5 September, 2014
National Child Protection Week 2014 is on from 7-13 September, 2014 and is run by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN).
The PLAY YOUR PART campaign has a core message - protecting children is everyone’s business.
What role can Parents play?
Parents play their part to protect and care for children and young people in our community by providing loving and supportive environments and by showing how to have respectful relationships.
- Being a new parent can be challenging. Accept offers of help (especially the ones where cooked meals are involved!) Link in with services that support you – New Parent Groups can be fantastic.
- It’s ok to reach out and ask for support. Discover what helps reduce your stress and assists you to best care for your children. Parenting courses can help you be the best you possibly can be.
- Listen to your children and involve them in planning things as a family.
- Parenting isn’t always easy. Share your experiences and skills with other parents – it can help you realise that you are not alone. Take time out when you feel stressed or upset – look after yourself.
- Parenting can be positive – notice the good times too.
- Make plans for enjoyable “family time” – this can help build close relationships.
- Talk about safety with your children. Talk about what being unsafe might look and feel like at home, in the community, online or at school.Make plans about what to do if they feel unsafe.
- Celebrate your children and their achievements, values and interests and support your children when times are tough. This will build a strong family that is loving and safe.
- Get involved in your community. Joining groups will help you and your children to have fun and meet people.
What role can Community play?
- Be a positive role model and a positive influence for children and young people to learn from.
- Consider the impact on children/young people when making service delivery decisions, making sure that children and young people are the focus of your work.
- Promote youth events and support services and support the agencies that provide them.
- Reduce isolation for young people by offering outreach programs and transport.
- Consider the impact on children/young people when making service delivery decisions.
- Support children/young people to participate in their community.
- Listen to children you work with, and involve them in planning of activities, policies and program development.
- Be approachable and youth friendly. A code of conduct for working with children and young people is a practical tool for promoting clear and consistent roles and behaviour. Develop policies and procedures. Child Protection Policies should promote wellbeing and early intervention practices and be consistent with state/territory mandatory reporting legislation. When implemented and supported consistently, these policies work to protect children, workers and the organisation.
- Encourage young people to be positive role models and contribute to their community.
- Build relationships with children as well as child protection workers — it creates a consistency of care and allows you to advocate for the child/young person.
- Provide a family friendly space that welcomes children, young people and parents.For example, play areas and baby change facilities show families they are valued.
- Support parents to access services that can increase their parenting skills and knowledge.
- Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.
- Congratulate families and young people when you see good things happening.
- Value local culture and wisdom and where possible seek input from senior community or family members to improve relationships and inform best practice.
Barnardos Australia is one of the leading child protection charities in Australia. For more than 130 years Barnardos Australia has been at the forefront of child protection, finding real, permanent solutions for Australian children in desperate need. We believe all children deserve to be loved and nurtured.
If you need help, or know someone who needs help, Barnardos Australia contact one of our Family Referral Services (FRS):
South Eastern & Northern Sydney Family Referral Service
1800 066 757
Northern Sydney office - Catholic Care Diocese of Broken Bay
1800 066 757
Illawarra Family Referral Service
1800 663 863
For more information on how you can play your part in keeping Australian children safe go to the NAPCAN website.