This week (September 4-10) is National Child Protection Week, which reminds us all about the importance of creating safe and nurturing environments for all children in Australia.  

 This year, the week is all about shining a light on the need for children to grow up feeling safe and supported. The overarching message is that, ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go.’ 

 At The Benevolent Society, we take our responsibility as a child safe organisation seriously. We create cultures, adopt strategies and take action to prevent harm to the infants, children and young people with whom we come into contact.  
Our practice, policies and processes are informed by legislation and child safe regulations and principles, this ensures that all infants, children and young people are safe when they are with us.  

Growing up safe and supported 

Children and young people thrive when they grow up feeling safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture. 
According to the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), every child and young person needs the following in order to grow up safe and well:  

  • Feeling loved and safe. 
  • Having a positive sense of identity and culture. 
  • Having material basics. 
  • Being healthy. 
  • Learning. 
  • Participating. 

This is all vital for healthy development, according to Roweena Moffatt, Manager at The Centre for Women’s Children’s and Family Health in Campbelltown, which is run by The Benevolent Society. 
Established in 1994, the centre provides services related to women’s health & wellbeing across their life span, counselling and domestic and family violence support.  

“A child’s attachment to their care giver is foundational to their social and emotional wellbeing,” she says. “It allows a child to understand their place in the world and their relationships. A secure attachment gives children a stable base, a trusted person, so that they can explore the world around them physically and emotionally.” 

Secure attachment helps children to learn to self-regulate their emotions and reactions to different situations. “Attachment is also known to have a strong influence on adult wellbeing and healthy function,” Roweena adds. “A child’s experience of attachment in childhood forms an internal blueprint that continues to affect them into adulthood in terms of how they understand their own feelings and thoughts and how they interact with the world. 
“Adults who have had secure attachment generally have a good sense of self, know how to be in healthy relationships, are emotionally responsive and have appropriate levels of trust and empathy.”  

The Benevolent Society has a number of services to support children and families. Click here to learn more or call us on 1800 236 762