A two-hour workshop will be offered to forty Early Childhood Professionals (ECPs) from Toowoomba and surrounding areas. The workshop, delivered by true Relationships and Reproductive Health, will be entitled “Respond positively to children’s sexual behaviours “, and as the name suggests, will skill ECPs to understand, interpret and respond positively to children’s sexual behaviours. The workshop will be promoted both directly to Early Childhood centres through the networks of Kath Dickson Family Centre’s and true Relationships and Reproductive Health, and more broadly through community and social media. The marketing materials will prominently feature the CPW theme “protecting children is everybody’s business”.
The content of the workshop will raise the profile of child abuse prevention through improved service provision and support for children. In developing an understanding of normal healthy sexual development in young children, ECPs will be better able to assess whether a child’s sexual behaviours are appropriate to their social context and developmental stage or not, and so be more competent to interpret these behaviours and respond accordingly to support the child to express their developing sexuality in a safe and healthy manner. Further important workshop content is that around building skills to teach personal safety to young children. This is a key facet of child abuse prevention as children who understand the rules about touching are better equipped to disclose sexual abuse by adults or the problem sexual behaviours of other children.
The workshop content will also include information about the relevant resources and services already available through government and non-government organisations. In the facilitated discussions participants will have opportunities for sharing their own knowledge and experience, and this process will enable us to “support and value professionals …by providing ‘best practice’ training and a forum to exchange ideas and information”.