Advocacy, Families, Health, Uncategorised, Youth

If you go into the woods today

Written byChristine Tondorf
Published on28 Sep, 2023

Social Futures workers (and their teddies) ventured into the woods – or rather the Tweed Heads Recreation Oval for the annual Teddy Bears picnic to mark Child Protection Week on Wednesday, September 6.

Tweed community organisations set up kiosks and teddy-activities for local families, including teddy yoga, teddy painting, and teddy fire-truck water sports (run by NSW emergency services).

In past years more than 800 people have flocked to the picnic.

Representatives from the Family Connect and Support, the NDIS support team, Standing Strong and Strong Minds in the Early Years helped to man or ‘teddy’ the Social Futures stand.

The Social Futures puppet, Jack, was also on the ground to meet the teddies. Jack travels the Northern Rivers with Lisa Wilson, a qualified and registered play and creative art therapist. Lisa and Jack are part of the Strong Minds in the Early Years program.

“I love meeting other toys,” said Jack the Puppet.

“And the Teddy Bears picnic is also a chance for families on the Tweed to learn about the not-for-profit organisations in the region, and how these organisations can support parents and children to thrive. Families get a chance to meet community service workers and hear all about the great programs they offer.”

The themes for Child Protection Week 2023 are ‘Where we start matters’ and ‘Every child in every community needs a fair go’.

National Child Protection Week 2023, held from 3 – 9 September, helps raise awareness of child abuse prevention and promote a safe and supported life for every child.

The activities held in the week aim to engage, educate, and empower Australians to understand the complexity of child abuse and neglect and highlight how we can all work together to prevent it.

You can use the theme to explore and talk about the many ways that ‘where we start matters’ for children, young people and their families.By working collectively to change the trajectory of these children and families, we can reduce the number of children who may come in contact with the child protection system. This can include:

  • Supporting parents  to access services so that all families have the opportunity to give every child a great start
  • Supporting organisations to be safe and child-focused so they can give every child a great start
  • Supporting communities and making sure that every neighbourhood has what it needs to give every child a great start.

PHOTO: Social Futures workers at the Tweed Heads Teddy Bear Picnic.