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STOP children cannot stop child abuse or neglect

ADULTS CAN Making Kids Lives Better The Official Newsletter of the Children’s Protection Society April 2018 ph: 03 9450 0900 | e: | w:

“Emerging from the shadow of abuse” It goes without saying the trauma of sexual abuse has enormous impacts. Beyond the immediate heartache, the effects of such devastating experiences can be long-lasting with a legacy touching future generations. Indeed, without specialist early intervention, one child’s problem today can one day become a major community problem with flow-on costs and effects. Since the early 1990’s CPS has pioneered specialist therapeutic programs for children, young people and their families/carers. We work with children and young people under 18 who’ve been sexually abused, children under 10 who’ve displayed problematic sexualised behaviours and young people between 10 - 17 who’ve engaged in sexually harmful behaviours. Last year our small, dedicated team assisted 442 families - all free-of-charge. Our Approach CPS’ therapeutic team utilises a whole-of-family, non-judgemental approach. Participation of family members and carers is vital to the healing of the child or young person. We also acknowledge the impact of sexual abuse on families, hence support is made available to parents/ carers and siblings. Our wholistic treatment is tailored to individual needs. Therapists take the time to understand the developmental stage of their clients, learning style and interests. Considering their age and sensitive nature of sexual abuse and sexualised behaviours, our professional therapists utilise techniques such as individual and group work, art and sand tray therapy, music, drama, puppets, play, symbols, writing – and of course – talking. A key to the success of sessions here is our therapists’ ability to build trust with children disinclined to trust anyone given their history, or young people too embarrassed to discuss what’s been inflicted on them or their own behaviours. There is no time limit – whilst we’d like as soon as possible to see clients heal and develop the emotional resilience they require to move forward, we appreciate the process can take longer for some. Often, it’s actually a bittersweet occasion for workers in saying farewell to clients with whom they’ve cried with, laughed with, played with and ultimately found with the belief their lives will get better. This is offset by the fulfilment in taking a client on a journey from sadness and despair to strength and hope. Getting Help Finding safe, supportive and effective counselling and treatment in this delicate area can be a stressful exercise. At CPS we are proud of our long track record as leaders in the field. For private and confidential assistance please contact one of our experienced intake team members, either by phone on 03 9450 0900, or email 3 | making kids lives better

the challenge to stop child abuse and neglect There is just so many shocking statistics indicating the high levels of child abuse in Australia. For example, 162,175 children received child protection services in 2015–16. In other words, one Aussie child out of 30. Child abuse and neglect is one of the nation’s biggest and most misunderstood social problems. Despite being under-reported, authorities confirmed 45,714 children were abused or neglected in one year alone*. That is one child every 12 minutes suffering physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect, often by someone they know and should be able to trust; most often in their own home. Thousands more cases go unreported, meanwhile the number of children and young people in out-of-home care is increasing. Abuse can be an isolated case or a number of incidents over time. When people think child abuse they tend to envision severe beatings or sexual abuse. However, emotional abuse (43% of substantiated cases*) and neglect (26%) are more common and the impacts can be just as damaging. It is worth noting these two forms of child abuse are not considered a crime. Also, children suffering one form of abuse tend to be subjected to others at the same time. For example, of those suffering physical abuse, 50.8% have also been anflicted by emotional abuse, 26% also by neglect and 1.8% also by sexual abuse. Children in younger age groups are more likely to be the subjects of substantiated cases. Across Australia in 2015/16, infants (children aged under 1) were most likely (16.1 per 1,000 children) to be abused in some way. Interestingly, gender-wise, across each of the four forms of abuse, boys and girls are close to even. Factors that do discriminate heavily are a child’s socioeconomic area and remoteness. Effects of child abuse and neglect The effects of child abuse and neglect can be significant and lead to lifelong problems. Worldwide studies, including brain scans, show how much a child’s emotional and intellectual development is impacted by abuse, particularly in the crucial pre-school age where the most vital neural connections are formed. A child deprived of proper care and love usually begins school a long way behind their peers with poor concentration and without command of very basic numeracy and language skills. Extreme anti-social behaviour is the other symptom of child abuse which many schools don’t have the capacity or wherewithal to manage or address. From here, through no fault of their own, a child is on a slippery slope to poor relationship skills and social dislocation, juvenile detention, out-of-home care or homelessness, chronic unemployment, mental illness, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse, serious crime, imprisonment and sadly, repeating the abusive cycle on their own partner and children – all due to their own childhood experiences. The monetary cost alone to taxpayers is staggering, let alone the moral cost to Australia. 4 | making kids lives better

“Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those that abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.� Nelson Mandela

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WHAT DO WE do There are no quick fixes and no easy answers. But it is clear that directing serious resources towards early intervention services and support for vulnerable children and families is an absolute no-brainer. Thankfully, recent watershed initiatives such as the Victorian Royal Commission into Domestic Violence and Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have seen major commitments that should begin to make a dent in the shameful statistics highlighted by this article. However, the money is still spread paper-thin across a problem as expansive as vast as our continent. Notwithstanding, child abuse is one of a range of interconnected socio-economic issues that require a shift in priorities, better funding and legislation and a bipartisan political debate without the political point scoring. The good news is that CPS does not own a too-hard-basket and we will never give up on any children or families needing our support. We also appreciate there are other not-for-profit agencies such as ours campaigning for funds from generous donors, sponsors and philanthropists to continue fighting the good fight for children and families. What we offer at CPS is a non-denominational welfare agency with over 120 years’ hands-on experience dealing with the fallout of child abuse. Tackling the problem will demand innovative, evidence-based practice on the ground, and that is what CPS offers as a nimble, midsized agency that is responsive to the changing nature of families and local communities. Through our early years research, the training and education unit and therapeutic services team, in addition to pioneering programs such as Mentoring Mums, Caring Dads and Mothers in Mind, we are committed to increasing our footprint and forging best practice for others to follow. We simply cannot tackle this most critical of issues alone and we thank our supporters for their ongoing support. And if you aren’t in a position to make a financial contribution right now we understand – but you can still help us by sharing this newsletter via your social channels and letting others know about us and why we must stop child abuse.

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act now, support our STOP child abuse and neglect campaign

Donate online now at 8 | making kids lives better

45,714 children were abused or neglected

every 12 minutes

a child suffers abuse or neglect


children and young people were in out of home care Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Child protection Australia 2015–16.

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setting the standards in child safe Training

Each year, our experienced Professional Development & Education trainers deliver hundreds of training courses across Corporate, Community & Incorporated Associations sectors from child-centred, evidence-based, best-practice workshops that are interactive, engaging and will develop your knowledge in working with children and young people who have experienced abuse and trauma.

When it comes to personal or workforce professional development, we fully appreciate that there is a wide range of professional development providers to choose from, its when choosing CPS as your provider you can rest assured that 100% of the profits go back into the programs and services. Creating Safer Organisations: Implementing the Child Safe Standards This course will enable participates to be confident in ensuring they have the skills necessary to create a child-safe organisation.




Each of the relevant child safety standards will be worked through in-depth and participants will be able to devise an action and implementation plan to address the standards. Participants will also receive an innovative self-assessment audit tool to ensure they are continually improving and embedding a child safe culture within their organisation. Book your CPS training at Cyber Safety: Protecting Children Online



This evidence-based course enables workers to develop awareness of current child safety issues for children and young people using new technologies (for activities such as gaming, social networking, cyberbullying and accessing inappropriate material) and to develop effective strategies to increase the resilience of children and young people who use new technologies. This course will also give practical resources to support workers in their roles and also signpost to resources which can be used to help support parents and carers in this space. Book your CPS training at Towards a Child Safe Workforce: Recruitment and Interviewing Skills This evidence-based practical course will enable participants to become confident and competent in safer interviewing in the recruitment process. This will ensure workers who are recruited demonstrate child safety values and behaviours. This course is based on latest evidence and research in safe recruitment interviewing. Book your CPS training at

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Risk Assessment: Tools for working with vulnerable families



This one-day interactive workshop will equip practitioners from a range of sectors, with skills in identifying and responding to all forms of Child Abuse including Family Violence. This course is suitable for workers who work primarily in the adult sector, where they may come into contact with vulnerable families. e.g. AOD, Housing, Healthcare, Mental Health, Adult Disability Services. Book your CPS training at Engaging Vulnerable Families in the Early Years: First 1000 Days



This one-day interactive workshop will equip workers with the relevant knowledge and skills to identify families where young children may be vulnerable or at risk and to intervene earlier to ensure optimal outcomes during this critical development phase (the first 1000 days). Participants will learn about the impact of trauma on brain development and learning outcomes as well as workshop practical strategies to intervene. Book your CPS training at

Managing Sexually Harmful Behaviours: Safe and Supported



This one day course will enable workers to identify young people who are engaging in sexually harmful behaviours and develop strategies to help manage the behaviours. Workers will also learn to address the issue of caring for young people who have caused sexual harm and feel empowered and confident in managing sexualised behaviours in their setting. Book your CPS training at

Creating Safer Organisations: Implementing the Child Safe Standards



This course will enable participates to be confident in ensuring they have the skills necessary to create a child-safe organisation. Each of the relevant child safety standards will be worked through in-depth and participants will be able to devise an action and implementation plan to address the standards. Participants will also receive an innovative self-assessment audit tool to ensure they are continually improving and embedding a child safe culture within their organisation. Book your CPS training at

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STAY CONNECTED ANYWHERE, ANYTIME Make sure that you keep up to date will all things Children’s Protection Society and don’t miss out on the stories, news, announcements, events and much much more.

WEB For everything you need to know from programs and services information, events, professional training course, latest news, events and social fundraising activities make sure you head to our new website full of content for you to explore.

SOCIAL MEDIA If you want info there and then in the palms of your hands go no further than our social media outlets. Follow us or like us and best of all its free.


E-NEWSLETTER Another great way to stay up to date if you don’t have a social media account, sign up for our free monthly E-Newsletter full of information and stories of the work CPS does in the community.

VOLUNTEER People of all ages, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, with various life and work experiences, and who have sometime available, are encouraged to become a volunteer with us.

FUNDRAISE FOR US You can help vulnerable members of the community by making a donation, supporting a campaign, a bequest or by starting your own social fundraising page for CPS to help keep our essentials services going. 13 | making kids lives better

Students keen to serve at CPS' Op Shop Can you recall your first ever job or high school work experience? As a teenager, it’s one of those rights of passage prone to either fond or fraught memories. Loyola College students Sam Philp and Luke Neri, both 16, recently completed a stint together at CPS’ Op Shop as part of their annual ‘Christian Week’ service. Despite neither having worked in retail or undertaken volunteer work before, we can happily report the Year 11 boys enjoyed their week and provided invaluable help to Shop Retail Manager Catrina Murray. “I wish I could have them back next week!” she gushed. “I liked the varying tasks, like being able to serve at the till, sort through donations coming in, putting stock out on the racks,“ reported Sam. “Time goes pretty quickly, the morning flies by,” he added. “It’s something to put on my resume,” said Luke. “It’s taught me about retail – sorting through and displaying stock, talking to customers, exchanging money. I didn’t think I’d be serving customers but it was really good to get the opportunity.” Sam also enjoyed interacting with a range of punters, including regulars who scan the store for bargains almost every day. “It’s a good atmosphere. I’d definitely recommend it (volunteering).” “Life’s not all about money. Working with people and serving customers is a good experience,” said Luke, who also appreciated the allure of the busy shop. “There’s been some really cool stuff come in. It’s the luck of the draw!” Both sport nuts, Sam is into Australian Rules whilst Luke favours basketball and soccer. “I’m interested in the exercise sciences,” said Sam, keen to forge a career in sport after completing school and university. Whilst Luke also intends to move onto tertiary study, he’s yet to choose which path to follow. In the meantime, we wish Sam and Luke the best should they seek further work in the wonderful world of retail and we thank them both for their enthusiastic contribution. Students, retirees and everyone in between, if you are interested in volunteering a few hours a week (or month) of your time for a good cause, we’d love to hear from you. Simply contact Catrina on 9458 5400 or email

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CPS setting kinder standards Since opening in northern Melbourne growth suburb Wollert in 2016, the CPS operated Korin Korin Child & Family Centre has sought to adapt elements of the agency’s intensive early years education program for vulnerable children to a universal environment. The Centre has integrated several best practice elements such as enhanced educator training, preschool mental health consults and communities of practice, staff supervision / coaching and family support services. This wrap-around model of care for children and families at Korin Korin has undergone thorough evaluation, funded by NAB Foundation. The final report has been released by the Monash University’s Centre of Health Research and Implementation. Key findings indicate Korin Korin is fulfilling CPS’ objectives during this critical time in a child’s development when their developing brain is forging neural pathways that impact future development, behaviours and ultimately life trajectory. Takeaways from the report include; • Parents feel Korin Korin aided their children’s confidence, social skills, addressing of behaviours and overall learning. • Training provided to the educators is exceptional, unique within the sector, rigorous and purposeful. • Educators believe the training investment reflects their perceived value as staff and the development of a workplace community and culture strengthens their resilience. • The pre-school mental health consultations are a valuable educator resource, enabling thorough exploration of a child/circumstance, useful in the classroom. • A communities of practice approach recognises educators’ expertise and promotes sharing of practical knowledge. • Preschool infant mental health consultations enhance capacity to work with vulnerable children, providing effective, professional support strategies for children and parents about sensitive matters. • The co-located CPS Family Services officer facilitates useful connections between children, families and the community and assisted with parenting and other issues within families, including referrals to other services. • Monthly ‘coffee club’ sessions for parents build capacity through expert presentations on various parenting topics. • Educators are committed to the philosophy of a warm and welcoming Centre that is child focused, inclusive, that builds relationships and fosters educators’ practice. • Educators can clearly differentiate Korin Korin from other services experienced. • An overwhelming majority of parents rate the Centre highly for the education program, quality of staff, teaching, relationship with children and the environment.

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leave a gift in your will

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imagine Imagine your childhood being stripped from you – quite possibly by someone you know and should trust – through constant abuse or neglect. Imagine your critical developing years filled with fear, confusion and hurt. Imagine the prospect of carrying guilt and shame into your adulthood, secretly struggling to cope without inflicting further pain on yourself or those around you. Almost 46,000 kids throughout Australia don’t imagine this life – for them, this is reality. Now imagine leaving a legacy where you can help us break the generational cycle of vulnerability, where many more children can experience a normal, happy childhood whereupon they grow and develop into kind, functional adults. For over 120 years we’ve relentlessly strived to make kids’ lives better. With the aid of generous community members we can continue to support the wellbeing and development of children and families by providing prevention, early years education and care, therapeutic healing to recover from abuse and neglect and family strengthening services. Leaving a gift in you will to the Children’s Protection Society is one of the most compassionate and generous gifts you can give. You can give a child a reason to smile and to look forward to a more positive future, while you can be content that you’re making a positive difference – beyond your lifetime. Your bequest means we can plan ahead with more certainty and continue to provide a better childhood for the kids and families who need it most. For more information bout how to leave a gift in your will visit

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donate online Help us stop child abuse and neglect, to donate to our Stop abuse and neglect Appeal online please visit or, donate to any of our other campaigns please visit

donate by mail Children’s Protection Society, 273 Settlement Road Thomastown VIC 3074. Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.

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Making Kids Lives Better - Apr 2018  

In this edition of Making Kids’ Lives Better we tackle the enormous challenge of stopping child abuse and neglect in its various forms, we s...

Making Kids Lives Better - Apr 2018  

In this edition of Making Kids’ Lives Better we tackle the enormous challenge of stopping child abuse and neglect in its various forms, we s...