Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 February 2017) . . Page.. 491 ..
The child and family centres consistently deliver exceptional results when it comes to client satisfaction. In 2015-16, the centres achieved a satisfaction rate of 97 per cent. I am pleased to inform the Assembly that term 1 programs are now well underway at the three child and family centres in Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and west Belconnen.
Group programs include “Learn, giggle and grow” for parents and children up to five years; “Cool little kids,” which provides strategies for parents to help young children with anxiety, which is a growing concern; the Atfaal family playgroup at Gungahlin for Muslim families; the South Sudanese group at west Belconnen; and the deadly bubs playgroup in Gungahlin.
As always, of course, families are welcome to drop in to any of the centres for general parenting advice and support or to visit the collocated maternal and child health nurses who are collocated in these centres that are providing a very popular service.
MR STEEL: Minister, what other services are available in the ACT for families to ensure that children reach their full potential?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Steel for his supplementary question and of course acknowledge his interest in the wellbeing of Canberra’s children, particularly around early years education and care.
Madam Speaker, 4 January this year marked the one-year anniversary of the Child Development Service at Holder, which was established after the commencement of the national disability insurance scheme. The service maintains the government’s commitment to the mainstream developmental assessment of children and is a collaborative service incorporating the Community Services, Health and Education directorates. It is a new and best practice service with streamlined access to allied health and medical assessment for children resident in the ACT and at risk of developmental delay. The service provides assessment, referral, information and linkages for children with complex developmental needs, from birth to eight years, as well as autism assessment for children aged up to 12 years.
I was extremely pleased recently to attend the first birthday celebration of the service at the Holder centre and to meet the amazing, multi-disciplinary team. At that morning tea I heard from the staff themselves about the work they are doing at Gugan Gulwan, Winnunga, Koori preschools, Canberra Cares and the child and family centres. This outreach service is enabling our allied health services to reach across into our community and the staff are working hard to build trust and stronger linkages, particularly with Aboriginal-controlled organisations.
We know that intervening early in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families when they are vulnerable and particularly addressing the intergenerational effects of trauma are extremely important in reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people coming into our system, as I talked about earlier.