Nominations are now open for the 2022 SA Child Protection Awards.

The awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of children and young people, carers, volunteers, staff and organisations from across the child protection sector.

Delivered by the Department for Child Protection (DCP) in partnership with the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) the event will be held during National Child Protection Week, on Friday 9 September at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The award categories are:

Outstanding achievement of a child or young person (or group of children/young people) who has had a care experience (up to 25 years): celebrating a child or young person’s (or group of children/young people) who has had a care experience (up to 25 years) achievement.

The Voice of Children and Young People in care: recognising an individual or organisation who has supported the voice of children and young people in care to be heard in decisions that impact them.

Active Efforts Award: recognising an individual or organisation who has made outstanding active efforts to implement the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle, including the precursor element Identification and/or one or more of the core elements of Prevention, Partnership, Placement, Participation and Connection.

Positive Impact Award: this award provides children and young people with a care experience, up to the age of 25, the opportunity to nominate someone such as a carer, support worker or agency who has made a positive difference to their lives, particularly through assisting them to have a voice.

Outstanding Service Awards in the following categories:

  • Non-government organisations
  • Across Government
  • Department for Child Protection
  • Regional

These awards recognise an individual’s or team’s contribution to outstanding services to better care for and protect children and young people.

South Australian Foster Carer of the Year: recognises assessed and approved foster, specific-child only and Long Term Guardianship (Specified Person) carers, who have made a significant contribution to the lives of children and young people in care.

South Australian Kinship Carer of the Year: recognises assessed and approved kinship carers, who have made a significant contribution to the lives of children and young people in care.

Volunteer of the Year: recognising the invaluable contributions to child protection made by volunteers working in government or non-government agencies.

Department for Child Protection Chief Executive Cathy Taylor said last year’s inaugural awards attracted more than 200 nominations and encouraged South Australians who are making a difference in the lives of children and young people in care to nominate.

“It’s so important we publicly acknowledge the efforts and commitment of those who make a significant contribution to child protection in South Australia,” she said.

“I encourage our cross-government partners, and the broader community, to nominate those who are making a significant difference and helping us to create a system that is joined up, responsive and accountable.

Minister for Child Protection Katrine Hildyard said: “as Minister, I am deeply committed to keeping children in care in my mind and heart as I undertake my responsibilities; responsibilities that I am so honoured to have.”

“Every South Australian child deserves to be safe, cared for and loved,” Minister Hildyard said.

“Ensuring this is so is not something one person nor indeed one department nor organisation can do on its own. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that children are safe, well, and free from abuse or neglect.

“There a number of people who take on that responsibility. It takes a very special person to open their hearts, their homes and their lives to a child in need; if you know of someone who works tirelessly in the community to protect, nurture and/or support children, please consider nominating them in recognition of their generous effort and focus on improving outcomes for children so they can physically, mentally and emotionally thrive.”

NAPCAN Chief Executive Officer Richard Cooke said National Child Protection Week would continue to embrace the theme ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’.

"It is a time to remind the whole community that child abuse and neglect is preventable, and that it has an impact on all of us, now and into the future,” he said.

"These awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise South Australians who are playing their part in creating the safe and supportive environments that every child needs."

To find out more about the awards, visit www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/awards

Nominations close on Monday 1 August 2022.