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Queensland Child Protection Week is in the spotlight

by PeakCare Qld on 16th July 2015

Home -> Articles -> 2015 -> July -> Queensland Child Protection Week is in the spotlight

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Queensland Child Protection Week is co-ordinated by a group of approximately 25 representatives from both government departments and non-government organisations across the state. The week is traditionally held from the first Sunday in September. This year Child Protection Week begins on September 6th and ends on September 12th.

ACT for Kids is the auspice body of Queensland Child Protection Week. Nationally this week is organised by NAPCAN. Queensland, as the founding state of Child Protection Week, has independent arrangements but aligns its key annual Child Protection Week messages closely with those of NAPCAN.

What’s significant about Queensland Child Protection Week and its committee is that this is not just a week. It’s a campaign to raise awareness of the vital importance of child protection and the well-being of children and young people in Queensland.

In April the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee devised their Easter campaign with the aim of ensuring that all in the community understood the importance of children and young people being heard:

In May the Queensland Child Protection Week Committee released its domestic violence poster. This was the most significant campaign ever in Queensland child protection week history, with over three and a half thousand people noting it on social media alone. Campaigns throughout the year have become an important stamp of child protection week in its aim to raise awareness and ensure that the message that ‘Child Protection is everybody’s business’ is heard loud and clear across Queensland communities, families, businesses and media.

This includes focusing on supporting children, young people and their families including extended family members, carers and communities. Hence the slogan that “Child Protection is Everybody’s business”. It is. No family, organisation, department, school or community can ensure children are protected alone. The support and responses to children and their families need to be a collective effort.

The Queensland Child Protection Committee has been talking about child protection as everybody’s business for many years. In 2015 the committee agreed to focus their message on domestic and family violence and its impact on children, in keeping with the NAPCAN theme of Child Protection Week. Given Rosie Batty is the Australian of the Year and the link between child abuse and domestic and family violence is so concerning, the theme for both Queensland and national child protection week is fitting.

When the committee recently discussed the themes in child protection that they really wanted to highlight, they noted the interface between child protection and domestic and family violence, the unstated and largely unknown nexus between family violence and child sexual abuse as well as the concern regarding the many recent abuse cases coming before the Royal Commission” stated QCPW Committee Chair, Lorraine Dupree. She further noted that the committee is dedicated to sending clear messages throughout each year prior to child protection week to ensure that the key messages are heard and understood. This is done via posters and social media memes as well as through the 20 key messages shared through the Queensland Child Protection Week website for the information of individuals, communities, professionals and media.

Whilst these key messages are integral messages of the committee, the approximately 100 events held throughout Queensland are also excellent opportunities to ensure that the key messages of child protection are heard loud and clear across the state. Child Protection Week Project Officer, Caitlin King is in awe of the annual achievements of organisations across the state: “Each year organisations just seem to do more and more with less. I’m constantly amazed at the calibre of applications and the lengths organisations and communities go to in order to share the important messages we aim to highlight through child protection week. In 2015 I’m absolutely blown away by the fact that there will be 17 events on the Torres Strait. For a couple of thousand dollars, the sharing of key child protection messages and connection between people with the capacity to make a difference will be profound. It’s so exciting to see that enthusiasm in communities.”

As well as the 100 or so events around the state that will highlight the importance of child protection to communities, families and professionals, the week will also boast a small group of celebrated Award recipients nominated by their peers as exceptional persons and practitioners in the sphere of child protection. These celebrated persons will be the most significant part of the Launch of Child Protection Week 2015 at the Awards Ceremony, hosted by Channel 7s Bill McDonald with guest speaker Minister Shannon Fentiman.

Child Protection Week boasts so many other events. Check out the Queensland Child Protection Week website to find out more!