Act for Kids is urging parents and carers to keep an extra close eye on children and young people as the ongoing lockdowns across Australia continue to significantly impact livelihoods.
“Unfortunately, the lockdowns pose an added layer of risk for vulnerable children, young people and their families, who are facing extended periods of time isolated in lockdown,” Doctor Katrina Lines, Act for Kids Chief Executive Officer explained.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Living with COVID Report found notifications for child abuse and neglect dropped significantly while children were in lockdown between March and September last year. However when lockdowns lifted services such as Act for Kids experienced an increase in demand for its services.
“Worryingly, we know reports of abuse or neglect usually made by schools, police or child protection authorities decreased because children spent more time at home, often with their perpetrators,” Dr Lines said.
“Our dedicated teams are committed to making sure children and young people who have experienced trauma or are at-risk of abuse and neglect continue to be supported during this time.”
However, Act for Kids is reminding everyone to check the welfare children and young people they know to make sure they are coping okay through the lockdown, particularly while in isolation and navigating home learning.
“We’re also encouraging adults to ensure they’re looking after their own mental health to ensure they can remain a positive role model and provide support for children during these uncertain times.
“Children’s emotions feed off the adults around them, so it’s important to remain calm when talking about the coronavirus and isolation so that children don’t pick up on any anxieties you might be feeling,” Dr Lines says.
Act for Kids recommends limiting media coverage about coronavirus, keep conversations with children age-appropriate and develop a simple routine to improve your mental health whilst in lockdown, including ways to remain physically active, eating healthy nourishing foods and having fun together.
“Another way to help stay positive in isolation, is maintaining lots of social connections. We’re urging everyone to take advantage of technology such as Facetime, Zoom, skype, calls, texting, video chat, social media and even writing letters. Keeping connected will help you feel less alone while passing time.”
Act for Kids is again reminding everyone to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling in isolation or facing unprecedented hardships.
A list of support services is available on our website: www.actforkids.com.au/news/response-to-extended-lockdowns/
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For further information, please contact Jess Mumme:
M: 0427 794 666