What role can Carers play?

CARERS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY BY KEEPING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE SAFE AND PROVIDING THEM WITH A SAFE SPACE IN WHICH THEY CAN THRIVE AND GROW.

Anybody who may have children in their care at some time is classified as a Carer – for example: child care workers, early childhood professionals, foster carers, friends, healthcare professionals etc.

Being a carer can be challenging, remember, it’s OK to reach out and ask for support. Accept offers of help (especially the ones where cooked meals are involved!)

Share your experiences and skills with other carers, and link in with services that can support you and the child/children you are caring for.

Discover what helps reduce your stress, and assists you to best care for the children and young people in your life.
Take time out when you feel stressed or upset – it is important to look after yourself to ensure the best safety for the child/children you look after.

Be aware of the signs of child abuse and neglect and seek help for children who are at risk and who have been traumatised.

Get involved in your community. Joining sporting and other community groups will help you, the children and young people to have fun and meet people.

Encourage and help facilitate relationships with family members where it is possible.

Listen to the child/young person and involve them in planning things. This will support their developing identity and allow you to better meet their social and emotional needs.

Make plans for enjoyable “together time” – this can help build close relationships with those in your care.

Celebrate and support the achievements, values and interests of children/young people and support them when times are tough. This will build a strong bond that is loving and safe.

Talk about safety and what being unsafe might look and feel like at home, in their community, online or at school, with children and young people. Make plans about what to do if/when they feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Attend a child safe training course or information session that will further develop your skills, knowledge and understanding.

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NICOLE RYAN : MULTI MIX MOB

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

Multi Mix Mob is an Indigenous playgroup and are playing their part by providing a safe environment for mums and bubs to attend. We provide the families with child focussed activities to help the bonding process and support parents with parenting workshops, health and wellbeing, family support services and education opportunities, all onsite in our playgroup. We are building strong parents and therefore strong children.

SANDRA DOUEIHI : BATHURST WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S REFUGE

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

Through my role at the Bathurst Women and Children’s Refuge I have developed a Protective Behaviours Program that I co-facilitate in pre-schools in Bathurst and also to children who come to the refuge. This program teaches children between the ages of two to five the vital information on how to keep safe, protect your body and distinguishing children’s feelings.

I was also privileged to be able to set up and co-ordinate the Love Bites Program developed by NAPCAN for high school students in the central West. This Program brings awareness to issues around domestic, family violence and sexual assault in an interactive way. Through my role as a child support worker I have been given the opportunity to enroll students into schools and pre-schools, assist with having children attend medical appointment that they might not have had the opportunity to go to, give out school uniforms – in particular jumpers – to local children walking past the refuge that are wearing only a t-shirt in the cold Bathurst winter, advocate on behalf of children and just be there as a supporting person for a child who does not have stabilities in their life.

As a person outside of my role at the refuge I am a volunteer mentor through SHINE for kids. I mentor a child who has had a parent involved in the criminal justice system. I have mentored  this child for three and a half years by providing an activity for the child every fortnight so the child has some form of stability in their life and an out from their home life.