Growing up safe and supported

Growing up safe and supported is this year’s theme for National Child Protection Week (4-10 Sept). We know children and young people thrive when they are safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture. 

But sadly, too many children experience abuse and neglect and they are not given this thriving environment. National Child Protection Week is about working together to reduce the impact of abuse and neglect and ensure children and young people are given the best opportunity for now and their future.

We asked some of our team about what it means for children in care and youth detention to grow up safe and supported. This is what they said…

Kids deserve every chance to safely enjoy their childhood and transition into adulthood. Kids deserve to be wrapped in love and connected to their family, extended families and others that are important to them. Kids deserve to feel like they belong and connected to their history and culture. The importance of this cannot be overlooked and to grow without this, fractures the rights of every child. Every kid deserves this whether they are our own across the dinner table at night or whether they are growing up in places away from their family.
Shona Reid
Guardian/Training Centre Visitor
Children in care are some of the most amazing and resilient young people that exist, and they need and deserve to grow up supported to achieve their potential.
Joel Georgeson
When kids are safe and supported they can take risks, which helps growing, learning, developing. But if a healthy risk is unsupported, the opposite can happen: self-esteem, determination, and growth can all suffer; with reinforcement to then take less risks.
Steve Goss
Youth Treatment Orders Project Officer
I guess to me it’s important for children to grow up feeling safe and supported for their emotional development and to develop their self-confidence.  The ability to love themselves comes from feeling safe and loved from others too.  And even more importantly, feeling safe and supported promotes their happiness and health.
Melissa Phoenix
Administration Officer
I recently heard the quote… ‘When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower’ (Alexander den Heijer). This drives home for me how important it is that children grow up in environments where they are safe and supported. 
Courtney Mostert
Senior Advocate (R20)
We know children thrive the best when they are safe and supported by family, culture and community but who is supporting these families? In an ideal world, it’s the adults’ job to provide an enriching environment, and the children’s job to explore their world, knowing they are being loved and cared for, even when their backs are turned. 
Bianca Turner
Senior Communications and Liaison Officer
Growing up is a hard job. But when children can trust that the adults are taking care of things and looking out for them, they have the time to play.
Alicia Smith
Senior Policy Officer
Having a safe base provides the scaffolding for children to love, learn, explore and grow. Safe, supportive and loving adults in children’s lives form the blueprint for children growing up to be safe, supportive and loving adults and are key to children reaching for their dreams and realising their potential. 
Merike Mannik
Principal Advocate

What do you think children need to feel safe and supported?

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