27 February 2023

We put children first with the SAFE series.

Image: Teena is on screen and speaking. She is wearing a black top and gold necklace. The wall paper behind her says, 'Our vision. Child, youth & family. The Life Without Barriers logo is underneath in pink.

Life Without Barriers were privileged to join with PeakCare QLD this week to present an online forum for out-of-home-care practitioners focusing on Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse – Supporting SAFE and Therapeutic Conversations with Young People

520 people from more than 116 agencies in Queensland, across Australia and overseas registered to hear important thoughts and practice advice from leading academics and experienced practitioners. 

According to a key panellist, Dr Susan Rayment-McHugh, Senior Lecturer, Criminology and Justice, at the School of Law and Society University of the Sunshine Coast, a central mechanism for the prevention of child abuse and exploitation is the role of adults to build trusting relationships that enables them to “notice and intervene to protect a child.”

Teena Ingram, Queensland Director of Child Youth and Family for Life Without Barriers' spoke about our situational prevention approach.

“Forums like this provide a wonderful opportunity for agencies across Queensland to come together and share our learning and experience." Teena said. 

"I’m very appreciative of our partnership with PeakCare in the development of this forum, and I look forward to future opportunities to learn from other agencies and practitioners across our highly skilled and experienced network in Queensland.”

We Put Children First, and other strategies, have been implemented across the organisation to build a sense of shared guardianship among all our staff and carers to help keep children safe. 

One of these strategies involves talking with children about safety with Melinda Clarke, Manager Child Safe Organisation.

“The SAFE books are evidence based, high quality resources that provide clear and engaging messages to young children about safety." Said Melinda.

"They help empower and support the rights of children and promotes the concepts of them having a voice.  

"They can help children understand their emotions and help them in difficult or unsafe situations. They help children identify parts of their body that are private and they encourage children to think about their trusted network of people to help them if they feel scared, sad or upset.”

Image: Melinda is presenting on screen. She is wearing a black top and glasses. Behind her is the Life Without Barriers' logo, a cartoon of four children, and the office of the Childrens Guardian logo.

Clea North, Education Consultant, spoke about the SAFE series, resources developed by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian that employ a protective behaviours approach to support conversations with young children about safety.

“We’re very excited by the work that the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian is doing with Aboriginal educators, illustrator and advisors to develop a culturally responsive edition of the SAFE series." Said Clea.

"We know how important it is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to see themselves in the stories and drawings they access as part of their learning."

"When the First Nations edition of the SAFE series become available, we will be very keen to share them with our colleagues in the sector.”

Life Without Barriers is thankful to have received funding from the Perpetual 2022 IMPACT Philanthropy Program to enable us to provide free SAFE Series resources to OOHC agencies across Australia. 

Out-of-home care (OOHC) agencies who would like to find out more about these books and the support provided by Life Without Barriers to implement can email safebooks@lwb.org.au for more information.

Image: Diagram of protective behaviours in the SAFE series. There are four pictures with text.

We Put Children First

Our stance on child safety and wellbeing.

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