This Sunday is Father's Day, which also marks the beginning of National Child Protection Week across Australia.
The national association organising the week has called on Australians to put children first and give parents the support they need to do the important job of raising children.
NAPCAN - the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect – says surprising findings from recent research with almost 8,000 Australians suggests giving 'good parenting' advice often has the opposite affect, with vulnerable parents not seeking assistance when they feel stigmatised.
"Our language around parenting can at times be very judgmental, but we know confident parents with strong networks helps their children to thrive, so we need to focus on the best ways to support families," says Lesley Taylor, National Prevention Strategies, NAPCAN.
The National Child Protection Week campaign this year likens the journey of bringing up children to sailing a boat.
"For healthy development, children need life to be on an even keel as much as possible. But for families with challenges like poverty or stress, raising children can be like trying to sail through rough waters. We need to create safe harbours for all parents."
Creating these safe harbours is a valuable investment in prevention, before abuse and neglect occurs.
With recent research suggesting that as many as 1 in 4 Australian children are subject to abuse or neglect, NAPCAN says all of the community can play a part in getting better outcomes for kids.
"When the narrative in community is to blame parents we are robbing them and their children of the chance to thrive. Parenting is the key to unlocking children's potential, so we need to collectively support parents, realise the many circumstances families must navigate, and help ensure they can find those safe havens in a storm."
National Child Protection Week is from 1-7 September and involves community events all around Australia.
FrameWorks Institute US CEO Nat Kendall-Taylor will also deliver keynote speeches on the issue at events in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.
NAPCAN invites all members of the community to get involved. Visit NAPCAN's website at www.napcan.org.au for campaign resources, background information and children's activities.