Update: Things to remember as National Child Protection Week gets into gear
National Child Protection Week 2019 is now in full swing. Child safety specialist Brad Poynting outlines how early childhood education and care centres can be involved in the week, and how services can make sure that they continue a focus on child safety 365 days a year.
Queensland (QLD) started early with the QLD Child Protection Week Launch on Thursday 29 August which saw Cheryl Vardon, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Principal Commissioner of the QLD Family and Child Commission attend and the QLD Child Protection Week Award winners recognised for their contributions to protecting children.
Tuesday 2 September, marked the official launch of National Child Protection Week by the National Association for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) in Canberra which was attended by Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley.
NAPCAN has many more official events in other capital cities planned for later in the week and its events webpage provides a useful list. If your organisation has not planned a #NCPW week event this year, there will be plenty on in your area. Organisations have been encouraged to add to the event list.
Check this page to find an event near you or add your event to the page. And use the hashtags #NCPW and #PlayYourPart to share your great contributions this week.
As organisations host and attend events, it’s important to remember that #NCPW is a super-charged week which shines the light on child protection to engage all Australians, but protecting children is something we should be front of mind all the time.
Organisations play a huge role in the effectiveness of that goal, but there is more to it.
For child-serving and child-contact organisations, #NCPW should be a catalyst to reinvigorate a 365-day effort to protect the welfare of the children we have contact with and advocate for the right of all children to be protected from harm in body and mind.
Don’t let the “to raise thriving kids, parents need support to navigate life’s choppy waters” theme end on 7 September.
Incorporate NAPCAN’s new Safe Harbours video on prevention into your staff meetings and PD.
Review your Policies and Procedures to ensure you’re implementing the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
Ensure your staff and volunteers receive adequate training on preventing and responding to abuse and neglect during induction and regularly thereafter.
And most importantly – talk to parents!
Build strong and supportive relationships, offer help and assistance, provide opportunities for parents to ask for assistance and guidance, and take personal responsibility for advocating for the welfare and wellbeing of children.
Even though there are only seven days in National Child Protection Week, to #PlayYourPart protecting children and young people is a 365-day commitment.
For more information on National Child Protection Week please click here.
Brad Poynting is Principal at Poynting Consulting & Advisory (PCA), a consultancy that works with businesses to ensure children within their service are kept safe. He has worked toward and advocated for the best interests of children for over 10 years, beginning his focus on protecting children from harm when he joined the Queensland Department of Communities as a front-line child protection worker, before transitioning to the early education sector to work at the nexus of early education and child protection. Brad’s focus in the ECEC sector has been to increase awareness of the prevention of institutional child abuse and neglect, commonly called ‘child safeguarding’ in addition to preventing child abuse and neglect in the community. For more information, visit the PCA website.