People have suggested for years that I write an occasional blog, drawing on my work:
- as a nurse,
- Maternal and Child Health nurse,
- running a nanny school, and more recently,
- as the founder of Melbourne's premier nanny agency.
- family, including my very special grandchildren,
- good food and wine.
To start on a topical note, the release of the Cummins Report into Child Protection http://www.childprotectioninquiry.vic.gov.au/ has raised the issue of mandating kindergarten teachers and child care workers, ie requiring them to report sexual abuse and serious physical abuse. The Government has yet to decide which recommendations from the report it will implement, as well as how and when. There are certainly issues with how well the current system functions in dealing with the large number of reports of abuse at the present time, let alone mandating more workers. If this recommendation is implemented, however, it may ensure earlier intervention in families where abuse is an issue, and get help for children at a younger age. Rest assured, if mandatory reporting is introduced for child care workers, we will ensure all our staff are adequately trained and supported.
But let's keep perspective.
In all my years of professional experience (and I admit to over 40 years), this has rarely been an issue, and I do not expect that to change.
On a related note there was a story in this morning's Age about Jayneen Sanders an author and primary teacher who has written a book for young children about 'protective behaviours', an approach to the issue of sexual abuse, without using that very powerful term. The Protective Behaviours program teaches children to demand respect for their bodies and to develop a list of 5 trusted adults they can talk to about anything that is worrying them. Consequently the children are encouraged to report inappropriate touching, tickling etc to these trusted people. The program has been around for many years and is useful in helping children to communicate their fears about a range of issues, not just abuse. Jayneen's book is called Some Secrets Should Never be Kept.
On a much lighter note, I'm going to see Miriam Margolyes in her wondefully well reviewed show Dickens' Women this weekend, so next time should be much lighter.