I’m very excited for the Valuing Children Initiative (VCI) by Finding 8 which states:
"Prevention and child safe education should include information about the inherent value and status of children in order to influence community views of children and help bring about the cultural shift required to keep children safe."
This finding is undoubtedly influenced by VCI’s work over the last three years highlighting the importance of valuing children and the need for a cultural shift in communities. Vicky and the VCI small team have been working hard at this and it’s satisfying to see a tangible result of their work..
As stated on P21/22 of the report:
"Children are safer when they are valued, their rights are respected and their best interests are paramount.90 As the Western Australian Council of Social Services (WACOSS) has pointed out, prevention education should include information about the value and status of children in order to influence community views of children and help bring about the cultural shift required to keep children safe.91
2.15 According to the submission from the Valuing Children Initiative, without strategies to highlight children’s ‘inherent value to both individual families and society,’ effort to improve child safety through implementing structural tools like child safe standards will ‘always only be a partial response.’92 The Committee supports this view, noting evidence that children are more at risk of abuse and neglect when they lack status, dignity and respect.93"
It’s at times such as these that the value of VCI’s work becomes evident. Advocacy such as that promoted through VCI is not easy. It can at times seem thankless effort given the enormity of the task. However, creating worthwhile, fundamental change is a slow burn and one that requires great commitment, belief as well as hard work.
Adj. Prof. Tony Pietropiccolo AM
Centrecare Director and VCI Co-Founder