Child Protection Legislation Training doesn’t have to be focussed on Legislation

At CarersEd we ensure that participants come away from our Child Protection training filled with real life understanding of how to protect children, well beyond a simple understanding of legislation.

Dry Reading

Often when I hear of others experiences of legislative training, I hear of dry readings through boring pieces of legislation, with little passion in the training or trainer.

For CarersEd protecting children is a passion, and that comes through in our training. This passion is passed onto participants through our Child Protection Training. Instead of simply passing on cold legislative facts, we share stories and our experience. This is so participants take home connections between life and legislation.  It makes concrete the reason for the training – to protect children.

A Grim Story

One of the stories we share behind current Child Protection Legislation is that of the Hatpin murders. The murder of 13 babies occurred in the 1890’s involving a practice known as Baby Farming.  Baby farming involved taking on custody of an infant in exchange for payment. Sarah and John Makin paid unmarried mothers of new babies, to take on care of the baby when the mothers could not. This was unregulated and often the result of a newspaper advertisement. The young mother listed their baby for a cash payment.

Unfortunately for these 13 babies, the exact causes of their deaths was never found. Constable James Joyce, who was instrumental in the hunt for the bodies, told The Sydney Morning Herald about bloodstains on the children’s clothing, He believed they had been stabbed in the heart with a large needle, hence the name “hatpin murders”. Sarah and John Makin were charged with multiple cases of murder, burying the babies bodies in the backyard of various homes they lived in from 1890-1893.

Figure 1 An image of the Makin's house.
A Positive Outcome

Despite the grim story and the tragic loss of life, there was a positive outcome. As a result of the court case, the New South Wales Legislative Assembly established the Children’s Protection Act in 1892. This piece of legislation began to regulate the adoption of children. It also made it an offence to fail to report the death of an infant. That Act was the birthplace of current child protection legislation, although it has evolved considerably over more than a century.

Practical Training Strategies
Our Focus

CarersEd focus our training on the positive steps that can be made to protect the lives of children. We focus on positive outcomes for children within our training which means participants are not dragged into presentations of dry legislation. CarersEd training participants come away with practical strategies for protecting children systems for remembering the categories of harm. We provide guidance on remaining calm and reassuring children during disclosures in our Response to Disclosure Training for New South Wales and Queensland. We encourage participants to recognise the bravery of a child and to allow the child to maintain control during a disclosure as… “the child is often telling us about difficult circumstances. These abusive circumstances often lead to a loss of the child’s control which is why we need to ensure the child keeps a sense of control throughout the disclosure.”

Children First

At CarersEd, we share strategies in our New South Wales and Queensland Child Protection training to ensure our participants are focussed on children first, not legislation. We use case studies to make the categories of abuse recognisable, not simply a section of the legislation.  Chen’s parent is neglecting to provide him with basic medical care . Fatima goes to school with inadequate food for the day. Both case studies allow us to introduce strategies for taking a child focussed perspective.

Safety Networks

We empower adults to empower children to seek out support through our Safety Networks training. Introducing feeling unsafe, we talk about butterflies in the stomach and other body signs and thoughts and what the difference is between feeling butterflies for example at the top of a rollercoaster and feeling these when we are actually unsafe.

We’ve come a long way

Whilst we have come a long way since the 1890’s, legislation is constantly changing to better protect children. At CarersEd we ensure that participants come away from our New South Wales and Queensland Mandatory Reporters Child Protection training filled with real life understanding of current legislation. Of more importance we ensure they complete our training with a shared passion around using this legislation to protect the children they engage with.

Play your part to keep children safe