September 24, 2021
South Burnett child protection workers paused long enough from their vital work recently to enjoy breakfast and reflect on the past 12 months.
The South Burnett Child Protection Week Committee – which is made up from representatives from Child Safety, South Burnett CTC’s Partners in Foster Care, Queensland Health, Youth Services and Queensland Police – organised the breakfast at Kingaroy RSL Club.
The committee decided on the slogan, “Shine the Light”, for this year’s event and sent Lighthouse Lantern starter packs to every school in the South Burnett and Cherbourg for students to decorate.
Once lanterns were received back, the committee displayed them at Kingaroy Shoppingworld with messages about child protection.
There was also a pop-up information stall at Shoppingworld with information being handed out by representatives from Partners in Foster Care, Child Safety, Queensland Health and Family and Child Connect.
The breakfast was an opportunity for professionals across the South Burnett region to get together and celebrate their contribution to keeping children and young people safe.
A number of awards were also handed out (see below).
South Burnett Child Protection Week committee has also bought copies of the book, “The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld, for every school in the South Burnett.
The child protection workers hope it will become a resource for school officers working with children.
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South Burnett Awards
South Burnett Child Protection Awards were presented at the Sunrise Breakfast held on September 8 at the Kingaroy RSL Club:
- Joy Kite Award: Peta Clarkson, Centre Director at the GoodStart Early Learning Centre, Kingaroy
- Leadership Award: Lee-Anne Reinbott, CTC Family and Child Connect co-ordinator
- Rookie of the Year: Phoebe Bruce, Family Support practitioner with CTC’s Intensive Family Support
- Rookie of the Year: Courtney Mansfield, Child Safety Officer, Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs
The Joy Kite Award for Exceptional Practice with Families acknowledges the contribution of someone in direct practice who has displayed excellence in the quality of their work with children, young people and families.
The award recipient has shown they can focus on the needs of their clients, work with exceptional technique, and achieve outcomes which enrich the lives of the people they work with.
It is named in acknowledgement of Joy Kite, a much-respected and loved practitioner from the South Burnett community who died in 2012.
The Leadership Award is a perpetual trophy given in recognition of someone who has displayed leadership beyond their own specific service or role which advances the capacity of the community to protect children and support families.
The “Rookie of the Year” perpetual trophy is awarded to a person who has begun work in the child protection/family support sector in the South Burnett within the past year and has demonstrated the values and attitudes of respect for children and families, good practice, collaboration, creativity and commitment.
The South Burnett committee decided to award two Rookie awards this year to acknowledge the vast differences in the roles of the two recipients.
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The Bunya Peoples Aboriginal Corporation (BPAC) has been presented with a prestigious Queensland Child Protection Week award for its work with local youth.
The group received the Transition 2 Success award for a local Murri Ranger program which has been working with students from Nanango and Cherbourg State schools, and the Silver Lining School at Ficks Crossing.
The award recognised an outstanding young person or outstanding contribution made by a local community group / local business involved with the T2S program.
T2S aims to get the best outcomes for young people aged 15 and over who are involved in the youth justice system or are assessed as being at risk of entering it.
BPAC partnered with the T2S initiative to offer participants support, mentoring and sharing of cultural knowledge.
The Rangers took the young people to country and worked with them to make traditional tools such as nulla nullas and boomerangs.
“This project not only created a sense of belonging for participants but also created many yarns, about why Aboriginal people had these tools and what they were used for,” Youth Justice Services senior transition officer Tanya Alberts said.
“The young men in the program gained a sense of connection, learning about the land and their roles in protecting it, which was also supported by T2S staff and Murri Rangers on a weekly basis.
“The Murri Rangers also offered opportunities for the young people in the program to gain chainsaw tickets and forklift tickets and work experience opportunities which could lead to further employment.
“The Murri Rangers show the T2S participants that they can achieve anything and there is an opportunity to learn, regardless of their previous education. They are good role models and have excellent mentoring skills.”
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Child Protection Week
Child Protection Week is a national event held during the first full week of September.
It focuses attention on child protection being “everyone’s business”.
By promoting the value of children and focusing attention on the issues of child abuse and neglect, the key messages of Child Protection Week are:
- The responsibility lies with adults in keeping children safe from harm. All members of society need to play a part in ensuring children are nurtured and safe.
- Adults are essential in ensuring children’s safety and well-being.
- Listening to children and young people is the number one indicator in assisting their safety and well-being.
- Children and young people are honest. They are unlikely to lie about abuse. They are more likely to stay quiet about abuse or harm than to speak up (especially if they know their abuser).
- Understanding why people harm children and young people is essential in helping to prevent child abuse.
Children and young people are harmed by:
- Mean or cruel words harm children and young people,
- The corruption of children and young people by being forced into acts against their will, including illegal activity,
- Being ignored, going hungry and feeling and/or being treated as invisible,
- Seeing or directly experiencing domestic and family violence,
- Being physically, verbally, sexually or emotionally abused,
- Not having health, educational and other developmental needs met,
- Being groomed for sexual abuse,
- Being forced to do something that feels “wrong”,
- Being forced into situations that feel unsafe,
- Being forced to be with people (even those who are “known” and “loved”) who feel unsafe,
- Being forced to be with people who children or young people have stated have abused them,
- Not being heard when they speak about abuse or trauma,
- Being removed from their home and/or family, causing trauma and loss,
- Knowing they have no voice to speak of how they feel and what they’ve experienced in terms of their safety and well-being, and
- Being without the right to make decisions in their life such as where they live, who they visit and where they spend time.
Caring for children and keeping them safe is a shared responsibility.