Research is telling us that strong social cohesion in a community has a protective effect for children. Communities where children are seen and heard, where their participation is valued, and where their families can get the support they need, are stronger communities that help to keep children safe and well. We also wanted to remind families that it’s ok to ask for help; we all need to support each other if we are to build a brighter future for children. This poster features artwork by a Year 8 student from Dubbo NSW, Shannon Kassell, who has captured the concept beautifully:
My painting represents a play on words being ‘people who build up our community’. The tower with small houses and work buildings such as a hospital and school, represents the community ‘up’ therefore the people walking upwards represents the townspeople in the community. There are many indigenous and non-indigenous people, with couples, students, police and health workers to be seen, that make up our community.”
This poster reminds us that even the small things we do (e.g. smile, listen, talk, hear, play, notice) can make a difference to a child’s future. As recognised in the Federal Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, for children to reach their full potential it’s important to consider their early development, especially in the first 1000 days. All positive experiences and relationships – no matter how small – help to positively develop the child’s brain and build strong foundations for better health and development outcomes. For a great explanation, see the video ‘How Brains are Built: The Core Story of Brain Development‘.
Having even one positive adult in a child’s life can help them overcome negative experiences and build healthy brain foundations. You can, and might already be, that one person!