What must we do differently?

What must we do differently to become a nation where all children and young people grow up safe and well?

That was the central question posed at this week’s policy forum convened by Families Australia in Melbourne. Around 50 people heard about latest developments with the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, especially the Third Action Plan 2015-18, with its emphases on early intervention―particularly the first thousand days for a child―helping young people in out-of-home care to thrive in adulthood, and how organisations can respond better to children and young people to keep them safe.

In relation to the theme of early intervention, Professor Kerry Arabena, Chair for Indigenous Health and Director of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit at The University of Melbourne, gave an inspiring address about the Australian model of the First 1000 Days Study, an interventions based pre-birth cohort study designed with, and for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

A wide range of questions arose from the presentations, such as: How can we advance children’s wellbeing as well as safety? How can we increase the involvement of the business sector? How can we find innovative new approaches to supporting families in the context of ongoing budgetary constraints?

I invite you to view the policy forum on Families Australia TV here or download the presentations here. Please also join the conversation about these and other questions on child safety and wellbeing at the Child Aware Approaches Conference in May this year (read more here). Professor Arabena is going to be one of the keynote speakers at the Conference.

Dr Brian Babington, CEO