Professional Standards Unit
A Catholic Parent’s Guide to Keeping Their Kids Safe
The Archdiocese of Melbourne is pleased to announce the release of the Protecting God’s Children Parent Resource: A Catholic Parent’s Guide to Keeping Their Kids Safe. This protective behaviours resource is aimed at supporting Catholic parents of children aged 5-12 years. The resource helps parents teach children a range of important personal safety skills, supports the development of emotional intelligence skills and promotes a child’s understanding of the right to feel safe through engaging activities and storybooks.
Using the concept of "basket fillers", the resource begins by exploring the theme, “God gave all children the right to feel safe at all times” and sequentially builds on:
- children’s understanding of safety
- awareness of their feelings and early warning signs
- body awareness
- helping seeking strategies
- empowering children to say no in unsafe situations
- reinforcing the concept of personal space, and
- importantly the theme of “Nothing is so awful that we can’t talk with someone about it”.
Whilst we maintain that adults are ultimately responsible for maintaining safe environments for children, it is just as important to empower children to recognise when they are feeling unsafe and to tell a trusted adult (or adults) so that action is taken to help them be safe and feel safe. As children’s first and most enduring educators, parents are best placed to begin conversations with their children in an age and developmentally appropriate way. Building on the parental bond established through trust and love, these conversations model for them that it is okay to “talk about anything” and that we are approachable and “we will listen”.
Developed by Andrea Musulin (Director of Safeguarding, Catholic Archdiocese of Perth), this resource has been adapted by our Professional Standards Unit (PSU) for use by families within the Melbourne Archdiocese. We also thank Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB (Archbishop of Perth) for making the resource available to us.
Further Resources for Child Protection Week
To mark the week locally, the Professional Standards Unit has made the following resources available for use in family or parish settings:
Liturgical resources for Child Protection Sunday (13 September)
Each year, the Church in Australia marks Child Protection Sunday on the second Sunday of September (13 September). These resources have been prepared by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, in collaboration with Catholic Religious Australia, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, the Professional Standards Unit and the National Office for Liturgy:
We encourage families to make use of the prayer resources which could be included as part of a family liturgy or used as prayer before meals.