As part of National Child Protection Week 2016, NAPCAN and AIFS are pleased to launch the document Stronger communities, safer children: Findings from recent Australian research on the importance of community in keeping children safe.
This document provides important information for all Australians to see how working together to build community can help to create a safer environment for all children. In particular, we urge governments and decision-makers to consider these findings in order to prioritise projects that contribute to community and focus on the prevention of abuse and neglect.
As part of National Child Protection Week 2016, NAPCAN launched the Children’s Voices Project as a way of encouraging local communities to engage young people in conversations and decision-making to build stronger communities.
The project includes an online information kit and printable activity sheet which provides a framework for collecting and sharing children’s ideas relating to ‘What do you like most about your local community?’ and ‘What would you change about your local community?’.
We are now inviting local communities around Australia to be part of the project by collecting children’s responses to the activity and sharing them during Children’s Week (22-30 October, 2016).
Importantly, the Children’s Voices Project is not just about collecting this information, but how we feed it back into policy making (i.e. via local Councils).
The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect warns that the Royal Commission into Youth Detention in the Northern Territory must this time be followed by some real action if it is to have any value.
NAPCAN, one of Australia’s foremost bodies working in child abuse prevention, says the Territory has seen a number of major reviews and inquiries into these issues that have resulted in important recommendations but little direct action that focuses on prevention.
In particular, they want to see prevention-focused outcomes identified in previous reports and inquiries into the Child Protection and Juvenile Justice Systems in the Northern Territory implemented as a matter of urgency.
NAPCAN President Teresa Scott says those recommendations, fully implemented, would go a long way to preventing children and young people having to come into contact with the Child Protection and Juvenile Justice Systems in the first place.
“If we are really going to shift the way that children and young people come into contact with the Child Protection and Juvenile Justice systems, the answer has to be in the way that we prevent it happening in the first place,” Ms Scott says.
The association’s Northern Territory Manager, Lesley Taylor, says there is an urgent need for a higher skill levels and ongoing training in respectful relationships for all staff working with traumatised children.
“We need staff to receive the same kind of training in violence prevention that we give young people in detention,” she says. “And we desperately need a change in the organisational culture of youth detention from power and control of young people to one of rehabilitation, healing and therapeutic intervention.”
Teresa Scott says Australia is fooling itself if it thinks a public inquiry is all that is required.
“For decades now, organisations like NAPCAN have been stressing the need for more resources and better leadership around prevention and a financial commitment to address the abuse and neglect of children so that they don’t end up in detention in the first place.”
“We have to realise that these youngsters in detention are still children,” she says. “The law says that as children they have the potential to grow into good adults, so we have to show them how good adults behave. Abuse is never a way of doing that.”
Lesley Taylor and Teresa Scott are available for interviews.
Olya Booyar: 0408 347 409
The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, (NAPCAN) was founded in 1987. NAPCAN’s mission is to support and encourage changes in individual and community behaviour to stop child abuse and neglect before it starts. NAPCAN contributes to the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s children by raising public awareness of child abuse & neglect and by developing effective prevention strategies and programs in partnership with communities.
NAPCAN has been active in the NT since March 2000. It operates as an expert advisory peak to government and non-government sector around early intervention and prevention of all forms of child abuse and neglect.
Teresa Scott Bio
Teresa is the President of the NAPCAN Board. She is a social worker with 30 years experience mainly focussing on child protection and child abuse prevention. Teresa has worked directly with children, families and communities as well as in training, programme and policy development and is currently employed as a part-time lecturer at Griffith University at the School of Human Services and Social Work.
Lesley Taylor Bio
Lesley Taylor is NT Manager for NAPCAN. She founded the NT Branch in March 2000 and currently manages a small but dynamic team of Community Educators and Prevention Coordinators. Lesley has delivered workshops promoting the safety and wellbeing of children to thousands of people across the Territory in urban, rural and remote Aboriginal Communities. During her more than 25 years of working in child protection and promotion of prevention initiatives, Lesley has developed a keen sense of how strong Communities create safe environments for children. In 1999 Lesley was awarded the inaugural National Child Abuse Prevention (Rural and Remote) Award by the National Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse.
Lesley’s TedX talk ‘What does being nice have to do with Child Abuse Prevention?’ Can be found here.
NAPCAN is happy to announce the release of the 2016 National Child Protection Week (4 to 10 September) posters, which can be downloaded here.
National Child Protection Week runs from the 4th – 10th September 2016. This year NAPCAN encourages you to continue to build on ‘Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business: Play Your Part’ by focussing on the theme ‘Stronger Communities, Safer Children’. This theme emphasises the importance and value of connected communities in keeping children and young people safe and well.
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.
The Stronger Communities, Safer Children poster illustrates this year’s theme with a drawing from Shannon Kassell from Dubbo College, Delroy Campus. Shannon said, “I did some drafts first to establish my ideas. Then I chose to make a picture of a child the centre of the poster message. The people surrounding the child represent all of the community coming together to protect all children, making sure all the regular places such as parks, schools and homes are safe. My picture shows people like a vet, an elderly person and students to name a few, because everyone is responsible for child protection.”
The Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business poster, demonstrates that to prevent child abuse and neglect we can all play a part. Employers, grandparents, parents and teachers/coaches are featured with advice on how to offer support to children and families.
To receive a copy of both posters please email: Ally Kodet-Moran (email@example.com) with the subject “NCPW Poster Order”. Make sure to include how many posters you would like and the mailing address.
Please spread the word about National Child Protection Week, for more information go to http://napcan.org.au/ncpw/.
NAPCAN, Healthy Development Adelaide and The Australian Centre for Child Protection are hosting the South Australian National Child Protection Week event, “Getting it Right from the Start” on Wednesday 7 September 2016. The event will include 4 special guest speakers and the announcement of the 2016 South Australian Play Your Part Award recipients.
Please see the invitation below for more details:
We aren’t quite ready to release our final poster designs yet however now is the time to register your mailing address and place your bulk orders.
Posters will be distributed by the end of July so please register to receive posters by clicking here.
If you have registered your mailing address with us, you will receive single prints of both the 2016 poster designs. If you wish to make a bulk order, (the cost is free) please email Ally Kodet-Moran (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject “Bulk Order 2016 NCPW Posters” and how many sets of posters you require.
The next batch of bulk orders will be distributed by mid July and the designs will also be available for download from our website in the next few weeks.
Please also register your National Child Protection Week events here.
The CRC 25 Australian Child Rights Progress Report was launched on 10 June by the Australian Child Rights Taskforce and calls on the government to set a national agenda for children and young people.
The report considers the progress for children since Australia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. It specifically identifies that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, LGBTI children, children from rural areas, children with disabilities and children from migrant backgrounds are still more likely to experience poverty, discrimination, social exclusion and disadvantage.
Speaking at the launch of the report National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell said “As is recognised in the Report’s recommendations, in order to fully realise children’s rights we need active and systematic consideration of their interests in the development of our laws, policies and practices. And most importantly, we need to listen to what children and young people have to say as an intrinsic part of those processes and considerations and learn from and incorporate their input.”
The report has over 30 contributors from human rights agencies, community organisations, academics, experts and young people from across Australia and explores a number of key areas for children including family life, education and care, justice and health.
To download the report and for more information, please click here.
An exhibition of young people’s Love Bites artwork has been featured by Channel 7 in Gladstone, Queensland.
The pieces were created during the Love Bites program presented by dedicated facilitators who are part of the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence (CCRDFV) in Gladstone and were displayed by Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum.
The display of artwork illustrates the effectiveness of Love Bites in engaging young people and encouraging them to take a stand and make different choices for themselves and their relationships. Love Bites provides a platform for young people to speak out and educate their community about family violence and sexual assault. Sergeant Vicki Dredge who coordinates Love Bites in the region explained, “the students become part of the campaign so they start to understand the meaning behind it”.
Congratulations to all students and facilitators in the region on the fantastic exhibition.
The Children and Young People’s Advisory Council recently met with Mark Morrissey, the Commissioner for Children in Tasmania. The Council members discussed issues important to them including education, bullying, the environment, multicultural and religious diversity and how to develop good communities.
Another round of meeting is being planned for July this year. The input from the council members will be used in a report which the Commissioner will present to Parliament later this year.
Listen to the audio below.
Young people under the age of 18 are invited to join the Children and Young People’s Advisory Council group in Tasmania. Children and young people from all backgrounds, cultures and locations are invited to apply. The Council is divided into three regional groups which will each meet the Commissioner twice a year in Launceston, Burnie or Hobart to talk about local, state and national issues affecting children and young people in Tasmania. For more information, click here.