Who is Child Wise?

Established in 1991, Child Wise is one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit child abuse prevention organisations. Child Wise work to build awareness, deliver education, and provide the tools to empower individuals and communities around Australia so they can actively prevent child abuse and exploitation.

What’s the issue?

Nationally, Indigenous children are 7 times more likely than non-indigenous children to be the subject of substantiated abuse. The reasons for this are complex and are influenced by past policies like forced removals, intergenerational trauma, the effects of lower socio-economic status and differences in child rearing practices.

Inquiries into child abuse in Australia have found that the sexual abuse of indigenous children was common, widespread and grossly under-reported. Research suggests that the reporting rate of child sexual abuse of indigenous children is approximately 12%, as opposed to 30% for non-indigenous children.

Yarn Up Program

Child Wise takes a community centred approach to preventing child abuse and is partnering with indigenous organisations and community leaders to deliver a culturally relevant approach to preventing child abuse in indigenous communities.

The Yarn Up program focuses on empowering, educating and supporting indigenous communities to protect their children from abuse. The Yarn Up training programs will explore the indicators of abuse in children and the impacts it has on their lives. By understanding the way children often display and express abuse through their behaviour (as the vast majority of children do not disclose verbally), parents and caregivers can better read the signs and intervene to stop it. It also enables adults to realise that abuse can have substantial, longterm impacts on children, and that it must be prevented, or intervened and reported early on if it does occur.

As a result of the program, parents and carers will be better informed about child abuse and factors that holistically increase child safety and wellbeing. This enables parents and carers to communicate and support their children to speak up about difficult issues, and increases protective factors that improve parent, carer and child resilience.

The Yarn Up program is being delivered in 4 Indigenous communities in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria.