To treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.
Globally there have been concerns that children will be particularly vulnerable during COVID-19 based on experiences from previous crises including outbreaks, natural disasters, and financial downturns. During the 2008 Global Financial crisis in the United States, the rates of child neglect increased alongside growing economic hardship. In Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola epidemic, more than half (55%) of children surveyed indicated the violence against children had increased in their community compared with before Ebola.
A review of various research on emergencies and natural disasters found that while the rate of violence against children does increase during times of crisis, the reported rate of violence is less than the actual rate due to weakened child protection systems and reporting mechanisms (Seddighi et al. 2019).
Children have been less visible to school personnel for longer periods, due to the implementation of remote learning, optional on-site attendance, partial/staged return, and student-free days in response to COVID-19. This has potentially limited opportunities for child abuse and neglect to be detected and reported. In Victoria, there was a second drop in notifications from school personnel over July to September 2020, when COVID-19-related school restrictions were put in place during the ‘second wave’
At KDH, we provide care to children in various departments across our organisation. As healthcare professionals, we are in a privileged position throughout this pandemic, and particularly during lockdowns, to be able to observe for indicators of violence. As health professionals, we are all mandated to report suspected child abuse.
Child Protection is everyone’s business!
This year, for Child Protection week, Kilmore District Health's Strengthening Hospital Response to Family Violence team has arranged a colouring competition, open to all children from our community.
Prizes will be awarded on Wednesday 29th of September for 0-5yr, 6-11yr, and 12-15yr age groups.
Download the document below and scan and email your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org