Act for Kids works towards preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. For over 28 years, they have provided free professional therapy for children who have suffered abuse and support for families at risk. In support of Act for Kids we have been selling our Make Fashion Count Pom Pom’s with all profits going directly to the charity! We popped into the Sydney Centre to see the amazing work the team there do and also to catch-up on all things Act for Kids! Read below!
Why do you think neglect and abuse is largely unreported?
Sadly, around 27% of Australians are simply not confident that they could spot the signs of abuse* or neglect which we believe is a major factor in the under-reporting of child abuse and neglect. There is a real lack of knowledge around what is and isn’t child abuse and sometimes it comes down to the fact that people don’t want to ‘interfere’ which is just not good enough!
How can people/we help?
Speak up! When you see something that doesn’t look or feel right to you, it probably isn’t. It’s so important that we speak up for children that can’t speak for themselves. Reach out to the family to see if they’re okay, offer support or assistance where you can. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can make a referral (you can remain anonymous) to your local child protection agency. Always remember, if you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 000.
Other ways you can help, is by educating yourself on the signs of child abuse and neglect and by supporting not-for-profits and community organisations that work with kids and families at risk – like Act for Kids!
What is a meaningful donation? How do these donations help?
We believe all donations are meaningful! All of our services are provided to kids and families free of charge, which means donations we receive are directly used to fund our therapy centres and make sure we have the most amazing psychologists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists on our team! When we have the best people, we get the best outcomes for kids.
What advice do you have for anyone who may need help?
Our best piece of advice is to ask for help! Whether you are a child, or a parent that may be struggling please reach out to someone you trust and let them know that you’re not okay! Tell them what’s been going and on and find help. There are so many services available to kids and families that need assistance – Act for Kids has programs for the whole family to get you back on track and thriving.
What advice do you have for anyone that might be concerned for someone else?
If you have concerns about a friend or a child in your life, start by asking them if they’re okay. Let them know that they can trust you and that you just want to make sure they are alright. If they do disclose an instance of abuse or neglect, it’s time to reach out to some local services that can support them through this. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can make a referral (you can remain anonymous) to your local child protection agency. Always remember, if you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 000.
Most satisfying part of your job?
The most satisfying part of our job, is knowing that we are putting little lives back together and helping innocent kids to overcome the trauma they’ve experienced. It takes a lot of hard work, from both us and the kids, to come out the other side of child abuse or neglect and go on to experience a normal and happy childhood. Sadly, lots of the kids we see have developmental delays due to the trauma and neglect of their early learning years… we live for those ‘breakthrough’ moments where a child achieves something that could be as simple as writing their name for the first time or talking about their feelings. It’s all very special to us!
If there was one thing you could say to every child in Australia what would it be?
We would say that, ‘you are the boss of your own body and what you say goes! And if something happens to you that don’t like, tell someone you trust and keep telling them until they do something about it!’.
If there was one piece of advice that you would give to every parent in Australia what would it be?
Our best advice to parents is to educate yourself on the signs of abuse or neglect and more importantly, educate your kids about protective behaviours and their ‘early warning signs’. Teach them about safe and unsafe secrets and help them establish and identify a safe network of adults that they can trust. Most importantly, always encourage your kids to be open and honest with their feelings. Act for Kids has a protective behaviours program for children in Grade One called ‘Learn to be safe with Emmy & friends’. The program covers all of the above, and if you want it to come to your children’s school please reach out to your curriculum coordinators to make a request.
*Research conducted by Act for Kids in 2017.
Click HERE to find out more on the Act for Kids website.
Check out the Act for Kids Instagram page!
Shop Charity Pom Pom for Act for Kids-