National Child Protection Week - 7 to 13 September 2014
All staff should be aware that National Child Protection week is from 7 to 13 September. We can all play a role in keeping children safe.
Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia's most significant social problems. Last year over 35,000 Australian children were proven to have been abused or neglected. Child abuse is rarely a one-off incident, is always harmful, and far too often the damage caused lasts a lifetime. Stories of instances of child abuse have been reported regularly in the media in recent times, and more heightened as a result of the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.
Events such as National Child Protection week provide the opportunity to raise awareness of members of ACU and the wider community about how we can play a role in keeping children safe.
A significant proportion of ACU staff, students and others participate in activities with children on ACU sites and/or in other locations. Our child-related activities have been expanding as ACU increases its engagement and participation in the community, in accordance with our mission and strategic objectives. We have mechanisms in place to protect the safety and wellbeing of children who interact with ACU and its members, and are reviewing these with a view to coordinating, strengthening and developing them.
Arrangements are also being reviewed and developed to ensure that we provide a safe environment and positive experience for vulnerable adults. An outcome of this work will be the ACU Framework for the Protecting of Children and Vulnerable Adults which will include a University-wide policy and procedures.
The Framework and its component parts, support the dignity of the human person and that:
All children and vulnerable adults who interact with ACU staff, students and others on ACU sites or within the wider community have the right to feel and be safe.
Achieving a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults requires the commitment of and appropriate action by every member of the University.
In addition, ACU has an Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) which is based within the Learning Sciences Institute Australia in the Faculty of Education and Arts. ICPS aims to enhance the well-being of children, young people and families through quality research, evaluation, training and community education. ICPS has had a strong focus on undertaking research and evaluation related to child protection, and is currently carrying out a project for the Royal Commission to explore what children and young people experience and think about safety in institutional contexts.
For further information in relation to the following:
The National Child Protection Week campaign - refer to the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect website.
ACU policy and procedures about protecting children and vulnerable adults - contact Lisa Carroli, ACU’s National Child Protection Manager on email or ext 3364.
ICPS, including its current and previous projects and publications - can be found at www.acu.edu.au/icps.