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Children our most precious resource

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

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FBI agents, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and leading researchers are attending an international child protection conference at ECU.

The three day event, entitled Children: A Resource Most Precious, is bringing together international experts to discuss the latest research and prevention strategies for minimising child abuse and neglect.

The Minister for Child Protection; Community Services, Seniors and Volunteering; Women’s Interests; Youth, Hon. Robyn McSweeney MLC, gave the opening address.

“Children and young people are especially vulnerable in our community as they don’t have the skills, emotional maturity nor experience to deal with the adversities they are presented with,” Ms McSweeney said.

She said it was up to parents, families and the wider community to protect children.

ECU School of Psychology and Social Science Senior Lecturer Dr Vicki Banham said that while intelligence gathering and law enforcement plays a significant part in ensuring the safety of children, it is also important to empower children and communities.

“We want to give children the tools so that not only can they recognise potentially dangerous situations but can apply these tools in their everyday lives to keep themselves safe. Giving children a voice is an important element in minimising harm,” Dr Banham said.

The conference was organised by ECU, West Australian Police and the Department for Child Protection.

Its aims include examining local, national and international child protect initiatives and developing new strategies that can be successfully implemented in WA.

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