National Child Protection Week is an important event in the nation’s calendar, and today’s launch marks 30 years of its ongoing dedication to reducing child abuse and neglect in Australia.
With the unprecedented and enormous challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic had inflicted on families and communities across Australia, this year’s event is especially important.
Child Protection Week is an occasion for all of us, as Australians, to reaffirm our commitment to do what we can to help ensure that every child in our nation is given every opportunity to grow up in a safe, loving and permanent home.
This year’s theme Putting Children First is absolutely crucial because it reflects the key principle in how we must approach child safety – that a child’s best interests, safety and development must be front and centre in all decisions affecting their lives.
I commend the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) for leading this event, and for the tremendous work they do in preventing child abuse before it occurs.
Keeping children safe is a key priority for the Government, which provides $260 million in funding for a range of programs including parenting support and early childhood intervention.
In addition to this, the Government is working in partnership with the states and territories, and the sector more broadly, to develop the next long-term national strategy for protecting Australia’s children.
This strategy will replace the current National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2009-2020) which will conclude in the near future.
It is important that this new strategy builds upon the successful results that the National Framework had secured over the years.
Among its key achievements, the National Framework established the role of the National Children’s Commissioner, the national standards for out-of-home care, and the introduction of a new, world-first, national child protection information sharing system.
The successor to the National Framework will aim to improve the safety of children, young people and families, particularly those at risk of harm.
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