many hours every night talking to and delivering children to a safe environment while also diverting children and youth from negative activities through mentoring and positive support.

QLD: Family Planning Queensland, for Protection Thru Play. The program was developed to meet the identified needs of the communities in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Mt Morgan, Kabra and Gracemere. Protection Thru Play supports 11 playgroups to implement the program that is made up of 12 topics including content and child engagement activities that are designed to improve the health and wellbeing of children.

QLD: Lucas Moore, for being an inspiring advocate for children and young people. Lucas is the State Coordinator with CREATE Foundation QLD. His role involves leading and supporting a team of workers to make a difference to the lives of children and young people in out-of-home care.

NSW: Maari Ma, for the Early Years Project. The Early Years Project is an initiative of Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation and is now a collaboration of many partners. The project grew out of a desire to address issues which are not directly health related and yet represent some of the many social determinants of good health.

NSW: The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, for The Shaken Baby Prevention Project. The goal of the project is to raise community awareness that shaking a baby and any other physical abuse of a baby or child is dangerous.

Victoria: Southern Cross Kids’ Camps. Southern Cross Kids’ Camps (SCKC) is a national organisation that has been operating since 2001. SCKC currently runs across 10 locations nationally. The camps provide a week of 1:1 adult mentoring for children and young people who have been exposed to abuse or neglect.

Victoria: MacKillop Family Services, for the Substance Abuse Family Support (SAFS) Service. The program aims to reduce the impact of parental substance misuse on dependent children by assisting parents to understand how their drug and alcohol misuse affects their children, and to assist them in the reduction or cessation of their drug or alcohol use to minimise risk of relapse.

Victoria: VACRO, for Supporting Kids & Youth. The Supporting Kids and Youth (SKY) program is an initiative of the Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO) that first started in 2008 and now provides services to approximately 13 families and 35 children each month.

SA: Relationships Australia (SA), for Together 4 Kids. Together 4 Kids is a specialist therapeutic service offered by Relationships Australia SA to children aged 0-12 years who are at risk of homelessness and/or have experienced homelessness, and may have experienced domestic or family violence or other trauma.

SA: Junction Australia, for the Point of Engagement Program. The program provides intensive support to pregnant mothers or new mothers who have substance abuse issues, whose children are at high risk of entering the child protection system. The program provides regular home visiting services for between 3-18 months.

ACT: Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT, for SoSAFE! The SoSAFE! program is a set of visual and conceptual tools designed to promote social safety to clients with an intellectual disability. The program is used to train people who have an interest in the social safety of children and young people with intellectual and other disabilities.

Image credit: dirkercken/123RF Stock Photo

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