Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Strengthening approaches to protecting vulnerable children

A community-driven child safety initiative, Child Aware Approaches, will receive an additional $760,000 over two years from the Australian Government to strengthen prevention and early intervention strategies in protecting children.

The Australian Government will also provide $45,000 to the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) in 2012-13 to commence work on a unique research project to identify the policy and program responses that would have the greatest impact on preventing child sexual assault.
Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, announced the new funding at the COAG Standing Council on Community and Disability Services in Canberra today. This funding will progress priority work under the Second Action Plan 2012-2015 of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.

“The protection and safeguarding of children is our number one priority and is the responsibility of all governments,” Minister Collins said today

“All children deserve a safe, healthy and happy childhood, and this funding will help to strengthen initiatives and grow the evidence base around child protection and safety.”

The $5.7 million Child Aware Approaches initiative focuses on holistic prevention and early intervention strategies and aims to promote better understanding of the relationship between child abuse and neglect and significant risk factors such as domestic and family violence, mental illness, and sexual abuse, recognising that substance abuse issues may intersect with these risks.

Of the $760,000 in new funding to Child Aware Approaches announced by Minister Collins:

  • $400,000 will be used to help identify, develop and link Child Aware Organisations with the support of a smartphone App; and
  • $360,000 will fund National Child Aware Approaches conferences in 2014 and 2015, to build on the success of the inaugural Child Aware Approaches National Conference in April 2013.

The $45,000 in Australian Government funding will enable AIFS to work in cooperation with Pricewaterhouse Coopers across a range of sectors, such as child protection, family violence and policy, to inform future preventative approaches to child sexual abuse.

The Australian Government also reiterated its commitment to supporting the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children (the NGO Coalition) in their role implementing the National Framework and the Second Action Plan and will provide $100,000 this financial year to Families Australia as Secretariat for the NGO Coalition.