By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director
Every young person deserves access to ongoing support and opportunities in life, but unfortunately this is not a reality for many children.
National Child Protection Week seeks to highlight the importance of our children and how they are treated with the theme, “Every child, in every community, needs a fair go,” which addresses the need for equal opportunity in all communities.
Child Protection Week reminds us that to treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family in every region can offer what kids need to thrive and be healthy.
Children need a stable foundation on which they can be supported, but this is not always available within the family unit.
The National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) reports that child abuse and neglect is one of Australia’s most significant social problems, with 35,000+ Australian children proven to have been abused or neglected last year.
The prevention of child abuse and neglect is a complex problem which requires multiple strategies and actions to be successful in stopping maltreatment from occurring.
At IMPACT we understand that various complexities can affect how well a child is supported as they develop, which is why we offer safe, non-judgemental forms of education for families and children to help them live, grow, and prosper into the future.
Every family is different, and establishing healthy relationships often requires a holistic approach from multiple services.
Our Family Mental Health Support Service (FMHSS) assists children and young people up to the age of 18, and their families, who are affected by or at risk of developing mental health concerns.
Our support workers operate within a strengths and evidence-based practice to help young people establish safe, meaningful relationships and identify communication tools to encourage a positive framework.
Many school-aged people are tasked with facing challenging personal, social and educational interactions, and navigating this time in their lives without the right support networks can be difficult.
The FMHSS team members work as advocates for young people in early intervention and can assist in conversations about schooling and education, broach discussions about mental health, talk through stresses or anxieties, and can refer people on to further counselling supports if needed.
Young people need to know where they can go and who they can call for support, and we pride ourselves on being a trusting positive influence for many local children and parents.
IMPACT’s Positive Start Parenting group also operates in this space of family support, assisting parents to navigate the complexities and arising difficulties of raising young children.
These programs are also able to refer up to our Intensive Family Support (IFS) program if staff feel matters are complex and require further support.
IFS works closely with Child Services to keep children safe in the family unit.
At the end of the day our children need to come first.
We all have different skills and strengths when it comes to taking care of children, and it’s not weak to ask for support if it’s needed.
If you or someone you know could benefit from a conversation around child protection or safety, contact us today on 07 4153 4233 or visit www.impact.org.au.
For more information about National Child Protection Week visit www.napcan.org.au.