National Child Protection Week is a campaign held annually across Australia to raise awareness of child abuse prevention.

The objectives of the week are to raise the profile of all issues connected with child protection. Protecting children from abuse is a whole of community responsibility.

Research shows that one of the best ways to prevent child abuse and neglect, before it starts, is by building child friendly communities that support and value children and families.

NAPCAN celebrates 30 years of the National Child Protection week campaign, which was aimed at bringing abuse and neglect out of the shadows and putting child wellbeing on the national agenda.

The NAPCAN theme in 2020 for National Child Protection Week is adeptly titled:

Putting Children First

This means prioritising the safety and wellbeing of children so they can grow up to feel and also be, safe and loved.

Mr Richard Cooke, the CEO of NAPCAN, states:

“Child abuse and neglect is preventable. If we all work together as a community, we can create an Australia where children can grow up safe and well.” Mr Cooke challenges all Australians by posing the question “What role can you play in supporting children and their families?”

The Sisters of Saint Joseph (SOSJ) are actively committed to fostering communities and a culture of safeguarding that recognises and upholds the dignity and rights of all children. SOSJ have developed a Child Safeguarding Commitment Statement to reflect and honour this commitment to child safety and respect. We invite you to read more about our Child Commitment Statement by visiting our website or clicking here.

The Australian Catholic Church observes ‘Child Protection Sunday’ on the second Sunday in September each year. Child Protection Sunday coincides with National Child Protection Week and falls on Sunday 13 September 2020.

Let us take this time to reflect and celebrate how we have ‘put children first’ in the past, whilst also looking forward to consider how we may plan to ‘put children first’ in the future.

NAPCAN have a range of resources and events planned to celebrate National Child Protection Week, and these can be accessed on their website or by clicking here.

The Kids Helpline is another great resource to access support materials for children and young people, particularly in light of the current global pandemic. The Kids Helpline has a free session for students titled: ‘COVID-19: Strategies for coping. Understand emotional responses and learn ways to cope.’ There is also a ‘COVID-19 Time Capsule’ resource activity which can be downloaded for free and used with students or young people whom you may have relationship with. You can access these resources via the Kids Helpline website or by clicking here. What better way to ‘Put Children First’, than to recognise the significant impact the pandemic has on their wholistic wellbeing.

Bravehearts, is Australia’s leading child protection charity dedicated to holistically preventing child sexual assault and exploitation. Bravehearts’ vision is to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child. In 1996, Bravehearts established ‘White Balloon Day’, aimed to raise awareness about child sexual assault in Australia and help empower survivors to break their silence. White Balloon Day is held annually on the first Friday during National Child Protection Week and shall be celebrated this year on Friday 11th September.

May I invite you to join with me in making Australia safer for our children by supporting White Balloon Day on Friday 11 September and wearing the colour white. You may choose to hold a morning tea within your workplace, your community or with your family and friends, and raise awareness to this important topic. You may choose to collect a gold coin donation fundraise by signing up at Everyone who signs up will receive a free support pack. You can learn more about Bravehearts and donate by clicking here.

Can we also alert you to the fact that between 24 October – 1 November 2020, it is Children’s Week, a national celebration of children and young people’s rights to celebrate their capacity to actively contribute to the world around them. The Theme for 2020 is Article 15:

Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.

We encourage you to celebrate and raise awareness of National Child Protection Week, by ‘Putting Children First’, within the community in which you work, minister and live.

Jane Lace
Safeguarding Coordinator