Keep­ing kids safe

‘EVERY­ONE NEEDS TO PLAY THEIR PART’

Canning Times - - STREET WATCH - D473568

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.

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme

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.

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