THE community hasa much bigger role to play in turning around Queensland's shamefulrecord of child abuse, said the National Association for Prevention ofChild Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN).
Association president Teresa Scott said that since no governmentauthority can fix the problem on its own, it is time for the communityto take greater responsibility for its children.
Ms Scott will this morning host a National Child Protection Weekbreakfast in Brisbane, urging every Queenslander to get involved.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics released thisyear show the number of Queensland children in protective care hasalmost doubled in the past five years.
In 2001, 3573 children were in care, compared to 6446 in 2006 -giving Queensland the second highest number of children in care, behindNSW.
Ms Scott said that, in part, this was because more money andresources were being directed to child welfare, and because people weremore willing to report abuse.
"It's good in one way that children have been identified as at riskand come into care, but it's also a very sad indictment on ourcommunity," she said.
Ms Scott said the number of families moving to Queensland frominterstate, particularly those chasing jobs in remote mining towns,could have also contributed to the figures.
"We know that breakdowns of families and social isolation have come about where people move to where the jobs are," she said.
"Fathers have to move away to work and mothers have to move away from their own social supports and families."
Queensland's indigenous communities are also suffering, with their children five times more likely to be living in care.
"We, as a community, really need to pick up our game," said Ms Scott.
"When you think that the majority of children are abused by their own family ... that's the place to start.
"If there's a new baby in the family, or if you can hear yourneighbour is struggling on her own, perhaps you could offer to babysitfor a couple of hours.
"There's always some simple act of kindness you can do, without making a fuss, to support parents."