National Child Protection Week 2004
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said National Child Protection Week provides an ideal opportunity for Australians to focus on the issue of preventing child abuse and neglect.
“The Australian Government has provided the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) with funding of nearly $700,000 to hold the week for the next three years.
“We have done more than any Government before us to put children, their development and early intervention and prevention initiatives on the agenda.
“After creating the first Ministry for Children and Youth Affairs, the Government has delivered a National Agenda for Early Childhood and $365 million funding through the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.
“Funding of more than $7 million has also been specifically provided for child abuse prevention projects and the biennial National Child Protection Awards.
“The terrible and hard fact is that there were 40,416 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in 2002-03. This has almost doubled since 1999, when the figure stood at 24,732.
“While child protection is a State and Territory Government area to administer, it is important the community recognises it is not an issue owned by Governments. We all have a responsibility to care and protect our children and young people.
“Child protection legislation, policies and practices differ among the States and Territories and work is being undertaken by the Community Services Ministerial Council to try and get some uniform reporting. Further steps were taken in this direction at the last meeting a month ago.
“I strongly believe that every child is a wealth of untapped potential and this year’s National Child Protection Week will draw attention to the issue of child abuse and neglect, which affects the future of our country,” Mr Anthony said.
National Child Protection Week runs from 5 – 11 September. Events will take place throughout Australia during the week, ranging from free barbecues to information sessions to Community Fun Days.
For more information contact NAPCAN on 1800 126 456 or at NAPCAN website (www.napcan.org.au)