Children Thrive When They Feel Safe – Child Protection Week
Children Thrive When They Feel Safe – Child Protection Week
Next week is National Child Protection Week (4-10 September) with the overarching message that ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’. This year Child Protection Week looks at how we can all contribute as individuals and communities to children growing up safe and supported.
Keeping children safe is up to us all. As a public hospital, Tweddle is committed to our mandatory reporting obligations, and to Child Safe Standards. These include promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and promoting the safety of children with a disability.
Children and young people thrive when they grow up safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture. They have the right to grow up in environments that support them according to their needs, now and into the future.
Protecting children is everyone’s responsibility: mothers, fathers, carers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, coaches, volunteers, health workers and teachers.
Keeping Children Safe at Tweddle
Tweddle family workers play their part to protect and care for babies, toddlers and children by supporting and walking alongside Tweddle parents and carers, as well as being role models for respectful relationships. We ensure that the best interests of babies, toddlers and children are at the centre of everything we do.
It’s important that parents know that they don’t have to wait until they have problems before they can open themselves to learning more about parenting. This can be done through many different evidence-based parenting courses such as Circle of Security, Playsteps, Bringing Up Great Kids and Tuning in to Kids.
Children thrive when we all understand how to play our part in keeping them safe and well. There are many things that we can all do every day in all the different aspects of our lives… in our jobs, in our families, in our neighbourhoods, in our clubs or organisations, and in our social groups.
Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.
Supported Parents Help Children Feel Safe. Here are some other ways to help play your part;
- Early Parenting support organisations like Tweddle can help you be the best you can be and make you feel supported and resourced.
- Being a parent can be challenging. Accept offers of help (especially the ones where cooked meals are involved!)
- Link in with services that support you – New Parent Groups and Playgroups can be fantastic.
- Parenting isn’t always easy. Share your experiences and skills with other parents – it can help you realise that you are not alone!
- It’s ok to reach out and ask for support, from family, friends, services, health professionals and so on.
- Discover what helps reduce your stress and assists you to best care for your children. Listen to your children and involve them in planning things as a family.
- Play with your children. It can be as simple as a game of “peek-a-boo” or reading to them. Playing with children helps build a positive relationship and connection and most of all it is fun!
- Take time out when you feel stressed or upset – look after yourself. Parenting can be positive – notice the good times too.
- Make plans for enjoyable “family time” – this can help build close relationships.
- Talk about safety with your children. Talk about what being unsafe might look and feel like at home, in their community, online or at school. Make plans about what to do if they feel unsafe.
- Celebrate your children, their achievements, values and interests and support them when times are tough. This will build a strong family that is loving and safe.
- Get involved in your community. Joining groups such as for sporting activities will help you and your children to have fun and meet people.
Reducing Social Inequities & Supporting Parents, Fosters Child Safety
According to the Cultivating Nature Mapping the Gaps changing the social environment to reduce adversity builds positive supports for children and families.
This strategy involves efforts to improve the conditions under which parents and caregivers are raising children by addressing the social determinants of health and wellbeing and reducing social inequities.
Experts emphasise that building and sustaining parks, playgrounds, and libraries can encourage free play, structured play, and learning in early childhood, and can also support parents and parenting by facilitating parent socialisation and mutual learning. Providing this more consistently to all parents is key to improving the conditions in which families are raising young children.
Other ways to be a positive role model for children and support parents in your community
- Be a friend to parents that you know. Offer support, reassurance and practical help if they seem to be struggling.
- Be a positive role model. Children and young people learn from the people that they spend time with, so make your influence positive.
- Spend time with children and young people in your life. By playing, listening and learning from them, you show them that they are important.
- Create opportunities for all the children/ young people in your family to spend time together.
- If possible, offer to be an emergency contact for the family. Make sure that the children/young people know that you are the emergency contact too so they feel included.
- Reach out to new and young parents. It can be a tough time so keep reminding them you can help.
- Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.
- When you see or hear of good things happening make sure you let the family know and congratulate them.
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