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Hearing the voices of children and young people

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Children will be encouraged to have a say and write down their thoughts during National Child Protection Week in September.

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To celebrate Child Protection Sunday on September 8, parishes throughout the Archdiocese will distribute about 3000 colourful pens to young parishioners. The pens include a pull out banner that outlines Children’s Rights.

Sally Wellington, manager of the Archdiocese’s Child Protection Unit (CPU), said the pen represents one of the tools children and young people can use to communicate with adults in the Church who are there to listen and respond.

“We are hoping these pens will start a conversation between children and their parents or caregivers about their rights and how they are supported in the Church environment,” she said.

“This is a metaphoric way to deliver the message that we want children to have a say, that we are committed to provide them pathways to share their ideas, opinions and concerns.”

Earlier this year the CPU started its children’s consultation process and distributed activity booklets and feedback boxes to parishes.

“During Child Protection Week we want to continue to deliver the message that it is important for us to hear the voices of children and young people who are involved in the Catholic Church. We hope the parishes will encourage children to use their pen to complete an activity booklet and place it in the feedback box during the week,” Ms Wellington said.

Parishes have also received a bookmark displaying the Church’s Commitment Statement, which will be given to parents and caregivers to raise awareness about the message of safeguarding children and young people in the Archdiocese.

“We have also provided a universal prayer and are encouraging parishes to reflect on ideas from previous years, such as hosting a morning tea, or asking children to help decorate the church by displaying their artwork.”

Child Protection Sunday Mass will be celebrated in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral at 11am on September 8. For further Child Protection Week resources go to www.napcan.org.au

 

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