The Every Child campaign – an alliance of organisations and individuals across Australia calls on governments to initiate the most significant and valuable nation-building project that has ever been undertaken – the Every Child National Wellbeing Commitment.
The best national foundation any country can have is healthy, safe, well-educated children and young people who are confident in themselves and their future.
We know what children and young people need to be healthy, to learn, to be safe, to feel pride in their culture and identity. Children need life to be stable with strong support, stable relationships and to be safe at home. To enable children to develop well we need to provide families with the right support at the right time.
Too many children and young people do not have stable foundations. Help comes too late and problems get worse.
We have failed to make any significant change to the numbers of children who are neglected or harmed, who are placed in out of home care and youth justice
centres, who do not meet the developmental milestones in health and learning goals in education.
Recognising the leadership and strategies advocated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to improve the wellbeing of their children and young people, must be a priority for action for all Australian governments and community leaders.
Through the work of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children (2009-2020) political and community leaders have set the public health approach to child wellbeing to guide action across the health, education, child and family support systems in Australia.
As we move beyond 2020, we need to renew and elevate our national commitment to the well-being of children and young people. We can ensure that every child and young person in Australia not only meets, but exceeds national and international standards for child wellbeing.
To ensure that all children, young people and families in cities and regions, get the right support at the right time, we will call on governments through the Every Child National Wellbeing Commitment to:
- Establish a National Child Development Fund and a mechanism, such as a National Council for Children, Young People and Families – that reports on national child wellbeing indicators, facilitates innovation in service delivery to focus on prevention and early support, service and workforce reform, and expansion of the evidence base for action. This Council is to comprise of government and nongovernment, as well as young people from diverse backgrounds.
- Adopt national wellbeing indicators and targets for child health, education, justice and wellbeing.
- Establish an effective mechanism, within the National Council for Children, Young People and Families to support the active participation of young people in advancing their wellbeing.
- Recognise the leadership and strategies advocated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to improve the wellbeing of their children and young people, as a priority for action.