Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

First Communities for Children Plus sites

Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland are the first three states to receive Communities for Children Plus services to help reduce child abuse and neglect in communities of high disadvantage.

The first Communities for Children Plus sites will be established in Launceston in Tasmania, Cardinia in Victoria and Ipswich in Queensland, from early 2010, providing children and parents with intensive early intervention services.

The Australian Government is providing $17.4 million, over four years, to establish eight Communities for Children Plus sites in communities of high disadvantage.

The first three sites were identified by the Australian and State Governments as being communities where targeted and integrated service delivery was required to help prevent child abuse and neglect.

The existing Ipswich and Launceston Communities for Children sites will be expanded under the new model, while in Cardinia a new site will be established.

As with the Communities for Children model, a lead non-government organisation in each site will be funded to contract other local service providers.

Communities for Children Plus sites will address the risk factors for child abuse and neglect before they escalate, and help parents of children at risk to provide a safe, happy and healthy life for their children.

The first three sites will have stronger links to child protection authorities, and adult services, including mental health, drug and alcohol, family violence and housing services for parents at risk of child abuse and neglect.

This new initiative will ensure a more coordinated approach by linking services for children and vulnerable families and may include case management, intensive parenting services, breakfast and homework clubs, peer support for children with drug addicted parents, and home visiting services.

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.

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

The next locations will be announced progressively throughout 2009-10 and by mid-2010 all eight Communities for Children Plus locations will be operational.