Desert Blue Connect are Celebrating National Children’s Week

Early years organisations and service providers, families and communities are participating in activities from 21-29 October 2017to mark National Children’s Week celebrations. Children’s Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood.

The Midwest Early Years Network is organising a “Fun on the Foreshore” on Thursday 26th October 2017, from 9am to 12 noonat the Foreshore behind the waterpark. A variety of local early years learning organisations and service providers will be there providing activities and education to children and parents. Entry is free and aimed at children 0-4 years and their families. 

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“Desert Blue Connect will have an activity station at the event where we will have squishy stress balls and we will be doing a helping hands collage mural. Both these link with our protective behaviours program, a personal safety program for children that we offer in Childcare Centres”, said Sarah O’Malley, Community Educator at Desert Blue Connect. 

“It’s important to start educating children at a young age about their right to feel safe, identifying safe and unsafe feelings and knowing that they can talk to someone if something doesn’t feel right, and who those people are”.

“The activities are aimed to soothe and calm unsettled children and the helping hand mural is aimed at helping children identify who in their network is a safe person to talk to” said Ms. O’Malley.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Child protection Australia 2015-16, there was 355,935 notifications involving around 224,487 children, a rate of 42.0 per 1,000 children in Australia. 

1 in 33 children received child protection services, with 73% being repeat clients 162,175 (1 in 33) children had an investigation, care and protection order and/or were placed in out-of-home care.

Ann Watts is the Child Sexual Assault Therapeutic Service Counsellor at Desert Blue Connect. “I am here to help families and children recover from the harmful impacts of sexual assault, which often involve intense feelings of grief and anger”, said Ms. Watts. 

“Here, parents are encouraged to support their child recover from sexual abuse by gaining knowledge, understanding and using appropriate strategies. We seek to support the child and family’s recovery by offering therapeutic intervention. We do this by identifying feelings and thoughts, offering safety and protective behaviours, and empowerment.”

The Child Sexual Assault Therapy Service is available free to children and their families and is available Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm. Self-referrals are welcome from families with any concerns.

For bookings ring 08 9964 2742 Desert Blue Studio, 25 Chapman Road, Geraldton, further information email info@desertblueconnect.org.au

If you feel unsafe or would like confidential advice please call:

  • WA Police for immediate help 000
  • Desert Blue Connect – Geraldton 9964 2472
  • 1800 respect on 1800 737 732
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