Re­port raises con­cerns for chil­dren

Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page -

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.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis d481582

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 .

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