Helping children by supporting their parents is the focus of Queensland’s Child Protection Week which runs until September 7.
Speaking at Goodstart Early Learning in Townsville this morning, Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer said the week is a great opportunity for all Queenslanders to get involved and learn more about their role in keeping children safe.
“This year’s National Child Protection Week message is that kids do well when parents are supported,” she said.
“More parents than you might realise want to know how they can be better parents, and for parents that are finding things a bit tough, early intervention can nip problems in the bud before they become bigger issues.
“As well as supporting parents, Child Protection Week is a good reminder that all of us have a role in keeping children safe, and that protecting our children and young people is everyone’s business.
“For example, as mandatory reporters, early childhood educators have an important role as part of the community by identifying children who might be at risk and reporting their concerns as mandatory reporters.
“This week, Goodstart Early Learning are asking local businesses, community leaders, and members of the community to come in to the centre to make a personal pledge to make child protection their business.
“I encourage every Queenslander to commit to making child protection their business.”
Ms Farmer said the government is now halfway through an ambitious 10 year reform program which has seen significant changes to the family support and child protection systems.
“As a government, we are working hard to make sure our child protection system is as strong as it can be, and importantly that we have supports in place for parents and carers to prevent our children and young people from entering the system,” she said.
“The Supporting Families Changing Futures plansets out our reform frameworkwhich includes a conscious shift in service delivery towards a prevention and early intervention approach.
“By supporting parents to improve their parenting skills and relationships with their kids, smaller problems can be resolved before a family becomes involved in the child protection system – and that’s the ideal outcome.”
Ms Farmer said a number of programs and supports are available to parents and carers to help them navigate the difficult times raising a family.
“These include giving parents free access to the Triple P Positive Parenting program, rolling out Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support Services across the state, and providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with culturally appropriate support through Family Wellbeing Services,” she said.
“As well as supporting parents, I want to remind everyone that all of us have a role in keeping children safe, and that protecting our children and young people is everyone’s business.
“Child Protection Week is a good reminder to us all to think about how we can actively contribute to keeping children safe.”
Ms Farmer thanked the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee and the representatives of the 27 organisations who volunteered on the committee for their hard work and dedication to organising the week.
“The committee represents so many people who work so hard to help children, young people and families overcome hardships to improve their futures,” she said.
“While this week is about how we can all protect children and young people, it is also an opportune time to recognise the tireless dedication and commitment of the people who work in the child protection support area.”
To get involved in this year’s Child Protection Week, the 33rd annual awareness raising week, and find what events are on in your area visit https://childprotectionweek.org.au/
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer