Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

More help for vulnerable children in Elizabeth

Joint Media Release with:

  • Nick Champion MP, Member for Wakefield

Children needing additional support in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth will benefit from more targeted support through a new assessment tool which brings common understanding among professionals including doctors, nurses, teachers and childcare workers.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins, and the Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion, today met with Northern Connections, the agency running the Common Approach to Assessment Referral and Support trial in Elizabeth.

Ms Collins said Elizabeth is one of four sites across Australia trialling this new approach to assessing the health, wellbeing and needs of vulnerable children.

“This common assessment tool helps guide practitioners to determine the needs of families and children,” Ms Collins said.

“They look the child and their family’s relationship, safety, health, wellbeing, learning and development needs.

“This approach ensures that the right referrals are made, appropriate support is provided, and makes it easier for practitioners to identify and respond early to a family’s specific needs.”

The Gillard Government has provided $1.1 million to the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth to implement the trial, as part of its efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The pilot project follows a recommendation of the Common Approach to Assessment Referral and Support taskforce, which brought together practitioners, non-government organisations and government representatives from all levels.

Mr Champion said the trial is significant, and would help identify and respond to the needs of local children at risk.

“The trial will incorporate thousands of professionals across the region, including community health, education, general practice, family and children’s services and women’s health,” Mr Champion said.

“As part of the trial, at least 250 conversations will be held with local children and families, using a range of resources developed for the program.

“These conversations can lead to children and their families receiving a range of targeted support services to address their specific needs.”