National Child Protection Week is one of the most significant events on Australia’s child protection calendar. Now in its 27th year, the Week supports and encourages safety and wellbeing of all Australian children and families.
Each year the Australian Catholic Church dedicates the Sunday at the end of Child Protection Week as Child Protection Sunday. This year it falls on 10 September.
The National Committee for Professional Standards (NCPS), a committee of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia, has put forward the theme for 2017; “See Me, Hear Me” to raise awareness for the voice of the Child, highlighting the importance of safety in our communities of faith.
“We all have a part to play in protecting our children and most vulnerable,” says Sr Annette Cunliffe rsc, Executive Officer, NCPS.
“Actively listening, and pro-actively responding to the voices of children is essential if our Church and our communities are to be safe places for children and young people to flourish.”
This year, along with resources for parishes and schools, the NCPS has commissioned a video and brochure through the Australian Catholic University Institute of Child Protection Studies reflecting on research around what young children think about their safety.
The Institute was commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and surveyed more than 1400 young Australians as part of Kids Safety Studies to gain insights into their views, perceptions and experiences of safety. The most important message expressed was for adults to ‘pay attention’ when they raised a concern.
“Our children believe that the whole community needs to take safety seriously, especially for those who find it hard to protect themselves. Supporting the most vulnerable will always be the face of a strong community.”
All resources for Child Protection Sunday can be found at http://ncps.org.au/protection-and-prevention/child-protection-sunday