Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$3.5 million for family support services in Kempsey

Joint Media Release with:

  • Linda Burney MP, NSW Minister for Community Services

Up to 1200 families in Kempsey NSW 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 Federal Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin, and the New South Wales Minister for Community Services, Linda Burney, today announced the Benevolent Society would receive $3.5 million in Australian Government funding to deliver Communities for Children Plus services in Kempsey until 30 June 2013.

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

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

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

Ms Macklin said local families and children will be supported through intensive parenting services, early learning and literacy programs, playgroups, after school recreation programs, home budgeting courses and child nutrition education.

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.

Minister Burney welcomed the selection of Kempsey as a Communities for Children Plus site in NSW.

“The Australian and NSW Governments have jointly identified Kempsey as being a community that will benefit from targeted and integrated services to help prevent child abuse and neglect,” Ms Burney said.

“We want to stop child abuse and neglect in Kempsey and across New South Wales and I am pleased that these extra services will be available in Kempsey.

“This service fits well with New South Wales’ Keep Them Safe reforms, which focus on working collaboratively to help children and on early intervention.”

The Australian Government is providing $20 million over four years to establish eight Communities for Children Plus sites in communities of high disadvantage.

Kempsey is the sixth Communities for Children Plus site to be announced, adding to locations in Playford in South Australia, Launceston in Tasmania, Cardinia in Victoria, Midland in Western Australia and Ipswich in Queensland. The other two sites will be announced shortly.

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