This week is National Child Protection Week (NCPW) 6-12 September 2020. NCPW is an annual campaign, that raises awareness of child abuse prevention across Australia.
Between 2017-18, a staggering 159,000 children aged 0-17 received child protection services, an investigation, care and protection orders or out-of-home placement. Sadly, this figure continues to rise year after year. Indigenous children, and children living in remote areas are those with the highest rates of substantiations. Emotional abuse was found to be the most common substantiated abuse type (59%).
The statistics shown above are unacceptable, and they also show why we must continue to work together, within organisations, communities and families, to keep our kids safe.
NCPW 2020 theme - ‘Putting Children First’
The theme for NCPW 2020 is ‘Putting Children First’. What does it mean and how do we do it? This year, with added pressures resulting from bush fires, floods and the impacts of COVID-19, many families have had their hands (and minds) full juggling competing demands and priorities and have reached out for help.
Putting Children First means prioritising their safety, wellbeing and their rights. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child highlights children’s rights ensuring that we all act in the best interests of the child. Every child has a right to:
Be alive, have a nationality and their own identity, sexual identity, language, religion and
Share what they learn, think and feel, and be listened to
Health care, clean water, food, clothing, education and a safe place to live
Protection from discrimination, harm, sexual exploitation, abuse, and harmful drugs
Regardless of where they spend time, children and young people have a right to be and feel safe. Who best to make that judgement and provide feedback, ideas and solutions than children and young people themselves? From a child’s voice, organisations will get a true account of whether children feel safe in their environment and who they trust to communicate with them.
Examples of where the participation of children and young people are critical for organisations:
- Development of your organisation’s child safety and wellbeing policies and procedures
- Identification of and mitigating areas of risk
- Identification of child-focused engagement strategies
- Advocacy and provision of evidence, debate and decision-making
- Development of your organisation’s child safe culture
- Continuous child safety and wellbeing practice improvement
What can you do to put children first?
Adults can play a significant role in facilitating events or platforms where children and young people can be and feel safe, and are engaged, confident and willing to provide their view and feelings, opinions and ideas, wants and solutions to child safeguarding improvements and/or organisational safeguarding shortfalls.
To find out more about how to listen to children and young people in organisations, check out our August blog or read more about our latest training offer below.
Announcing the launch of a new virtual classroom training program
Child Wise is excited to announce the launch of a new virtual classroom training program, Meaningful Engagement with Children and Young People, that aims to help participants learn how to develop strategies for consultation and engagement with children and young people at their workplace.
For more information and to register, please go to our events page or contact us if you are interested in a tailored virtual training for your leadership team or groups of staff and volunteers, or if the advertised dates aren’t suitable for you.