Child protection is everyone's business

16 September 2016

Child protection is everyone’s business

UnitingCare Community marked the 30th anniversary of Child Protection Week last week, promoting the value of children, focusing attention on the issues of child abuse and neglect, and contributing to better outcomes for all children and young people.

UnitingCare Queensland Chief Executive Officer Anne Cross said child safety remains a priority for UnitingCare Queensland.

“We are committed to providing welcoming, safe and nurturing services for children, preventing child abuse and neglect within our services, and to immediately and firmly address child abuse and neglect should it occur,” Ms Cross said.

“Sadly, there are still people in our communities who harm children. We all have a role to play in inspiring people in every community to actively keep children safe and well.”

More than 100 events were held across Queensland during Child Protection Week, giving the community a chance to get involved and show their support to the important issue of child protection.

On Friday night, Brisbane’s Child and Family Services Senior Leadership Team were delighted to attend a Child Protection Week Dinner with guest speaker Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.

Ms Fentiman spoke about the government’s commitment to keeping children safe, its continued investment in the Supporting Families Changing Futures program, and the importance of capable and resilient families.

On the Sunshine Coast, UnitingCare Community held a Family Fun Day at the Kings Beach Amphitheatre on Sunday in partnership with other local service providers. Fun and free activities were on offer for families including a jumping castle, face painting and live music. The kids were also encouraged to climb aboard the Daniel Morcombe Foundation ‘Big Red’ truck to play interactive video games and learn to stay safe.

In Bundaberg, UnitingCare Community marked Child Protection Week with a Learn to Master Yourself Workshop on Tuesday led by Nicole Gibson, 2014 Young Australian of the Year Finalist. Nicole is the CEO and founder of the Rogue & Rouge Foundation, which actively works within the education system at schools and community groups to empower, inspire and support young people through their schooling.

UnitingCare Community Educator Leanne Searle said the workshop was incredibly motivational and inspiring.

“Our 19 young attendees had a fantastic night with Nicole. I can’t recommend her highly enough. She encouraged the group to explore the themes of identify and belief systems, and inspired them to reverse negative thinking and have healthier relationships,” Ms Searle said.  

The Bundaberg community also celebrated Rainbow Day on Friday at the YMCA Bundaberg. Children under five received free entry into the Ymazing Play Centre, and a free sausage sizzle, craft activities, sensory play, obstacle courses, face painting and story-telling kept families entertained. Now in its 11th year, Rainbow Day aims to encourage all members of society to play a part in ensuring children are nurtured and safe.  

Adults are key to ensuring children’s safety and wellbeing. If you ever have concerns someone is harming or neglecting a child, do something about it.

To act, contact the Queensland Police Service or the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Media contact: Talya Kaplan — email or phone (07) 3253 4505.

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