Western Sydney Local Health District supporting National Child Protection Week with multiple services to keep kids safe

National Child Protection Week is an annual campaign (4th – 10th September) that aims to raise awareness of child abuse and the role the community can play to keep children and young people safe.

The theme this year is ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’.

National Child Protection Week kicked off yesterday and the focus is to shine a light on what children need to grow up feeling safe.

For children and young people to thrive they need to feel safe, supported and connected to their families, communities and cultures.

The Western Sydney Integrated Violence Prevention and Response Service (IVPRS) in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) offers clinical services to help children who have experienced abuse or neglect. They also offer support, consultation and education to health staff and local communities.

This year IVPRS will be running a Protective Behaviours program in local council childcare centres for educators, parents and children. 

Protective Behaviours is a prevention strategy that helps develop personal safety skills that can be used by children, young people and adults to keep them safe and work towards reducing violence and abuse in the community.

Protecting children from harm is the shared responsibility for family, general community and professionals who work with children.”

Jay Pulvirenti

It is important to teach kids about personal body safety and give them practical strategies to get help when needed,” said Jay Pulvirenti, Child Protection Counselling Service Manager, IVPRS in WSLHD.

The Protective Behaviours program helps children to:

  • Name their feelings
  • Use the correct names for their body parts
  • Learn the difference between private and public body parts
  • Recognise when they feel unsafe
  • Identify safe adults

Lisa Cook, violence, abuse, and neglect (VAN) Educator, reinforces that “Child abuse is never the child’s fault, it is always the responsibility of adults to protect children and ensure they are kept safe from harm”.

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the following services:

Child Protection Helpline: 13 21 11 (24hrs)

1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732 (24hrs)

Lifeline: 13 11 14 (24hrs)

WSLHD IVPRS: 9881 8787 (Business hours)

In an emergency or if you are in immediate danger call 000.