The instance of sexual exploitation of children residing in care is alarmingly high. Despite accounting for only 6% of all children in care, children in residential care account for over 80% of child sexual exploitation reports for this cohort.*
Many of these children and young people have experienced repeated family violence, trauma and displacement, making them highly vulnerable to child sexual exploitation, harmful sexual behaviours, and dating violence. Prevention and early intervention are critical.
Power to Kids upskills carers, giving them the confidence to have ‘brave conversations’ about sexual safety and building carers capabilities to prevent, identify and intervene early when they see indicators of abuse.
Skilled carers play a crucial role in empowering children and young people in care with information about healthy relationships and sexual safety and knowledge about when and how to reach out for support.
We know that conversations about sexual safety can be difficult.
This is why carers need training and support to confidently talk to children and young people. They also need clear and practical resources and prevention and early intervention strategies to respond to risks as they arise.
Power to Kids increases children and young people’s understanding of healthy relationships and sexual safety.
We know that by raising awareness of respectful relationships, grooming behaviour and sexual exploitation young people are empowered then to keep themselves safe.
Power to Kids was piloted and evaluated in MacKillop Family Services' residential homes and is now being implemented across all MacKillop residential care homes.
Off the back of strong outcomes, The MacKillop Institute has proudly offered Power to Kids to every residential care provider in Australia free since March 2022 and will continue to do so until November 2023. This offering has been made possible through the generous support of Westpac’s Safer Children, Safer Communities initiative.
"Six weeks ago, I don’t think he would have come forward…Now he knows that this actually isn’t okay… I think that the program has definitely had an influence on him and made him feel comfortable to talk to the staff around what has happened."
Case Manager referring to a young man disclosing an act of harmful sexual behaviour
Frequently asked questions
Learn about the topics Power to Kids covers, when training will come to your state, the support available to implement the program and more.
Full implementation support
Where an organisation elects to deepen their knowledge, practice and implementation of Power to Kids, we can support increased capability through the purchase of full implementation support or a suite of one-off services.
Empowering young people with information
Empowering young people with information about sexual safety and relationship is key to keeping them safe now, and in the future. This case study demonstrates how “Power to Kids” embodies its name.
The Children in the Pictures allyship
The Institute is an ally in the fight against the online sexual harm of children and a part of this important impact campaign. Read about this groundbreaking film goes inside Task Force Argos.
Power to Kids receives Minister’s Highly Commended Program at the Victorian Protecting Children Awards
Recognised in the 2021 Minister's Award for Innovation in Protecting Children for its innovative approach and creative intervention.
"One striking thing that came out of (the program) was that the girls mentioned to the carers that they should be talking to one of the other girls in the house, because they think she’s being groomed by her uncle... the girls seemed concerned about this relationship… and mentioned that to the carers..."
Sexual Health Nurse
MacKillop Family Services acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Elders in each of the communities where we work.