Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$3.7 million for family support services in the Cardinia Shire

Families in the Cardinia Shire will have extra support through a range of child-focused services to help them provide a safe, happy and healthy environment for their children and protect them from abuse and neglect.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today visited Pakenham Consolidated Primary School to officially launch the Cardinia Communities for Children Plus service.

Anglicare Victoria will receive $3.7 million over three years to deliver the new service across the Cardinia Shire with a particular focus on Pakenham, Officer, Koo Wee Rup, Lang Lang and the hills area including Cockatoo and Gembrook.

Cardinia is one of eight Communities for Children Plus sites to be delivered across the country by the Australian Government in partnership with state and territory governments.

“By coordinating the resources of local child and family services we can intervene early with support services before problems escalate,” Ms Macklin said.

“With strong links to child protection authorities and adult services, families at risk from mental health issues, drug and alcohol and domestic violence will be assisted.

“Anglicare Victoria has strong experience working with families and children across Australia. Here in Cardinia, they will deliver a range of services for local families including intensive parenting support, language and literacy programs, play and learn activities and ante-natal and post-natal programs”.

Communities for Children Plus targets children under the age of 12 who need extra support to reach their full potential.

This model allows the local community to develop and tailor the service to ensure it meets the needs of local children and their families.

The Australian Government is providing $20 million over four years to establish eight Communities for Children Plus sites in communities of high disadvantage – Kempsey and Campbelltown in New South Wales, Playford in South Australia, Launceston in Tasmania, Midland in Western Australia, Ipswich in Queensland, and East Arnhem in the Northern Territory.

Communities for Children Plus is a key initiative under the Australian Government’s National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.