IMPACT staff member Wendy Lindeman with the Cooee group at IMPACT’s Independence House. Picture: Tahlia Stehbens.
IMPACT staff member Wendy Lindeman with the Cooee group at IMPACT’s Independence House. Picture: Tahlia Stehbens. Tahlia Stehbens

Bundaberg highlights importance of child protection

IN A bid to keep young children safe from harm, abuse and neglect, a special program for NDIS participants and people with mental health in Bundaberg will shine a light on child protection.

Working as an NDIS support worker for Bundaberg's IMPACT Community Services for almost a decade, Wendy Lindeman said when it comes to child protection, it's everybody's business.

As part of Child Protection Week, Ms Lindeman and together with ladies from Cooee, a local art and craft group that aims to raise awareness for mental health, have been creating lanterns to highlight the importance of the issue.

"I think it's just wonderful that we're getting the message out there," Ms Lindeman said.

"We've all got a role to play … the ladies do enjoy this group and they participate on any community activity that's around, but especially this one that's close to their heart."

Key messages posted on the official website for Child Protection Week include listening to children and believing their statements, as well as gaining an understanding of why people harm children.

"The majority of people who harm children are parents or care givers and do so emotionally, physically or by neglect," the website reads.

"The intent is not necessarily to harm children as often stress factors mean that person takes out their stress on children through either neglect or through verbal or physical means.

"With assistance these forms of abuse can be eradicated, parents and care providers taught new skills and children can be supported to live safely with their families or care givers."

Concerns about child protection can be reported to Child Safety by phoning 1300 703 762 or for emergencies, phone 000.

Parents who need support are encouraged to phone 1300 703 762 or anyone who is struggling can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Child Protection Week runs from September 6 to 12. For more information, visit childprotectionweek.org.au



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