A local police officer, a southern suburbs primary school and an Aboriginal yarning group have been named among more than 50 finalists in the inaugural South Australian Child Protection Awards.

A local police officer, a southern suburbs primary school and an Aboriginal yarning group have been named among more than 50 finalists in the inaugural South Australian Child Protection Awards, going above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of the state’s most vulnerable children and young people.

The awards celebrate the incredible efforts of child protection partners including health, education, the non-government sector, philanthropists, carers and volunteers. The winners will be announced at a breakfast awards ceremony on September 8 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, during National Child Protection Week, which runs September 5 – 11.

Almost 200 nominations from throughout South Australia were received across 12 categories.

Department for Child Protection Chief Executive Cathy Taylor said the judges were impressed with the high quality of entrants, which highlighted the collaborative approach required for child protection.

“These are our first-ever partner awards and they build on DCP’s Staff Recognition Awards. We’ve been blown away by the response from our staff, partners, carers and volunteers in putting forward worthy nominations to ensure those who are doing exceptional work are celebrated,” Ms Taylor said.

“The nominations received really showcase that child protection isn’t just the business of the Department for Child Protection. It is the business of the whole community to ensure children and young people are not only safe and well cared for, but can grow up with opportunities that support them to thrive and succeed in life.

“All of the finalists should be incredibly proud of the difference they are making in the lives of at-risk children and young people. They’ve demonstrated outstanding and innovative approaches and we look forward to celebrating our partners and announcing the winners on September 8.”

Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson thanked those who nominated, as well as those named finalists, for their commitment to supporting South Australian children and young people.

“A strong focus of these awards is to recognise our partners, including those who have committed to supporting children and young people in care reach their educational, health and developmental outcomes, and future needs into adulthood,” she said.
“There are so many amazing organisations and individuals helping young South Australians in care or at risk of entering care reach their full potential and I’m thrilled we’re able to celebrate them in this way.”

NAPCAN CEO Richard Cooke said: "NAPCAN is extremely pleased to be able to support the inaugural SA Child Protection Awards.
"These awards are an important way to recognise the great work that is being done every day and to highlight what effective child protection looks like on the ground.

"NAPCAN encourages South Australians to commend the people around them who are working to protect children, and to look at ways that each and every one of us can play our part in preventing child abuse and neglect.”

National Child Protection Week (5-11 September) is an annual event and this year’s theme is “Every child, in every community, needs a fair go”. It aims to spread the message that to treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.

For more information about the SA Child Protection Awards, visit http://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/awards

For more information about how to get involved with National Child Protection Week, visit https://www.napcan.org.au/national-child-protection-week/