As restrictions ease across the nation, policymakers are offered the opportunity to consider how important it is to ‘future-proof’ public policy for proactively approaching events that can and will occur at one point. One of the glaring gaps in current recovery plans involves capacity to build a framework for resilience by investing in the wellbeing of children and young people.
Entrenched inequalities faced by many have been exacerbated by COVID-19. eNews readers are invited to consider the message of this graphic currently circulating online, depicting three types of social standing. What supports are involved in ensuring each person with different needs is able to fully access and participate in society? The current pandemic has shown how vulnerable many groups are. Clearly, it cannot simply be a matter of levelling inequality after it becomes glaringly apparent. The answer must be systemic reform to remove the barriers that prevent equity in the first place.
The Every Child – Beyond COVID-19: Build Back Better strategy released this week outlines the nature of a nation building commitment to protecting and raising the wellbeing of children and young people. The strategy involves six main steps, including guarantees of access to education, healthcare including mental health support, family and employment income, and annual accountability on a Prosperous Children Report Card. Many of the conditions that support the wellbeing of children – housing, family income, healthcare, community welfare – will support the health and wellbeing of all Australians. For children in particular, the first 2000 days constitutes a key opportunity to support lifelong health and resilience. Watch the video to find out more about the importance of early wellbeing.
The answer is not ‘business as usual’ after the current pandemic. Our society is in a unique position to change the course of future generations for the better.
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