Act for Kids is continuing to ensure that we provide vital support to children and families across South East Queensland and Sydney following the announcement of extended lockdowns.
Our teams in the affected regions have quickly transitioned to telehealth services where possible for client sessions.
Act for Kids Chief Executive Officer Doctor Katrina Lines says it is business as usual for the organisation despite the lockdowns in multiple states.
“We are again embracing technology to support children, young people and their families as restrictions are placed on many communities where our services operate, including Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, and Sydney regions,” 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.”
Unfortunately, we know children are more at-risk of abuse and neglect while being stuck at home, often with their perpetrators.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Child Protection in the time of COVID-19 report showed notifications of abuse and neglect dropped off during lockdowns last year (AIHW COVID-19), however services including Act for Kids, experienced a significant increase in demand once restrictions eased.
“As families continue to face increasing pressures, financial stress and mental health challenges we must work hard to protect our vulnerable people in the community, particularly children,” Dr Lines said.
Act for Kids is encouraging families to keep an extra eye on children, during these uncertain times.
“Make sure you monitor their online devices, keep conversations about COVID-19 age appropriate and reassure children the authorities are working really hard to keep everyone safe.”
It is also likely many families will be impacted by domestic violence, during these latest lockdowns.
“We know during times of uncertainty and hardship cases of domestic and family violence increase, which is why it important to check in with family, relatives and friends,” Dr Lines explained.
Act for Kids is urging everyone to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling. A list of support services is below.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Family & Child Connect: 13 32 64
DV Connect: 1800 811 811
DV Mensline: 1800 600 636
Sexual Assault: 1800 010 120
DV Support: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 738)