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GET INVOLVED - FAMILY/FRIENDS

NAPCAN > Get Involved – Me And My Friends/Family

NEIGHBOURS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING AND HELPING EACH OTHER AND WORKING TOWARDS A SAFE AND INCLUSIVE NEIGHBOURHOOD.

  • Be a positive role model. Be aware of your behaviour, what you say, how you say it and the way you act Children and young people learn from the people they spend time with, so make your influence positive!
  • Build positive relationships with the children and their families in your neighbourhood. Smile, say hello, remember their names and listen to them when needed. This shows young people that they are important in their community, and that you care.
  • Talk to your neighbours and take the time to build relationships among parents in your street, apartment building or in your community. Know where your children and young people are and get to know the families that they enjoy visiting.
  • Offer to care for your neighbour’s children or practical help – like shopping – to new parents. Offering a helping hand provides an opportunity for parents to rest or spend some time together.
  • If everyone in the neighbourhood works together to make protecting children everyone’s business this will increase the circle of people your child knows and can learn from which increases their safety.
  • Welcome newcomers, make up a “Welcome Pack” with information on local schools, playgroups, child health centres, kids sporting clubs, music lessons, the closest all night chemist, etc.
  • If you’re worried about someone, offer help or recommend where they can access help to strengthen their family’s resilience and resources.
  • Care for your neighbourhood. By offering to hold a ‘clean up your street’ day you recognise and share the impact of a clean environment on young people’s wellbeing.
  • Get the kids in your street to map your neighbourhood. Talk to them about safety and ask them to identify the places where they don’t feel safe. Let them know that it is the adults’ responsibility to do something about it!
  • Include your neighbours in an emergency plan. When something unexpected happens, neighbours are often the people to get assistance from. Involving children and young people in your planning ensures that they feel included and are informed.
  • Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for neighbours.

TRAVIS GRACE : PHOTOGRAPHER, SYDNEY

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE AND CARED FOR IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

 

As a neighbour in my community, I try to be an active role model for local children. I coach oz-tag at local schools, so children can find friends and it’s also about actively communicating with them.

I also work actively with Aboriginal Youth over the past two years, as I am a professional photographer. I teach them about photography and help them discover their own feeling for the art of photography. We held an exhibition together at the Casula Powerhouse.

Coming from a dysfunctional background myself, I find it important to listen to children and help them make decisions in their own life, without judgment. Kids should be kids and be able to enjoy their childhood and be surrounded by positive people.

JOHANNA BELL : NEIGHBOUR, DARWIN

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE AND CARED FOR IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

 

Lots of my friends and neighbours have young families. I try to help out wherever I can: babysitting; playing with their kids; going on excursions, reading kids books and just generally hanging out. I talk to my friends about their parenting experiences – the good bits and the hard bits. It’s not easy being a new parent and sometimes, the best way to support friends is just by listening. “My mates and I” also try to plan social activities so that people with kids can join in. When people have young children it’s easy for them to feel isolated from their social networks.

AUNTS/UNCLES PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY ENCOURAGING FAMILIES TO SPEND TIME TOGETHER AND STRENGTHEN THEIR FAMILY CONNECTIONS.

  • Be a friend to parents that you know. Offer support, reassurance and practical help if they seem to be struggling.
  • Be a positive role model. Children and young people learn from the people that they spend time with, so make your influence positive.
  • Spend time with children and young people in your life. By playing, listening and learning from them, you show them that they are important.
  • Create opportunities for all the children/ young people in your family to spend time together.
  • If possible, offer to be an emergency contact for the family. Make sure that the children/young people know that you are the emergency contact too so they feel included.
  • Reach out to new and young parents. It can be a tough time so keep reminding them you can help.
  • Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.
  • When you see or hear of good things happening make sure you let the family know and congratulate them.

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for neighbours.

DAVID MAC CARRICK

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

I listen to my niece. Then I challenge assumptions with gentle questioning. Then I listen some more… both to her thoughts and my knee jerk reactions which I try to suppress. I am constantly amazed at her robust ability to deal with life. I guess I provide her with a context in which to express an aspect of herself that she may not show in the context of her loving parents. Shine on!
She inspires me.

KEN

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE AND CARED FOR IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

 

When my brother was separating from his partner I just did what I needed to do. I made a big effort not to get drawn into taking sides, but just being there and available to my nephews and nieces. Of course I had a role of being supportive to the adults too, but I made sure I remained neutral for the kids’ sake.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY BEING SUPPORTIVE, CARING AND LOOKING OUT FOR EACH OTHER.

  • Be a positive role model for your siblings to learn from. Be aware of your behaviour and take responsibility for it  – what you say, how you say it and the way you act. Children and young people learn from the people they spend time with, so make your influence positive!
  • Be a good listener, support and encourage your brother/sister.
  • Understand that families have good times and hard times.
  • Enjoy spending time with your brother / sister and give yourself  time apart from your family too.
  • If you are worried that your brother/ sister is unhappy, scared or unsafe encourage them to speak to an adult that they trust. This person could be a parent, teacher, counsellor. You can offer to go with them for extra support.
  • If you are old enough, offer to spend time with your brother/sister. Take them to the park, play outside with them, or do some other activities to make your relationship even stronger.

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for neighbours.

PAUL WILBERFORCE : FARMER

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

I am a brother, a father, an uncle and a farmer. I feel that my role is to educate the young people around me, this will help them grow. Children past a certain age don’t need everything done for them, they need to know how to do it for themselves so one day they can teach others.

GRANDPARENTS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY CARING FOR AND NURTURING FAMILIES, AS WELL AS PROVIDING SUPPORT, REASSURANCE AND LOVE.

  • Spend time with children and young people in your life. By playing, listening and learning from them, you show them that they are important.
  • Create opportunities for all the children/young people in your family to spend time together.
  • Be a positive role model. Children and young people learn from the people that they spend time with, so make your influence positive.
  • If possible, offer to be an emergency contact for the family. Make sure that the children/young people know that you are the emergency contact too so they feel included.
  • Be a friend to parents that you know. Parenting can be tough, especially for new and young parents. Keep reminding them that you are there to help.
  • Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.
  • Congratulate families and young people when you see or hear good things happening.

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for neighbours.

"NAN" : ABORIGINAL GRANDMOTHER FROM DUBBO, NSW

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

I am known as Nan to all the children in my community. The children come around to our house to hang about, play and in most cases, just talk. They have complete respect for me and there is no swearing! All I try to do with my family is to make the local kids feel safe and always welcome. They come to me if they are in trouble or having problems at school and want to talk about something. So I ask them why something has happened and try to get to the bottom of problems. I have a big family myself and always prefer to have the young adults rather at my house doing nonsense (drinking), rather than not knowing where they are.

MICHELLE ROSE : TEACHER

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

As a grandparent I felt it was imperative for me to take leave from my employer and offer my support to my grandchildren, when my daughter and son-in-law were both recovering from an operation requiring hospitalisation. On other occasions I have offered my support and understanding to mothers in my community, as they struggled with removing a baby from a car capsule and having a mobile child venturing toward moving cars. I held the child’s hand until the mother was able to take over the role of caring for her toddler. On a number of occasions when shopping I have observed a young child wandering around without parental/adult supervision, calling for their mother. I have taken this child to the service desk, where it was publicly announced the whereabouts of the child. Here I stayed with the child and shop staff until the child identified the parent when an adult approached. Recently in my doctor’s overcrowded waiting room, I offered my support by holding and bottle feeding an upset baby whilst the mother tried to comfort her five-year-old sick child and lead him into the doctor’s room.

FRIENDS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING EACH OTHER.

AS A FRIEND TO AN ADULT:

Be a good listener. Sometimes people just want to talk and feel listened to. Don’t judge.
Be interested in your friend’s life and how they are feeling about being a parent.
Offer to give your friend some ‘time out’ from the children.
Bring over a cooked meal or offer to help with some housework.
If you are really worried about your friend, and/or their children encourage them to talk to someone that may be able to help them.

AS AN ADULT FRIEND TO A CHILD/YOUNG PERSON:

Be a good listener. If a child or young person trusts you to tell you something then listen and don’t judge and believe what they tell you.
Encourage the child/young person to talk to their parents / carers if it is safe.
If you are really worried about a child/ young person encourage them to talk to someone that may be able to help and support them if appropriate. There may be situations where your concern may lead you to contacting child protection authorities and/or the police.

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for friends.

STEVE BAXTER

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

I am a 16-year-old boy from South Australia. I try to play my part to keep children safe who are involved in our local footy team, and be an active role model for the younger kids on the team. I try to show them what you can achieve when trying your best, and that it’s not always about winning in sports and in life in general. We want to show them it is about fun playing sports and the community feeling you get when playing with your mates.

MARGARET

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

Since my husband died I have been trying to get involved in the community some more. I have been spending some time at the local primary school, teaching the young kids how to knit. I spend so much time knitting, it is lovely to share it with the students. I knit lots of babies clothes and sell them to raise money for different organisations such as Red Cross.

PARENTS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY SHOWING HOW TO HAVE RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS.

  • Being a parent can be challenging. Accept offers of help (especially the ones where cooked meals are involved!)
  • Link in with services that support you – New Parent Groups and Playgroups can be fantastic.
  • Parenting isn’t always easy. Share your experiences and skills with other parents – it can help you realise that you are not alone!
  • It’s ok to reach out and ask for support, from family, friends, services, health professionals and so on.
  • Discover what helps reduce your stress and assists you to best care for your children.Listen to your children and involve them in planning things as a family.
  • Play with your children. It can be as simple as a game of “peek-a-boo” or reading to them. Playing with children helps build a positive relationship and connection and most of all it is fun!
  • Take time out when you feel stressed or upset – look after yourself. Parenting can be positive – notice the good times too.
    Make plans for enjoyable “family time” – this can help build close relationships.
  • Talk about safety with your children. Talk about what being unsafe might look and feel like at home, in their community, online or at school. Make plans about what to do if they feel unsafe.
  • Parenting courses can help you be the best you can be.
  • Celebrate your children, their achievements, values and interests and support them when times are tough. This will build a strong family that is loving and safe.
  • Get involved in your community. Joining groups such as for sporting activities will help you and your children to have fun and meet people.

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for parents.

GRACE & JEREMY

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

Being a parent is one of the best things that happened to us. But it also means a lot of things change; now we are responsible for our own little person!

We try to make our house a safe and fun place for our girl to grow up in by playing, reading, dancing, drawing and laughing heaps and eating lots of different healthy and yummy food. As parents, we want the best for her and understanding that our behaviour affects her and shapes her future life, has been a great learning experience for us. We know that there will also be hard times when our daughter will cry and feel sad sometimes, but that is a part of life and we will listen, sit with her and hug her to make sure she knows she is loved.

Sometimes it can be hard balancing work, study and parenting and it gets frustrating and tiring but we made a decision not to smack our daughter because its normally comes from a place of anger and instead we try and set firm boundaries and look at other ways to teach her the right way to do things.

ALEXANDRA BENNETT

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

As a mother of two small children I know too well how demanding being a parent can be at times. I am a big believer in the notion that it takes a village to raise a child so I built a village around me. I think it is important to be honest to other parents about the weaknesses we all sometimes have and the challenges we face as that makes them more likely to share their own and ask for help. Sometimes it is enough to have someone to talk to, but other times you need more practical help. I have looked after my friends’ children on numerous occasions when their parents had appointments or the like. Or when I know that they are very busy, like after the birth of a child, I bring a meal over or offer to do some shopping for them. If you support a parent you help a child.

GUYLEEN

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

Growing up as an Aboriginal woman, I know what some of the struggles and hardships of life are out there. I don’t want my children growing up around some of the hard stuff I did, so I try to surround them with lots of positive things and practice strong family bonds. Both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal people teach them about the great things of their culture. We go to Aboriginal play groups and the medical centre, because it has been a really supportive and accepting place to talk at and meet new mums. It is nice to just sit around and have a laugh with other mums as well; I used to go there as a baby and the ladies, who work at the medical centre, remember me as well. Seeing my daughter learning and growing up and knowing I had something to do with that is amazing and when she looks at me and smiles it makes me feel so happy.

PARTNERS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY BEING GOOD ROLE MODELS WHO TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT.

-Treat your partner with respect and love.
-Be a good listener and be interested in your partner’s life.
-Be aware of your behaviour and take responsibility for it  – what you say and how you say it.
-Understand that there are good and hard times.
-Support and encourage your partner.
-Enjoy spending time together and time apart.

If you are in an adult relationship where your partner has children:
-Be a positive role model. Be aware of your behaviour, what you say, how you say it and the way you act. Children and young people learn from the people they spend time with, so make your influence positive!
-Understand that your partner is a parent as well as your partner and that children and young people can be demanding and need a lot of attention.

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for partners.

LUKE TAYLOR

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

My girlfriend and I have been together for a year now. It is pretty tough with being in high school and having a rather serious relationship. Balancing life around school work, time for your girlfriend, time for your mates, but also time to surf can be difficult, but my girlfriend and I try to support each other as best as we can. She has two younger brothers so in front of them I don’t swear or talk badly about other people.

SIMON MARTIN

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

I have no children of my own but have many children in my life. I enjoy the time I spend with my partner’s extended family, as well as my nieces and nephews. I like to joke around and behave like a goofy kid with them but I am always sure to remind myself what a big responsibility I have to be a positive and caring role model as well as to be honest and listen to what their views are. I sometimes think that children are underestimated in their ability to really understand the world around them and I have better talks with them than I do some of my own friends. I remember the adults that spoke to me when I was little and didn’t make me feel like a silly baby.

YOUNG PEOPLE PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY BEING A POSITIVE INFLUENCE AND STANDING UP FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IF THEY NEED SUPPORT.

Be a positive role model. Children look up to those who are older than them, so make your influence positive.
Find ways to connect with other young people in your area. This might be through sport, drama, music or by spending time in your local park. Look out for new people and make them feel included and welcome.

AS A FRIEND:

AS A YOUNG PERSON

-Treat your partner with respect and love.
-Be a good listener and be interested in your partner’s life.
-Be aware of your behaviour and take responsibility for it, what you say and how you say it.
-Understand that there are good times and hard times.
-Support and encourage your partner.
-Enjoy spending time together and spending time apart.

IF YOURE A YOUNG CARER:

Download PDF

Download the Play Your Part factsheet for neighbours.

VANESSA LOCKE

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

Being a young person of 19 years-of-age and having two younger siblings I feel that I am a role model for them and all their friends in the community. One of my siblings has an intellectual disability making him and the friends he goes to school with even more vulnerable in the community. I feel a responsibility to make others understand tolerance and acceptance of children who have any kind of disability, as inclusion and support is key to a healthy environment for all.

VICTORIA C : YFOUNDATIONS AND ULTIMO TAFE, SYDNEY

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY:

 

I have participated in the Love Bites program. Currently studying youth work, where I am learning about protecting young people and being aware of their needs and helping young people create a future that they want for themselves. I am also doing work placement at Yfoundations where I am involved in advocacy, policy work, learning about sexual health and young people, youth homelessness and juvenile justice. I am keeping children safe and cared for in my community by educating myself about the issues and concerns for the young people in Australia.