Baptcare foster carers shortlisted for Robin Clark Memorial Awards

Baptcare foster carers shortlisted for Robin Clark Memorial Awards

"For the third consecutive year, Baptcare is proud to have two foster carers shortlisted in the “Carer of the Year” category of the Robin Clark Memorial Awards. The Robin Clark Memorial Awards are the official launch event of Child Protection Week, which in 2014 is celebrated from the 7th to the 13th September."

Child protection, foster care

FOR the third consecutive year, Baptcare is proud to have two foster carers shortlisted in the “Carer of the Year” category of the Robin Clark Memorial Awards. The Robin Clark Memorial Awards are the official launch event of Child Protection Week, which in 2014 is celebrated from the 7th to the 13th September.

The Awards recognise service provision and leadership of the highest standard that improve the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families in Victoria and awards are dedicated to the memory of Robin Dennis Clark (1936–2001), a visionary and leader who has greatly influenced current practice in Victorian child, youth and family services. In 2013, Baptcare foster carer Bev Brierty was the deserving winner of the acclaimed award.

Ms. Brierty is a strong advocate for child protection and foster carers for the part they play in providing safety and security to vulnerable children, and has, over the past few years, been a strong supporter of Baptcare’s campaign to recruit more foster carers across the Western suburbs of Melbourne.

Ms. Brierty said, “I am very passionate about foster care and of the precious children foster care helps and provides homes to in times of need. Child Protection Week and the Robin Clark Memorial Awards are wonderful initiatives that help promote the need for services such as foster care. There are so many children who desperately need foster care and I am so happy to be able to provide them with a home, safety and love.”

“I congratulate those foster carers shortlisted this year and wish all nominees the best of luck at the award presentations this week,” she added. Winners and recipients of the Highly Commended awards will be announced following the award presentations on Tuesday September 9th.

Facts about child abuse in Australia

Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia's most significant social problems. Last year over 35,000 Australian children were proven to have been abused or neglected.

In the past year, there has been a 20% surge in reported cases of abuse and neglect against children

Overall in Australia, there were over 39,000 children in foster care in 2011/2012

An average of 100 cases of children being abused or neglected in Australia were reported daily

In Victoria, there are over 6,000 children placed in Out of Home Care annually, a figure which is rising by an average of 20% per year

Child abuse can be:

Physical – non-accidental aggressive act towards a child including slapping, shaking, punching, kicking etc.

Psychological – includes rejecting, ignoring, terrorising and/or not providing emotional support and care.

Sexual – any sexual activity between a child and an adult or older person (5 or more years older). Includes fondling, oral or anal and vaginal penetration, exposing or involving a child in pornography, voyeurism etc.

Neglect – failure to provide for a child's basic needs, including not enough food, shelter, clothing, supervision, medical attention etc.

Children's exposure to Family Violence – a child being present, either hearing or seeing, while a parent or sibling is subjected to physical, sexual or psychological abuse or is exposed to damage caused by the abuser.

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