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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 6 August 2015) . . Page.. 2455 ..

Mr Hanson interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson! I know Dr Bourke may have asked for that, but it is still disorderly. Do you have a question, Dr Bourke?

DR BOURKE: I do, Madam Speaker. Minister, can you inform the Assembly about the work of the ACT’s child and family centres?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest in our child and family centres across the ACT. The ACT’s three child and family centres are located at Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and west Belconnen. They provide holistic, universal and targeted community-based services for children aged zero to 12 years and their families. The child and family centre staff employed by the Community Services Directorate are highly skilled, experienced and qualified practitioners with health, welfare or education qualifications. Other partners at the centres include staff from ACT Health and a variety of community agencies.

Child and family centres have an established service delivery model that provides a range of universal and targeted services based on the needs of children and their families. There is a strong emphasis on outreach services in homes, schools and the community. In addition to assisting parents with information and support, child and family centre workers provide case management and therapeutic support to vulnerable children and their families. There are currently over 20 programs specifically delivered by child and family centre staff. These programs cover areas such as early intervention and mental health, parenting programs, early learning and community development.

Child and family centres currently work in partnership with a range of community-based organisations to deliver an additional 30 services and programs. Community partners include Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corporation, Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, Playgroups ACT, the Smith Family, Relationships Australia, Belconnen Community Services, Marymead and the Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service.

In early 2015 the Community Services Directorate implemented a redesign of the child and family centre service model. This has strengthened the existing service model through an enhanced focus on partnerships with community and other organisations to meet community need and better align the child and family centre service offering with strategic priorities such as the human services blueprint and a step up for our kids.

Key principles of the refreshed service model are collaboration, building community capacity, a consistent approach to practice, early intervention to prevent escalation to more intrusive statutory services and strengthened governance arrangements. This work has resulted in the centres being well positioned to build on their strong community profile and mature service partnerships in order to continue to meet the needs of our community.

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