National Child Protection Week 2014 – Play Your Part (7-13 Sept)
Posted: Thursday 4th September 2014 08:45 pm
National Child Protection Week runs from 7-13 September 2014.
For over 20 years NAPCAN has been running an annual National Child Protection Week campaign developing multimedia, visual and text resources to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of primary prevention to reduce child abuse and neglect in Australia.
The PLAY YOUR PART campaign builds on the strengths of previous years and has evolved to provide support to communities to act on the core message, “protecting children is everyone’s business”.
“The Anglican Church is committed to ensuring that
all children in any of its institutions and
all those who come into contact with the Church will be protected.”
This commitment was made in 2008 at the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Perth when an apology was made to the people whose experiences as children in institutional and out-of-home care provided by the Anglican Church had caused them hurt, distress, and harm.
During National Child Protection Week, it is an opportunity to reflect on what we are currently doing to protect and care for children and young people, how we can better support families, and what we can do to promote health and wellbeing amongst children and young people.
Background screening using police clearances, Working with Children Checks and reference checks has been a useful first step in ensuring that people are screened in to appropriate roles in the Church. But this is only one aspect of what is needed for us to truly play our part.
Since 2004, the Diocese has provided child protection training to its clergy and lay leaders. In the last few years, over 2500 Anglicans across the Diocese have attended ChurchSafe workshops. In conjunction with our code of conduct ‘Faithfulness in Service’ and our safety manual ‘Protecting People, Protecting Property’, ChurchSafe helps lay leaders and other responsible adults in our worshipping communities to know and recognise appropriate boundaries, behaviours and practices.
However, in the context of National Child Protection Week, if our worshipping communities are to be truly life-giving in relation to children and young people, we need to move beyond simply creating a ‘Safe Place’ in the sense of ‘child protection’ or ‘risk management’.
provide spaces that are welcoming and comfortable, and
find ways for meaningful engagement and interaction, where children and young people can be heard.
We also need to be ‘family-friendly’ by recognising the needs and challenges of families in our midst.
If we can do all these things, then we will play our part in making Western Australia a safer place for children and young people.