Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Child abuse costs the whole community

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today welcomed the Kids First Foundation report, The Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in Australia.

“Kids First Foundation play an important role by bringing the issues of child abuse and neglect into focus. This report puts a new slant on the statistics by demonstrating that the problem is hitting everyone’s hip pockets. It is another way to remind us that that child abuse is everyone’s business.

“The consultants admit to the difficulties they had in identifying the extent of child abuse and neglect. Like everyone looking at this issue from a national perspective, they found that there are no standard definitions, procedures, reporting, recording or substantiations of child abuse and neglect across Australia.

“The Australian Government is providing leadership in this area. We are also working with the State and Territory Governments, who have responsibility for child protection issues, in the areas of foster care and indigenous children’s issues.

“Governments have also agreed to develop a nationally consistent approach to the registration of child sex offenders. Monitoring the movements and activities of convicted child sex offenders is an important measure to guarantee community safety.

“The Australian Government’s commitment to developing a National Agenda for Early Childhood will also provide a framework to develop mutual partnership and a more consistent approach to issues such as child abuse prevention.

“There are a number of programs funded through the Department of Family and Community Services which have a focus on child abuse prevention and early intervention. These include:

  • Child Abuse Prevention ($4.113 million) programs including the Australian Council for Children and Parenting, National Child Protection Clearinghouse and contributions to the Australian Research Alliance:
  • Indigenous Parenting and Family Well-being ($1.869 million) providing a range of parenting support programs to Indigenous families:
  • Stronger Families and Communities ($25.57 million) including early intervention parenting and family relationship support initiative, stronger families fund, and stronger families learning exchange: and,
  • The Early Childhood Initiatives ($10 million) for projects specially designed for early childhood intervention and prevention. The initiative is part of the first practical steps to be taken under the National Early Childhood Agenda.

“The Australian Government acknowledges the importance of recognising and preventing child abuse and is committed to ensuring all Australian children get the best start in life,” Mr Anthony said.