An early rise is the tradition of Queensland Child Protection Week

by PeakCare Qld on 10th September 2014

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The South Australian Child Protection Systems Royal Commission Report, The life they deserve, was released in early August 2016. The report is presented in two volumes. The first volume sets out what the Royal Commission did to examine the adequacy of current laws and policies to protect children and young people, system deficits and 260 recommendations addressing a wide range of structural, system and practice aspects across the SA government and service system. The second volume contains 5 case studies that examine the operation of the system and practice quality in specific areas. Four focus on the individual circumstances of young children, intervening in high risk families, leaving care, and children with complex needs in out of home care.

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This week NAPCAN celebrated their 10th Anniversary Child Protection Week breakfast.  Sector representatives rose to the challenge and turned out in droves.  President Teresa Scott spoke of the importance of prevention and early intervention in child protection.  She stated that she wanted to offer good news about the statistics of child abuse and neglect but unfortunately cases of substantiated child abuse this year had risen.  The focus on early intervention and prevention to change this tide is key.

Teresa then spoke of her recent attendance at the Launch of the new Australian Domestic Violence Initiative:  On our Watch.  This project aims to end domestic and family violence by changing the culture around any acceptance of such violence.  She spoke of the link between domestic and family violence and child protection. Again she reiterated that prevention is key.  She noted the preventative nature of this initiative as being in line with NAPCAN’s strategies.    

Click here to view On Our Watch

Teresa also spoke of the link between economic factors and abuse and the complexities of child protection in these times of economic austerity and the need for a wide range of services and messages to make sure that intervention happens early.  Families and communities need various services at different stages of life. 

The value of children and their significant place in our communities was key to what Teresa was saying.  NAPCAN’s recent research showed children felt disconnected from adults including their parents.  She urged everyone to think about the role they can play in listening to children and young people, believing what they say and in valuing them and their place in the community.

Steve Armitage, interim Family and Child Commissioner, in presenting the Queensland NAPCAN Awards noted that last week was the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  He spoke of the guiding principles of protection and the right of children to have a say in decisions that affect them.

Commissioner Armitage congratulated the two worthy Queensland winners;

  • Lucas Moore of the CREATE Foundation for the 'Inspiring Individual' Award
  • Megan Wyland of Family Planning Queensland (FPQ), Rockhampton for the 'Inspiration to Prevention Action' Award

Lucas Moore upon accepting his Award, thanked the staff and young people of CREATE who shared his Award.  He also noted his sector colleagues.  He stated that the Award was for all the young people with whom he worked who continued to educate Child Safety Officers and others in understanding the experiences of young people in care, those who in spite of difficult times in their own lives or any trauma continued to show up and give to those in the sector in the hope that their education of practitioners will assist other children and young people.

Megan Wyland spoke of the education through play project that provides families with support through 12 protections through play topics.  The activities and resources provided free of charge are the work of Megan’s colleagues in FPQ Rockhampton and 10 partner organisations and volunteers.  Megan also noted her colleagues in FPQ regionally.  Providing communities with access to education and support is vital.

Dr Geoff Woolcock as the Guest Speaker spoke to Protecting the Nest:  Sustaining the Evidence for Prevention Amidst Austerity.  He noted that enormous difficulties were faced by those in the sector in doing the work they do whilst constantly aiming to justify their reasons and capacity.  The need for evidence is key and we need to remain vigilant and focused on this complex area of research.  In doing so we need all areas of the sector to remain united and dedicated to ensure that through collaborative and holistic approaches, the needs of children and their families can be realised.

The research Geoff outlined is available here

 

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