Sunday 6 September marks the beginning of National Child Protection Week, a time to focus on children and how we can all play a part in keeping them safe.
This year National Child Protection Week (6-12 September) celebrates its 30th year with the theme ‘Putting children first’.
NAPCAN – the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect – is calling on Australians to put children first and give parents the support they need to do the important job of raising children.
‘Putting children first’ was front of mind when the National Child Protection Week campaign was launched in 1990, with the aim of bringing abuse and neglect out of the shadows and putting child wellbeing on the national agenda.
Council will be supporting National Child Protection Week by sharing resources and information with families, and working with local community groups, organisations and networks to help support parents through promoting the wellbeing and safety of children.
Throughout the week, Council’s Occasional Care service will be focusing on feelings and body safety to promote children having a voice and the confidence to report concerns. Families will be also be offered information on Child Protection and on how Council’s service promotes and delivers Child Safe Standards.
Council’s Youth and Children’s Services and Maternal and Child Health services maintains regular contact with the Victorian Child Protection Service to support vulnerable families.
Councillor Tasa Damante said Council has a zero-tolerance towards child abuse and is committed to establishing and maintaining child safe and child friendly environments.
“National Child Protection Week is used to promote messages of child abuse prevention and child protection. It also provides a platform for communities to be empowered, resourced and mobilised to take action at a local level,” Cr Damante said.
“This year’s theme of ‘putting children first’ invites us all to look at how we can prioritise children in our lives and communities – as individuals, and as part of families, organisations and communities,” she said.
“Communities in which children are seen and heard, where their participation is valued and where their families can get the support they need are stronger communities which contribute to keeping children safe and well,” Cr Damante added.
Child Protection Week posters will also displayed across the Children’s Services community facilities, along with white balloons in support of Bravehearts’ 24th annual White Balloon Day on Friday 11 September. Bravehearts has worked for 20 years providing children protection training and education initiatives, specialist child sexual assault counselling and support services.
Council provides a range of services to support children and families, and has recently endorsed the Children and Families Strategy