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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Howard Government Support for National Child Protection Week

The Howard Government is providing over $260,000 to the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) to deliver National Child Protection Week, 2007.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said the week, from 2 September, was themed ‘make your street child friendly’, inviting people to make their community child friendly.

“The Howard Government takes child abuse and neglect very seriously and this week aims to increase individual and community awareness and responsibility for the prevention of abuse and neglect of children,” Mr Brough said.

“As part of National Child Protection Week, White Balloon Day will be held on Tuesday 4 September.

“The campaign, by Bravehearts Incorporated, raises awareness of child sexual assault, sends a message of support to those suffering in silence and encourages survivors to ‘break the silence’.

“Bravehearts works closely with NAPCAN and has been funded to provide white balloons printed with “Break the Silence on Child Sexual Assault” and Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure CDs, an education and prevention program.

“The Government makes a significant contribution to the protection of children, by focusing on prevention and early intervention strategies, and research shows this is an effective strategy.

“The $500 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy 2004-09 is a major commitment to early intervention and prevention initiatives.

“A range of other programs are also funded, including the Responding Early Assisting Children (REACh) Program, which funds services to support vulnerable families experiencing significant transition(s) and/or who are at risk of child abuse and neglect or other crisis.

“The Government has contributed $4 million over four years towards the Raising Children Network (www.raisingchildren.net.au), an Australian parenting website designed to give advice to parents and refer them to other specific services.

“Further to this, the Government recently announced an extra $2.7 million over the next four years for continuation of the website and a recently launched DVD.

“The Howard Government also provides substantial financial assistance to Australian families. In 2007-08 an estimated $20.8 billion will go toward family assistance payments, including Family Tax Benefit, Baby Bonus, Maternity Immunisation Allowance and child care assistance.

“I encourage all Australians to become involved in National Child Protection Week – to help make all streets child friendly,” Mr Brough said.