Napcan-20212160

start a conversation to support parents and build stronger communities

National Child Protection Week (5 – 11 September) 

National Child Protection Week is about bringing the whole community together – individuals, families, organisations and governments – to shine a light on how we create a great Australia for every child.

This year’s theme – ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’ – is more important than ever in light of the current pandemic.

Raising children is a bit like sailing a boat. But when we experience serious stress – for instance, due to finances, health, violence or lockdowns – raising children can feel like we are sailing in a storm.

The good news is that more and more people from all walks of life are coming together to support parents and build stronger communities. Importantly, the work is based on the latest evidence about what children need.

For instance, some of the positive things that we know are:

  • We can help build young brains through everyday ‘meaningful moments’. Science tells us that chatting, pointing, singing and playing are some of the best things we can do for young brains (and for our relationships with children). And the good news for busy parents is that meaningful moments can happen anywhere and anytime. If you have kids aged 0 – 5 check out the free Bright Tomorrows app for more than 1000 easy ideas to create meaningful moments.
  • Loving relationships can buffer children from harmful effects of stress. All children experience stress sometimes – particularly in the middle of a global pandemic. The good news is that brain science shows that having close relationships with caregivers creates a biological response that makes it easier for young brains to tolerate stress. So when you make time for things like cuddles and conversations with children, you are doing important work!
  • Strong communities are good for children: Living in neighbourhoods that provide strong foundations for families and children – things like jobs, stable housing, income support, health services, affordable childcare, libraries, parks, playgrounds and friendly neighbours – can lighten the load for families. Children often enjoy talking about what they think is important in their neighbourhood. You may like to use NAPCAN’s Art Activity as a fun way to start a conversation about what children value in their community.
  • Helplines can be like lighthouses – Support lines can be the lighthouses that we all need to navigate these rough waters. These are some of the main Helplines that you can call for guidance:

Kids Helpline: 

1800 55 1800 (make sure your kids know this one)

Parentline: 

ACT – (02) 6287 3833

NSW – 1300 1300 52

NT & QLD – 1300 30 1300

SA – 1300 364 100

TAS – 1300 808 178

VIC – 13 22 89

WA – 1800 111 546 (country areas) or (08) 9368 9368

Lifeline:

13 11 14

Be part of National Child Protection Week: 

To learn more about National Child Protection Week and get involved, visit NAPCAN  Or refer to the Raising Children

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editor@childmags.com.au