Report raises concerns for children
DESPITE significant effort and investment, there has been little improvement in the developmental status of vulnerable children in the Midland region in recent years, according to a new report.
The report, Supporting Children and their Families in the Midland Region, estimated around 100 local families with children ready to start school were developmentally behind their peers and could benefit from a new approach to delivering services to vulnerable families.
Australian Early Development Census data showed Bellevue, Koongamia, Middle Swan, Midvale, Midland and Swan View had the most children and families facing adversity.
East Metropolitan region not-forprofit We the People worked with CoLab, a partnership between the Telethon Kids Institute and Minderoo Foundation, to investigate the needs of local families with children aged from zero to eight and the services that exist to support them.
CoLab co-director of policy David Ansell said there was a significant minority of children in the region who could improve their development with better support.
“It was not possible through this study to fully evaluate the extent to which the combined community and social services are meeting the needs of local children and their families,” he said.
“However, stakeholder consultations suggest that many services have barriers to uptake and many local families find it difficult to ‘navigate’ the service systems.”
We the People chairwoman Helen Dullard said the report would put a spotlight on child development in the area.
“This report suggests that we can do better and should be a conversation starter and a catalyst for change,” she said.
“The findings show Midland is ready for a new approach to delivering services to families with young children.”
Helen Dullard from We The People), Lisa Joy from the Shire of Mundaring, Noongar Elder Di Ryder and Raeleen McAllister from Midvale Hub are advocating for better services for vulnerable families .