A better world for children is everybody’s business

This week we mark Child Protection Week across the nation.  While it is a good time to pause and reflect on the theme ‘protecting children is everybody’s business’, we must also vision what it would be like not to need a week like Child Protection Week.

Churches of Christ Care General Manager Children, Youth and Families Jane Carter urges everyone to think what it would be like if no week needed to exist.

“Picture a place where those children and youth we protect are free to live their lives free of abuse, neglect, hardship and fear. For all children to have a safe place to call home, to love freely and have love given freely by those they hold dear,” she said. “Unfortunately that is not the case for many thousands of children across the country.”

Thankfully there are people and organisations that look out for these children in their time of need. This includes child protection services delivered by Churches of Christ Care, where over 3,200 Queensland children and young people rely on our staff and volunteers to provide care and protection for them.

“While we aren’t the only the only provider of child protection services, we are one of the largest in Queensland, which brings with it many challenges and rewards.  Challenges range from the diversity of children and youth in our care and their individual care needs to the growing demand for care and the need for more foster carers,” Mrs Carter said.

“However the rewards are great and while not always tangible, they are life changing for children and youth, and those who interact with them.  This includes the satisfaction of being able to place a child into suitable care, be it returning to their family or welcomed into a new home to enhancing the life skills of a young person to become a capable young adult.”

Mrs Carter said that while the demand for child protection services is growing and funding continues to remain a challenge, the organisation must continually innovate the way it delivers these services.

“We will continue our focus in the area of early intervention and prevention, and build our vision for the future look of child and family welfare. In doing so, we will actively link with other care services, our churches, government, and other non-government organisations.

“We are taking part in the government’s Stronger Families program, providing the Family and Children Connect Service in Wide Bay and intensive family support in Wide Bay and Moreton Bay regions. We are working with the government and other non-government organisations to make it easier for families to find the support they need in the toughest of times.”

Child protection really is everybody’s business. We all must keep an eye out for the best interests of children today while working towards a brighter tomorrow.

Churches of Christ Care is one of the largest non-government providers of children, youth and family services in Queensland, providing foster and kinship care, residential and supported independent living services to approximately 2,800 children and young people each year who are under the care of the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services or at risk of being taken into care. A further 480 children and families are supported through its assessment and intervention services.

The organisation is supported by over 800 dedicated and compassionate foster and kinship carers who work closely with staff to provide a vital safety net to children and young people who have often come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect. Service locations include Mount Isa, Townsville, Mackay, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Caboolture, Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan and the Gold Coast.

Posted September 11, 2015 in News