Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Child protection is everyone’s business

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today that everyone has a responsibility to ensure children are safe from abuse and neglect.

“Ensuring children are safe is not a responsibility of governments alone. The whole community must be engaged to ensure our children are protected Statistics showing the cost of child abuse are effective in 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 Families Australia Child Abuse and Neglect Summit held in Canberra today will provide opportunities to discuss how joint efforts could be improved to prevent the cycle of abuse and neglect.

“The Australian Government is supporting measures that build the resilience and capacity of families. Providing families with financial support and funding early intervention and prevention services are two major commitments.

“While child protection is primarily the responsibility of state and territory authorities, early childhood development is a priority for this Government. It is time State and Territory Governments commit the resources to ensure the wellbeing of Australian children.

“We are working with the states and territories on some child protection issues such as foster care, indigenous children’s issues and a national sex-offender register.

“The $365 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy will also make a significant difference to the resilience and functioning of many Australian families and help reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect.

“The Government has also funded the national Every Child Is Important campaign, run by the Australian Childhood Foundation, which aims to promote attitudes that are caring and supportive of children.

“Recently I also announced a range of community based early intervention services through the REACH (Responding Early Assisting Children) program which is aims at supporting parents and improving children’s well-being,” Mr Anthony said.

The Australian Government was represented at the conference today by ACT Senator Gary Humphries.