A silent protest to raise awareness of systemic problems in child protection services are timely reminders for the ACT government to implement better measures to protect children in child protection, Shadow Minister for Families, Youth and Community Services Elizabeth Kikkert said today.
Jakob’s Voice – an organisation founded by Canberran Katherine Oakey, whose son Jakob tragically passed away – will launch “Horse Ride for Kids” on Wednesday April 12 as a demonstration against child abuse or death due to systemic agency failures.
Protest riders will set out on an eight week horse ride from Canberra to Port Macquarie. The ride will depart from Equestrian Park and make the first stop at the Children’s Court at 10am. From there they will head to the Child and Youth Protection Services (CYPS) where organisers and Mrs Kikkert will address the media at 10:30am. Riders will then make the long haul to Port Macquarie taking their message to rural communities along the way.
“The neglect or death of a child is always a tragedy, but that tragedy is compounded many times over if this occurs when the child is in the care of the government,” Mrs Kikkert said.
“After Jakob’s tragic death, the ACT Children and Young People Commissioner recommended that CYPS carefully analyse placements and have clear plans in place to better monitor the safety of those placements.
“The ACT government must provide complete transparency when it comes to such measures, and its success or lack thereof.”
“I support all efforts that seek to protect young people and raise awareness of any weaknesses in how we care for them and so will be joining this protest tomorrow. Our responsibility to children, who are the most vulnerable members of our society, cannot be overstated,” Mrs Kikkert concluded.
What: Horse Ride for Kids
When: Wednesday April 12, 2017
Where: 10:00am Children’s Court
10:30am Mrs Kikkert and organisers address the media at CYPS Canberra office
10:45 Riders continue along Northbourne Avenue on their way to Port Macquarie