I just watched Polly and Me on the ABC. It was a very powerful short movie as part of a discussion on Kids at Risk. I found it very hard to watch as I can easily imagine quite a few children and young people I’ve worked with going through similar things. Child abuse really is an important issue we need to address as a community.
There is quite a theme in child protection of building child friendly communities in which children are valued, supported, respected, provided for and actively included. According to NAPCAN, Child-friendly communities ensure that children
- Are actively included in community life
- have every opportunity to reach their full potential
- have access to adequate food, shelter, clothing and health care
- are protected from harm.
I don’t want to over simplify things, but I think there is a link between some of the groups I discuss in this blog, and creating child-friendly communities. Peak oil is likely to mean that local communities are going to become more important as travel becomes more expensive. Through Transition Newcastle, we we are thus exploring ways of creating resilient, well connected local communities in Newcastle. Through the school I’m interested in building a strong community around the school. Much of our work at the Family Action Centre is around community building. My hope is that as we build strong, inclusive communities, we build relationships and social capital and, indirectly, help reduce abuse.
You can watch it on iView until 22 September here.