Woe or Wellbeing?Creating a Child Friendly Macarthur Region
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About NAPCAN Foundation
NAPCAN Foundation was founded in 1987 as Australia’s first national communityorganization working to prevent abuse and neglect of children, before it starts. Today,NAPCAN works to achieve this mission by working in partnership with communities tobecome child friendly, free of harm to children and young people.A Child Friendly Community provides children and young people with opportunities foroptimal growth and development: socially, emotionally, culturally and spiritually. Itembodies a life free from harmful or abusive behaviours, systems and services. Families,parents and carers are supported within the community and readily access help whenexperiencing difficulties. Children and young people are valued, respected and activelyincluded in the community.The challenges faced by Macarthur described above are in fact shared by all Australians.A child is abused in Australia every 13 minutes – more than 40,000 per year – andexperts believe this is the tip of a much larger problem.NAPCAN believes that abuse and neglect of children is Australia’s most serious socialproblem. The life lasting consequences increase the risk of unemployment, mental andphysical illness, crime and substance abuse to name just a few. The economic costs weremost recently calculated to be $5.5 billion per year – more than our annual meatexports!
About National Child Protection Week
In 1990 NAPCAN created National Child Protection Week and has continued to coordinatethe Week since then. The goals of National Child Protection Week are to inspireindividuals and communities to take responsibility for the wellbeing and protection of children, and support and sustain these actions to be all-year-round initiatives.
Figure 2 National Child Protection Week Event, 2005
In 2003 nearly 100,000 people participated in one of 737 events across Australiaundertaken as part of National Child Protection Week. Hundreds of media stories,interviews, and campaigns had a combined circulation of 17 million people.