Families Australia applauds the message of National Child Protection Week (7-13 September)—protecting children is everyone’s business.

Families Australia’s CEO and Convenor of the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children (comprising 150 non-government organisations and leading academics working to improve child protection), Brian Babington, said:

‘Child abuse and neglect remains one of the nation’s greatest problems. According to the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Child protection Australia 2012-13, between 2010–11 and 2012–13 there was a 29% increase in the number of children who were the subjects of substantiations, rising from 31,527 in 2010–11 to 40,571 in 2012–13.’

‘The over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system remains particularly serious. In 2012–13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were eight times as likely as non-Indigenous children to be receiving child protection services.’

‘Important moves are underway to tackle the persistent problems of child abuse and neglect.

At the national level, these include the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.’

‘National Child Protection Week is important in recognising these and other efforts by governments, NGOs and civil society to strengthen family and community capacities to ensure that all children grow up safe and well.’

‘No-one doubts, however, that far more effort is needed to see substantial and sustained reduction in Australia’s deeply concerning rates of child abuse and neglect. Further preventive efforts aimed at strengthening families are required, especially to address risk factors such as family and domestic violence and alcohol and other forms of substance abuse.’

Contact Brian Babington, Chief Executive Officer
Suite 3, 7 National Circuit, Barton, ACT, 2600
M: 0417 550 149
P: 02 6273 4885