Keeping kids safe
‘EVERYONE NEEDS TO PLAY THEIR PART’
MEET the team helping to keep children safe.
National Child Protection Week has shone a light on the work various agencies and communities do to look after young people.
Parkerville’s George Jones Child Advocacy Centre in Armadale helps children throughout the southeast corridor who have experienced trauma from abuse.
It also supports families and works with the community to prevent issues from occurring.
Therapeutic Services director and clinical psychologist Amanda Paton said it was vital children knew they had the right to feel safe.
“A lot of our kids don’t feel safe, they don’t experience safety, so it’s a foreign thought to them that they could have the right to feel safe,” she said.
The Parkerville team provides early intervention programs and school-based support to secondary services working with families at risk and tertiary services targeting families impacted by abuse.
Ms Paton said a holistic response was the key, working not just with individuals but also the families around them.
“Everyone needs to play their part in supporting one another,” she said.
“It’s the old adage of it takes a village to raise a child. Say hi to your neighbours.
“If you’re living next door to someone and you’re a bit concerned about the kids, or the parents, or you hear loud noises or violence at night, next time you see them out the front of their house, say hi.”
Child Protection and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk said families and communities working together were one of the best ways to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“Children are our most precious resource and it is up to all of us to make sure every child grows up in a safe and connected community,” she said.
Ms Paton suggested people concerned about the wellbeing of children could talk to the local school or police or visit a website such as napcan.org.au to find out what steps to take.
They could also call the Department of Communities on 1800 273 889 or Crisis Care after hours on 1800 199 008.
Working with children in need: (from left) Det Sgt Paul Nayler, Det Sgt Mariano Calzada, clinical psychologist registrar Rebecca Seward, Therapeutic and Advocacy Services director and clinical psychologist Amanda Paton and clinical service manager Brent Munro.