Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New service for Indigenous families gets underway

New services to support Indigenous families have been launched in eight locations around Australia as part of a $16.6 million Australian Government commitment to give Indigenous children a good start in life.

Over the next four years, 50 services will be rolled out based on Indigenous population numbers and needs, and the proportion of children. The first eight locations have been selected because they generally have a large Indigenous population and are often highly disadvantaged as well.

Some have special needs, for example, Port Adelaide has problems with overcrowding, with many families accommodating relatives visiting from the surrounding Aboriginal lands.

The services-the Indigenous Parenting Support Services-will target families with children aged up to eight years old with a focus on children under the age of two. The Government will provide over $1.2 million to the eight locations. A total of $153,000 per year will be allocated to each site, covering the salaries of one full-time family support worker, one part-time worker and other administration costs.

They will help Indigenous parents overcome barriers to good family relationships and support them through their children’s transitions to child care, pre-school and primary school.

Families will have access to both outreach and referral services, and will be able to seek advice on matters such as health, finances, how to look after babies, family violence, child care. The services will be integrated into existing child care centres, preschools, Aboriginal health centres and other related services providing Indigenous families with access to parenting support.

The sites and their service providers are:

  • Blacktown NSW-the Anglicare Diocese of Sydney
  • Wellington NSW-Aboriginal Corporation Health Services (WACHS)
  • Central Melbourne, Victoria-the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA)
  • South Brisbane, Qld-Kummara Association
  • Port Adelaide, SA-Uniting Care Wesley Port Adelaide
  • Banksia Grove, WA-Ngala Incorporated
  • Launceston, Tasmania-the Tasmanian Aboriginal Child Care Association (TACCA)
  • Gungahlin, ACT-The Smith Family