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National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN)

by PeakCare Qld on 13th August 2015

Home -> Articles -> 2015 -> August -> National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN)

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NAPCAN was co-founded in 1987 by Rosemary Sinclair AO and Christine Stewart OAM. In the almost three decades of its presence in Australian society NAPCAN has made a significant contributionto the safety and wellbeing of Australia's childrenand young people. NAPCAN has aimed to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect as well as the impacts which include increased risk of: substance misuse, crime, homelessness, poor physical health, difficulty completing education and obtaining long term employment, depression and suicide.

NAPCAN asserts that given the extent of the problem exemplified by recent statistics that thirty five thousand Australian children were abused or neglected in the last year as well as the psychological, emotional and physical damage that can result, child abuse and neglect represents one of the greatest barriers and threats to the wellbeing of Australian children, young people and the next generation of children and adults.

In order to avoid the tragic life trajectories child abuse and neglect can lead to, NAPCAN is committed to developing and promoting effective preventive measures. The key aim being to bring about the changes necessary in individual and community behaviours to stop child abuse and neglect before it starts.

This preventative work is achieved through promoting quality child abuse prevention research to ensure that the causes and impacts of child abuse and neglect can be better understood and effective preventative measures developed. Advocating for child safe policies and strategies that places the wellbeing of children and young people first is also essential in preventative endeavours. Furthermore, demonstrating good practice by developing and promoting community led prevention programs and initiatives that are evidence-based and effective in reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect are significant.

Coordinating National Child Protection Week and promoting the Play Your Part initiative by increasing public awareness to shift detrimental attitudes and thinking to ensure the Australian public is more aware of how to provide a safe community for children and young people is also a major function of NAPCAN. In Queensland, Child Protection Week is coordinated by the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee. We recently outlined this week and the role of the Queensland committee. Nationally Child Protection Week is coordinated by NAPCAN.

The aim of National Child Protection Week, similar to that of Queensland’s Child Protection Week is to provide community education and resources to ensure everyone has the knowledge and skills needed to take action in small or large ways to support children, young people and families in the prevention and eradication of child abuse and neglect in Australia.

National Child Protection Week is celebrating its 25th year. Launching on Father’s day each year it supports and encourages the safety and wellbeing of Australian children and families through the Play Your Part Awards, events, programs and resources. National Child Protection Week invites all Australians to play their part to promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people with the key theme, in unison with Queensland, being: Protecting children is everyone’s business. That includes all family members, community members, schools, sporting groups and other groups in society who come in regular contact with children and families, organisations, government departments, churches and associations. All who partake in our society can make a difference to the lives and wellbeing of children, young people and their families.

NAPCAN’s campaign aims to provide communities and individuals with practical information on how to Play Your Part and to embed primary prevention messages into social discourse. It also provides a platform for communities to be empowered, resourced and mobilised to take action at a local level. This year NAPCAN is encouraging all in society to identify what they can do through their find out more about your role opportunity. In doing so they note that playing a part in promoting the safety and wellbeing of children can range from encouraging children and young people’s participation in their community to hosting a National Child Protection Week event or promoting a family friendly environment in workplaces.

NAPCAN has designed the 2015 National Child Protection Week campaign to be an overarching framework which can be utilised by organisations, communities and individuals to plan community led events and activities responding to local needs. NAPCAN would like to promote greater awareness of children and young people’s needs at a local level and encourage supporters to utilise this week as a platform for action. Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business. This is a call to action for all in Australia, wherever you are placed, wherever you work and whatever your family situation to: Play Your Part.

Whilst listening to children and young people is a key message of Child Protection Week 2015 both in the Queensland and national campaigns, another major issue in our society is also being highlighted. NAPCAN is encouraging organisations who are looking for inspiration for a theme this National Child Protection Week to look at the impact of domestic and family violence on children. “It is significant that we are having a national conversation around the prevention of domestic and family violence and it is important that the needs of children and young people are appropriately considered in this discussion. Violence in the home and in the community hurts children too” says Teresa Scott, NAPCAN’s President.

Listening to children and young people when they speak out about abuse and violence is key. This includes understanding the impact of domestic and family violence on children and young people. In Australia we are becoming more aware of the horrific impact of domestic and family violence. Child Protection Week is another significant opportunity to acknowledge this major issue and raise further awareness.

NAPCAN offer various opportunities for those across the nation to play their part:

Those planning to host a National Child Protection Week event, are encouraged to register their event here.

To receive NCPW posters please email NAPCAN.

To download the 2015 posters.

To support the 2015 National Child Protection Week there are web banners, email signatures and logos available which you can download here. To download simply right click on the graphic then choose ‘save as’ to store them to your computer or devices.

If you would like to sign up to NAPCAN’s e-newsletter please do so here.