New and renewing members are invited to take advantage of FREE CSA MEMBERSHIP by completing and submitting the CSA Membership Form by 30 August 2010.
Members are entitled to a 10% discount on all CSA resources located on the CSA Resource Order Form.
Child Protection Week (CPW) will be celebrated from 5 – 12 September 2010 with the theme ‘Protecting children is everybody’s business’. CPW provides a valuable opportunity to promote the value of children and to focus attention on the issues of child abuse and neglect.
Children’s Safety Australia Inc. (CSA) will again be partnering with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation (DMF) to commemorate CPW with a media event and celebration at Australia Zoo on Wednesday, 8 September. CSA and the DMF are developing a children's safety bookmark, providing key safety messages for children and their parents/carers. This resource will be released during CPW.
CSA encourages all schools, community groups, government departments and businesses to participate in CPW by hosting their own event or by supporting an event coordinated by a local school or organisation. A range of CSA resources are available to reinforce key children's safety messages. Our Resource Order Form contains further details.
The Australia Zoo CPW event will coincide with the launch of the new DMF Foundation Red DVD, which aims to equip children and their parents/carers with key children’s safety messages. CSA has been honoured to participate in the production of the DVD, along with a host of high profile celebrities including: Kay McGrath, Shane Webcke, Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin, Jamie Dunn and Agro, Jessica Watson, and Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Tony Negus.
The DVD will be distributed free to schools, community groups, businesses and concerned parents and will be a valuable resource for schools and other groups taking part in the Day for Daniel to be celebrated on 29 October 2010.
For further information about the DMF DVD contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0434 326 435.
Agro, Jamie Dunn and, Denise Morcombe
It takes compassion, understanding, sometimes courage and often persistence to protect a child from harm. Sadly, despite the fact Australian children are being abused and neglected at significant levels, with an incident of abuse or neglected reported every two minutes, many adults fail to recognise the signs of abuse, fail to believe children and fail to report…failing our future generations.
Last month the Australian Childhood Foundation released its third report regarding community attitudes towards child abuse and child protection. One of the most distressing findings was that 1 in 4 adults has personally witnessed a case of child abuse or neglect in the past five years. Most people who did not report the abuse said it was because they were unsure about who to contact, while others (25%) were simply unwilling to become involved. Over a quarter of respondents did not feel confident enough to recognise the signs of abuse, while one in three believed that children make up stories about abuse. This lack of education and understanding reflects the absence of a national child abuse prevention strategy including a community education campaign about protecting children from abuse and exploitation.
The importance of action by people who are aware of, or who suspect, abuse is highlighted in the 2009 released movie, Precious. Set in 1987, Precious tells the story of obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece "Precious" Jones who lives in Harlem with her dysfunctional family. She has been raped and impregnated twice by her father, Carl, and suffers constant physical and emotional abuse from her unemployed mother. The movie depicts how Precious’ life is dramatically changed as a result of the intervention of her high school principal and teacher.
If you know how to recognise child abuse and neglect, who to report it to and key safety messages to share with children to reduce their risk of victimisation, we have a challenge for you. Share this information with those who are unaware, including your family, friends and colleagues. If you are unaware, we encourage you to gain this knowledge. The infosheets on our website are a good place to start.
Finally, if you believe or suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please take action. Pick up the phone, report your suspicions to the police or your relevant State government department. Do not stop reporting until the child at risk receives the help they need.
Note: Precious is now available on DVD, with Icon Films donating 50c from each DVD sold in Australia to the White Ribbon Foundation, which aims to eliminate violence against women.
This article has been adapted from ‘What If I Get Lost? Kidspower Skills to Prepare Children to Get Help’ by Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Executive Director.
Being lost can be a scary experience no matter how old you are. Knowing what to do if you get lost can make a huge difference in whether the experience is empowering or traumatic. This article provides some practical strategies for children and responsible adults to ensure children who become lost are quickly and safely reunited with their parent/carer.
Making a Safety Plan
Because children’s perspectives and understandings are constantly changing, it is important to review their safety plan about getting lost each time they go somewhere they haven’t been for a while. Remember that even a week can seem like a long time for a young child. Older children can be asked to tell you their safety plan, just for your peace of mind.
A safety plan should include an easily-locatable meeting place agreed upon by both the adult and the child if the adult does not find the child within a few minutes, such as Checkout 1(in a supermarket). The plan should also include who they might approach for help, if needed.
What to Do If You Get Lost
It is recommended for children to go through the following steps if they are separated from their adults:
1. Stop! Stand tall and strong if it is safe to stay where you are. Otherwise, go to the nearest place that is safe. For example, if you are in the middle of the street, go to the footpath. Children should practice standing tall and strong so they know what is expected.
2. Look around for your adults. Most of the time when children think they are lost, their adult is actually close by and just taking a minute to stop and look is enough to find them again. If you cannot see the adults you came with, then yell out the names you use to call them. You can yell anywhere, even in a library, movie cinema, or restaurant.
3. Go to the meeting place outlined in your safety plan if looking around and calling out for adults doesn't work or if staying where you are is not safe.
4. Approach someone for help if you can’t find the meeting place or if your adult doesn’t arrive at the meeting place within a reasonable period of time. It is recommended that children approach a woman with children as a first option, as statistically, a woman with children is least likely to harm a child. If there is no woman with children in sight, then look for an adult who appears to work there, such as a shop assistant (in a shopping centre), ticket seller (at a fete or show) or a life guard (at the beach). Ask for help but also be clear that you want to stay at the meeting place or another public area. Children should be coached to reinforce this strategy by saying something like, “My safety plan is to stay at this checkout if I’m lost”.
5. Ask other adults for help if children don’t get the help they need from the first person they approach. People called upon to assist lost children could help by:
- Arranging for, or making, a public announcement (using a PA system where possible) asking for the responsible adult to meet at a certain location; or
- Contacting the responsible adult via mobile phone. Children will need to know their adults’ mobile phone number for this strategy. Some parents tape or write their mobile number on a younger child’s clothing or shoes if they go to a crowded place, to ensure they can be easily contacted if the child gets lost.
Children should be encouraged to practice using this strategy by pretending to approach someone for help, pointing to the phone number and saying confidently, “This is my mum’s number. She’s here, but I can’t find her. Please call her!”
Note: While mobile phones are very convenient, they are not always reliable. Subsequently, a back up plan should also be discussed.
If children are lost in nature, their safety plan is to wait in the closest safe place to where they first noticed they were lost. They need to know that you will look for them and, when people need help like this, a ranger or even a search party full of strangers may also come looking for them. People will be calling their name. Their job is to call for help so the ranger or search party can find them. In this case, they would let the ranger or the search party take them to the place where they would meet up with their parent/carer.
Children need to know both what their safety plan is if they get lost and how to act on that plan. Practicing how to get help in public can prepare children to use these skills in real-life situations.
For further information about strategies for children if they become lost, please contact us.
Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health problems experienced by young people. As many as 1 in 5 people will experience depression, anxiety and related disorders at some time in their lives. Often, the symptoms aren’t recognised and therefore young people don’t get the help they need. Sometimes, the signs can be ignored or passed over as “just part of growing up”.
Youthbeyondblue (YBB), a national, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders, provide the following advice if you think you, or someone you know, may have depression or anxiety:
- Look for the signs of depression and anxiety;
- Listen to your friends’ experience;
- Talk about what’s going on; and
- Seek help together.
YBB have produced a series of fact sheets for young people on topics ranging from depression and anxiety disorders to tips on coping with stress. There is information on how to keep yourself healthy and how to improve your study habits. Facts about the tough stuff like suicide prevention, self-harm, dealing with grief, family break-ups and bullying are also available. There’s even information for parents and carers.
The strength of the fact sheets is they don’t contain confusing medical jargon or sugar-coat the issues - just plain, easy-to-understand facts about problems people commonly experience as a part of growing up.
The team at YBB put these fact sheets together by drawing on years of research, expert advice from mental health professionals who work with young people and first hand information. They also talked to groups of young people about what helped them through their tough times and took their advice on the things they thought would be helpful for others.
Beyondblue’s CEO, Leonie Young, said sometimes when people are going through a hard time or the early stages of anxiety and depression, it can be daunting to take that first step to get help. “We invite all young people to take a few minutes to look at the YBB information, because even if you don’t need it yourself, you may know someone who does. Remember to look for the signs of depression and anxiety in your mates, talk about what’s going on, listen to what they’re saying and if you think you need to – seek help together.”
You can order or download any of beyondblue’s youth fact sheets for free, from www.youthbeyondblue.com or you can call the beyondblue information line on 1300 22 4636 (for the cost of a local call from a landline) to have copies sent out to you.
Generation Next 2010,
Youthbeyondblue tackles the tough questions, Available: http:/www.generationnext.com.au/blog/?p=1588 [Accessed 23 July 2010].
Youthbeyondblue 2010, Available: http://www.youthbeyondblue.com/ factsheets-and-info/ [Accessed 23 July 2010].
Demonstrate your support of children’s safety to clients, friends and family members by purchasing corporate Christmas cards or hampers.
Children’s Safety Australia Inc. (CSA) has embarked on a fundraising campaign in partnership with Charity Greeting Cards. A wide range of beautiful Christmas cards and hampers are available with the ability to personalise your message, including the text, font and colour. Forty cents (40c) per card and 10% of the cost of hampers will be donated to CSA.
A 10% early bird discount applies for all orders placed before 2 October 2010.
Order forms can be accessed via: Charity Christmas Cards Order Form and Charity Christmas Hampers Order Form.