Child Abuse Awareness in Australia
Basil Hanna, Chief Executive Officer at Parkerville Children and Youth Care, visited our offices on 12 June 2015 to create greater awareness of their work and the issue of child abuse in Australia. Basil hopes that by continuing to generate awareness, he will encourage people to become advocates for their cause and share their vision for a community that is free from child abuse so that all their children have the opportunity to grow to their full potential. The home to Basil spoke about the Parkerville Home which protects and cares for the protects and cares for the most vulnerable children and youth in our community through the provision of a therapeutic environment that utilises a range of professional services. Their core business remains their response to the “high needs child”. Many of these children and youth have suffered chronic histories of multiple abuse and display a range of trauma-related behaviours. Out of Home Care for children and youth remain their core business, however, Parkerville Children and Youth Care also offers valuable outreach services and programmes to the wider community for children, youth and families in need. Their programmes are designed to be outcome focused for the children and youth for whom they provide care. There is an emphasis on individualised care plans to meet the needs of each and every child or young person. They strive to make a positive difference to the lives of all children and youth who come into their care. It is an unnerving reality in 21st century Australia that one in four girls and one in six boys will be abused before they reach 18 years of age; that is 1 in 10 of our children. Whether the abuse is physical, sexual or emotional, through neglect or exposure to domestic violence; the impact of the trauma is just as devastating, affecting the developmental pathways of the child’s brain. Without intervention and treatment, these children will remain developmentally delayed, cognitively, emotionally and intellectually impaired; plagued by mental illness, suffering depression, anxiety and suicide; addiction to drugs or alcohol; with a predisposition to criminal activity; an inability to form relationships; a potential abuser of their own children and an ongoing burden to society where, inevitably, they become part of our social exclusion data. The good news is that, using a therapeutic approach, they are able to return these children and young people to full health, giving them the best chance at a happy and fulfilling life. Each year they work with more than 2000 children, young people and families throughout Western Australia delivering programmes and services to help them recover from their trauma; to obtain the tools and knowledge to be a better family; to become happy, confident parents to happy, confident children; to overcome poverty and homelessness. Parkerville Children and Youth Care take a strong proactive approach to their mission, working with over twenty schools in the Perth metropolitan area giving students the tools to better manage their emotions and understand their interactions with others. They also give their staff the tools to better understand the needs of children who have suffered abuse and/or come from vulnerable backgrounds. Leach Legal donates $1 from every invoice to Parkerville Children and Youth Care and we are very proud to be associated with them and especially proud of the work they do.