It’s Easier To Be Approved To Work With Vulnerable Children In Australia Than Sell Alcohol

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses child abuse.

Training to work with vulnerable children is easier than becoming a bartender, according to experts who say that “urgent action” needs to be taken to prevent abuse in care.

The Australian Childhood Foundation called on the Victorian Government to strengthen the application process for a Working With Children Check, saying mandatory abuse prevention education must be a part of the programme.

In the Hear Us Now, Act Now report presented on Thursday, it said that the Working With Children Check was too easy to get, and simple changes could be implemented to ensure children are better protected and adults recognise signs of abuse.

The report was presented to the Victorian Government on Thursday. Image: Getty.

The Working with Children Check is a screening process that assesses people who work with or care for children. It includes a criminal history and previous employment check, but no formal training.

“Victims and survivors have been advocating for changes in community understanding so that adults are better equipped to know how to identify the signs of abuse and feel confident to be able to take action to protect children,” said Australian Childhood Foundation CEO Joe Tucci.

“This research makes is so abundantly clear that children cannot afford for us to wait any longer.”

It came after the children’s charity conducted a survey on the experiences of child sexual abuse survivors, in which it spoke to 339 victims and survivors.

Many survivors said they wished that adults around them had noticed signs they were being abused, had known how to speak to them, or knew how to better respond when told of abuse.

“It is crucial for the community to recognise the danger that children are exposed to in their own families, in their community and online,” Tucci said

“It would be so simple to add mandatory training to the application process, [and] it would enable adults to have the knowledge and confidence to stand up and protect children if they were concerned about their safety.”

The recommendation was built on years of previous research by the charity, in which it found that high numbers of adults did not believe children who reported abuse.

It also found that many adults did not recognise signs of abuse, and would not know what to do if a child was being abused.

The report was presented to the Victorian Government on Thursday, with the charity hoping the changes would be go on to be adopted by other governments around Australia. It says that with better education, children can be protected, listened to and healed.

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