Safe Families is an early intervention program involving a coordinated approach between government agencies and communities to work together to tackle child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities. The program is being trialled in five communities over four years. The aim of Safe Families is to empower the community to keep children safe; and to build strong, healthy family and community relationships that over the long term reduce the incidence of child sexual assault and reduce offending.
Safe Families establishes a co-located team of Safe Families interagency workers in each community to provide education about child sexual assault and to support the community to speak out and make the changes needed to keep children safe.
Safe Families uses a combination of education and awareness raising initiatives together with direct service provision and informal case management to:
- improve the awareness and understanding of child sexual assault and its impacts
- decrease vulnerabilities of children and young people
- strengthen the capacity of Aboriginal communities to appropriately recognise, report, and reduce the incidences of child sexual assault within their communities.
A range of education programs have already been implemented and Safe Families is working directly with NAPCAN on a proposal to deliver a whole-school, whole-community program (Growing Respect) across all Safe Families sites.
Further details are available in the Keep Them Safe Annual Report 2010-11.