RELEASED: September 9, 2021
These family support workers are all in lockdown, but that won’t stop them from running and walking 1,300km to highlight National Child Protection Week.
The week was set up by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, which this year has teamed up with Run Against Violence for a 19-day run or walk.
The Family Connect team at the not-for-profit organisation, Social Futures, have signed up for the challenge and are committed to going the distance by September 17 – but they will exercise individually, stay in their local government areas, and log their distances online.
“Not only does this challenge encourage people to keep exercising during lockdown, but it also raises awareness about the importance of keeping children safe and providing them with a nourishing environment in which to thrive,” Mr Davies said.
“Of course we will be doing this in a way that supports the spirit as well as the letter of our Covid rules.” The theme of this year’s Child Protection Week is, ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’.
“So that all of Australia’s children are treated fairly, we need to make sure that every family and every community has the resources needed for children to thrive,” Mr Davies said.
“That’s a big picture view and involves eliminating poverty so that children don’t grow up in hardship – vulnerable to neglect or abuse. To thrive and be healthy children need to have basic needs met, but remember not every family has adequate resources.”
Mr Davies said Social Futures, which delivers homelessness, mental health and family support services, was working to create a healthier, fairer Australia for all children – especially those growing up in regional areas.
“In Child Protection Week, let’s remember that we need to support every child, family and community according to their needs. That means our neighbourhoods are set up to support families and children.
“It also means building a community where there are jobs, safe places like libraries and parks, good schools and childcare and affordable housing, decent health services and strong social activities. These are all needed to ensure children grow up with their physical and emotional needs met.
“I commend the Social Futures staff who have committed to walking and running 1300km in a Covid safe way during lockdown.”
The runners and walkers are also raising funds for ‘Love Bites’, which educates young people about respectful relationships. Nationally the Walk Against Violence is aiming to raise $90,000 for the program.
National Child Protection Week is an annual event starting on the first Sunday of September.
(Photo contributed by Bianca Zingus)
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