Vulnerable children and families in Gladstone who have suffered sexual abuse or display harmful sexual behaviours can now receive life-changing support and trauma therapy, as leading child protection organisation Act for Kids opens their doors on Glenlyon Street.
The centre was officially opened by Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher.
Act for Kids Chief Executive Officer Dr Katrina Lines said the trauma of sexual abuse in childhood can have severe, life-long consequences.
“Trauma from sexual abuse can impact a child’s brain development, how they feel and think about themselves, how successful they are at school, even their physical development and skills,” Dr Lines said.
“In the long term, untreated child abuse and neglect can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, difficulty developing and maintaining good relationships, unemployment and all sorts of social disadvantages.”
“At Act for Kids, we help children and young people understand that what happened wasn’t their fault, and work with them on ways that they can reclaim their physical and emotional space and confidence.”
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher welcomed Act for Kids to Gladstone.
“It’s is a great honour to formally open the new Act for Kids centre here in Gladstone to help build better futures for at-risk children and their families,” Mr Butcher said.
“As Gladstone has grown, so have the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.
“Act for Kids is a respected organisation that has been rebuilding the lives of vulnerable young Queenslanders for more than three decades.
“The Palaszczuk Government is spending $1.3 billion in Child Safety this year alone to build a better system for young Queenslanders in need and supporting organisations like Act for Kids.
“Act for Kids is an incredibly important early invention service to support traumatised children and their families and keep them out of the child protection system.”
The evidence-based program is funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, and is tailored to meet the individual needs of children, young people and their families.
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