Media Release by Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Taking a Stand for Children is Everyone’s Business

Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews has applauded the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) for its work in striving for child safety and wellbeing.

Mr Andrews has used an event for National Child Protection Week to thank NAPCAN for encouraging government, politicians, families and the community to work together to address child safety in their own neighbourhoods.

“As a nation, we need to take a stand on behalf of children who are harmed by violence, abuse and neglect,” he said.

“Effective community engagement is important if we are to tackle this scourge and National Child Protection Week is a significant part of our efforts towards this goal.”

NAPCAN established National Child Protection Week (7-13 September) in 1993 to promote child wellbeing and safety as a community responsibility and raise awareness about child abuse and neglect.

NAPCAN’s motto “protecting children is everyone’s business” is also a key objective of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.

Mr Andrews said NAPCAN has been a strong supporter of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children and has worked hard to strengthen community awareness of this important issue.

“I am pleased my Department is continuing to support NAPCAN in this role,” he said.

“It’s been estimated that the annual cost of child abuse in Australia was $4 billion in 2007 and my department’s research shows that Australia would save $5.4 billion per annum as a result of improved family functioning.

“Strong family relationships and an empowered civil society, gives us the best chance to prevent problems before they occur and to intervene early to stop them from worsening.

“To this end, the Government’s focus will remain on how we can further strengthen family relationships and parenting skills and work with civil society.”