The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Community Services
Minister for Disability Services and Reform
The Hon Mary Wooldridge
Joint Media Release
New guide to help children in emergencies
Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Mark Dreyfus QC and Victorian Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge today announced a new national guide to help local councils across Australia plan for the diverse needs of children caught up in an emergency such as a fire, cyclone or flood.
Mr Dreyfus said the new Emergency Management Planning for Children and Young People Planning Guide for Local Government was a first for Australia and would help to ensure the unique vulnerabilities of children were at the forefront of emergency management planning.
The Guide offers local councils practical advice on how to recognise and include those unique needs into their local emergency management plans, Mr Dreyfus said.
The publication is part of a broader Planning for Children and Youth in Emergency Management project, funded with $162,950 from the Australian Government under the National Emergency Management Projects program.
Our children and young people make up about a quarter of the Australian population, and their specific needs must be catered for during and after an emergency, Ms Wooldridge said.
Young Australians have their own unique physiological, psychological and developmental needs that require targeted and specialised interventions to help ensure the best opportunity for a successful recovery.
The Guide will be a useful planning tool for local councils and other organisations working with disaster-affected children and young people right across Australia, Ms Wooldridge said.
Whether its a fire, flood, cyclone or hailstorm, the advice in this Guide will have broad appeal to every local council, as well as other support organisations working in emergency management, Mr Dreyfus said.
The Emergency Management Planning for Children and Young People Planning Guide for Local Government is available to download free from www.dhs.vic.gov.au
THURSDAY, 13 JUNE 2013