Celebrating Children’s week with study of Australian families
Today marks the start of National Children’s Week, which is celebrated this year from 22 to 28 October.
The Australian Government, in conjunction with state and territory governments, is proud to support Children’s Week activities across the country.
Thousands of families and young people will participate in Children’s Week events which will recognise the talents, skills, achievements and rights of young Australians.
The Gillard Government is committed to supporting Australian children and families through all stages of life.
A key program helping children in their early years, Communities for Children, is the focus of a new phase of the Stronger Families in Australia study which measures the impact of its services on children and their families.
Communities for Children provides prevention and early intervention services for families with children up to 12 years in 52 disadvantaged communities throughout Australia, including Indigenous families in remote locations.
The Gillard Government has provided $1.1 million over two years for this new phase of research, which will be conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
Since 2006, the Stronger Families in Australia study has interviewed 2,200 families about their health and wellbeing, parenting, family relationships, employment and community.
The first phase of the study showed that parents living in Communities for Children areas reported higher levels of employment and better parenting practices than parents living in comparable areas without a Communities for Children service.
The study also found that Communities for Children had positive impacts for vulnerable families, such as improvements in children’s language skills and higher parental employment and involvement in the community.
The second phase of the study will continue to involve those families who participated in the first phase to evaluate the ongoing impact of Communities for Children for Australian families and children.
An additional 1,800 families living in new or expanded Communities for Children sites will join the study.
The Government is providing additional funding of $42.5 million over four years for the Communities for Children program as part of the Building Australia’s Future Workforce package.
This includes $23.4 million for three new and seven expanded, existing Communities for Children services in the Government’s ten Better Futures, Local Solutions sites to help teenage parents and jobless families with locally tailored initiatives to parents and their children, such as playgroups, parenting education classes, mentoring and support groups, and early learning programs.
The early years of a child’s life are critical to their development and the vital early intervention and prevention services Communities for Children delivers work towards ensuring that children have the best possible start in life.
Children’s Week details are available at www.childrensweek.org.au