At Hillsong Church, we are proud of the part we play in creating safe and supportive environments for children and young people.
National Child Protection Week (4-10 September) is an annual event starting on the first Sunday of September. This year’s theme, ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’, aims to spread the message that to treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to grow up safe and supported.
National Child Protection Week is all about the ways that we can all work together to build communities that support children and families. Hillsong Kids, Youth and our wider church community create safe environments for children, young people, and their families to flourish. Through weekend services and mid-week programs, children and young people build friendships with peers and connect with a team of supportive and trustworthy leaders who listen to them and care about their wellbeing.
Children are safest when they are listened to, respected and believed. All adults can play a part by ‘tuning in’ to children in everyday situations about small worries; then they are much more likely to feel comfortable telling us if something big is wrong.
Talking with children about safety:
- Support children to identify trusted adults (both within the family and outside) they can talk to, if they are worried, upset, or don’t feel safe. Make sure these adults know they are on your child’s list.
- Remind children that they can talk to you or a trusted adult about anything, no matter how big or small their worry might be.
- Talk to children about how they know when they feel safe or unsafe. Help them to listen to their early warning signs (how their body feels), and to trust their feelings and instincts.
- Use everyday activities as opportunities for conversations (e.g., preparing meals and snacks, going for walks, playing, shopping). If children are used to having lots of communication, it can make it easier to talk when big or tricky issues come up.
- Be open to talking about all kinds of feelings, including anger, joy, frustration, fear, and anxiety. This helps children to develop a ‘feelings vocabulary’.
National Child Protection Week is a great time to start conversations with children and young people about feeling safe.
Find out more about Child Safety at Hillsong Church hillsong.com/australia/safechurch/parentinformation