Page 886 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 16 March 2010

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body image and media stereotype;

how to help a mate; and

goal setting.

These are just a few of the successful initiatives that were granted in 2009-10 and I hope that the next round will prove just as fruitful.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can the minister tell the Assembly how the schools as communities program is going?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest. The schools as communities program works out of the Gungahlin and the Tuggeranong child and family centres. The program works across 17 primary schools in the ACT. The workers work with schools and families to improve outcomes for children. They do this by identifying, developing and strengthening links and partnerships between family homes, schools and local services. The workers are all professionally trained to work with families and children.

The schools as communities program recognises that the early years of a child’s life are critical for ensuring their long-term social, emotional and development wellbeing. The program understands that families have the greatest impact on a child’s development and growth. This means that programs need to work with children and their families. The schools as communities program also recognises that parents and other caregivers need support to acquire skills and knowledge to help their children to reach their full potential, particularly where children are from socially and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.

School-linked services increase the opportunities for families to access services that are not ordinarily accessed. Every community has strengths that can be mobilised and the program actively seeks to do this. What this means on the ground is that families can drop in to see a schools as communities worker at their school to talk about the parenting hurdles, and access a wide range of supports that assist them in their parenting role.

Schools as communities workers are able to work with individual children and their families on a one-to-one basis. In addition, schools as communities services develop community-based activities, such as homework clubs, breakfast clubs and targeted school holiday programs which bring together families, school and the community sector.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Personal explanation

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait

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