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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Orana Family Services Project Supporting Victorian Families

Victorian families will benefit from $165,030 in Australian Government funding under the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy for further work on the Growing An Innovative Neighbourhood (GAIN) Project.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today launched the Orana Family Services GAIN Project at Roxburgh Park in Victoria.

Senator Patterson said the funding will allow this innovative project, which began in July 2002, to implement a number of new programs.

“GAIN will now be able to expand its services in the areas of parenting education and support and the Community Connector Program,” she said.

“The Community Connector Program involves the training of volunteer leaders so they can, in turn, support and train volunteers from existing community groups, upskilling these groups to assist marginalised and isolated families within the community.”

The project also includes programs to support children’s early years of development. These include:

  • Volunteer Leader Training – will provide training and support to volunteers to help families become more involved in the community.
  • Group Development Program – will encourage parent participation in community social groups and children’s playgroups.
  • Confident Parenting Program – will provide helpful information for parents with their children’s learning, language and social development with a particular focus on reducing behavioural problems.
  • Parents Plus Program – will provide individual support to parents if their children are experiencing social or emotional problems that may prevent them reaching their full potential.
  • Community Education – will provide help to ‘at-risk’ families and make them feel a sense of belonging within the community.

“This project is another great example of how the Australian Government’s Stronger Families and Communities Strategy is working to help communities come up with effective solutions to local problems.

“Building on the success of the Strategy since 2000, the Australian Government has allocated a further $365.8 million over the next four years for local initiatives that have an early intervention focus to help families, children and communities at risk.

“The new funding will be used to strengthen the Strategy’s focus on the early childhood years.

“Over the past three and a half years the Strategy has been highly successful, funding projects that have helped Australians into jobs and training as well as providing access to a range of services that help strengthen family relationships and communities.”