National Child Protection Week launch at Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre - Breannah Mitchell, Hayley Moss and Alectria Hancox.
National Child Protection Week launch at Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre - Breannah Mitchell, Hayley Moss and Alectria Hancox. Annie Perets

Strong bond leads to safety: National Child Protection Week

IMPROVING a bond with a child can be as simple as making greater eye contact with them, Bay Families social worker Alectria Hancox said.

"Another way to improve that connection is by having fun and smiling when interacting with them," she said.

"And also by encouraging children to use their imaginations."

Releasing imagination is certainly what happened during the launch of Child Protection Week yesterday at Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre.

Ms Hancox came as popular book character Cat in the Hat, where both children and adults were given some much-needed play time.

"The stronger the bond, the safer the child will feel both with immediate family and other adults in their life, such as teachers," she said.

"The week is about counteracting family violence, and focusing on what it means to be safe."

The National Child Protection Week theme this year is Stronger Communities, Safer Children.

The concept of taking time to play will be around the Fraser Coast for the next three months, as three local communities have decided to a form an initiative called Simple Play.

This program will work in conjunction with Wide Bay Kids to promote play-related activities on the Fraser Coast.

Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre project officer Lauretta Wright said an event such as a sporting activity, falls under the play category.

"Sometimes as adults, we forget to play and this is a reminder to put some play into your life," she said.

"People can register events that involve play on the Wide Bay Kids website.

"Resident can share photos of their play online by using #simplyplayfrasercoast."

About 70 people came along to the National Child Protection Week launch, which featured guest speakers Angela Williams of Family and Child Connect Fraser Coast and Denise Hatsiz from Griffith University.