Learning skills that keep children safe

Ensuring young people gain the skills necessary to protect children is an important part of Save the Children’s work in Australia.

From basic babysitting skills for siblings to courses for at-risk and pregnant teens, our Future Parents program gives young people in Queensland the practical knowledge and skills to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of children and themselves.

Why good parenting skills are important

Children in every country face various forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Young people are often tasked with the responsibility of caring for smaller children unsupervised - often for long periods of time - but may lack opportunities to learn how to take care of them safely.

Our Future Parents program

We aim to promote early intervention and prevention of abuse through courses that improve the skills of young people aged 13 to 19 years who care for children in Queensland. Our courses build self esteem, link young people with support networks in their own communities, teach them basic childcare skills and educate them about the effects of abuse, domestic violence and neglect. They also provide strategies to keep themselves safe and free from exploitation and abuse at work and in their personal relationships.

The Future Parents program usually runs over eight weeks, with one 2 ½ hour session per week. We work with community groups, including schools, community centres and youth agencies.This helps to provide additional community support after the course is complete.

How we know we’re helping young people

In 2012 alone, our qualified facilitators delivered 20 courses to over 200 young people in Queensland. A recent survey of past participants of our Basic Babysitting Course also revealed that 100 percent of participants found the course material useful to them – giving them a better understanding of how to keep children happy, healthy and safe. They also felt more equipped to protect their own personal safety.

Who makes our Future Parents program possible

Save the Children’s generous supporters help fund our parenting courses in Queensland.We are also grateful to the Department of Communities who provide annual funding for two courses in Queensland.