National Child Protection Week   4 – 10 September 2022

National Child Protection Week embraced the overarching message that ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’. Children and young people thrive when they grow up safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture. They have the right to grow up in environments that support them according to their needs, now and into the future.

Sadly, according to the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) over 35,000 Australian children were proven to have been abused or neglected last year.

National Child Protection Week is looking at what works to keep children safe and supported… what children are telling us… what families are telling us… what the evidence is telling us… and how to translate this knowledge into action.

We know that too many children are not growing up safe and supported and that Child Protection systems are overloaded. There are many opportunities to change the trajectory for these children. We can stop child abuse and neglect – and reduce its impact – by working together to make sure every child in every community has a fair go.

To help facilitate a big conversation about how to create a supportive environment for every child, we are taking inspiration from the ARACY Nest domains (Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth).

These domains help us to think about the many things that every child and young person needs in order to grow up safe and well. They include:

  • feeling loved and safe
  • having a positive sense of identity and culture
  • having material basics
  • being healthy
  • learning
  • participating.

There are exhibitions of artworks to show what children and young people think about their neighbourhoods.

What Part Can You Play?

We can all play a part by creating stronger, happier neighbourhoods. This can be achieved by talking to your neighbours, checking in with friends, being a good role model, supporting and being kind to parents rather than judging or being competitive, offering to assist where possible and speaking up if you see something that is unsafe.

It is important that we listen to, and value, what children have to say. Where possible, include their voices in decision making and be advocates for their best interest.

By speaking regularly to children about their personal safety and how they can protect themselves, as well as “tuning into” their worries, children are more likely to trust us and feel comfortable to talk to us when something big is going on.

Make your influence positive; start a conversation today with your colleagues and families about listening to and valuing the voice of children and young people.

Related links:

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) website

Bravehearts website

NAPCAN website

Office of the eSafety Commissioner website


Alan Clarke

School Psychologist