Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Good Beginnings for West Belconnen families

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today announced the first Good Beginnings program for the ACT that uses trained volunteers to offer parents assistance and support with raising their children.

Mr Anthony said the West Belconnen Good Beginnings program will receive $180,000 from the Federal and ACT Government over two years.

“Good Beginnings is an early intervention and prevention program that helps families with young children,” said Mr Anthony.

“This program is the only one in the ACT where professionally trained volunteers help families with parenting skills in the comfort and security of their own home.

“It is fitting that in this, the International Year of Volunteers, this program uses the talents of parents who will give up their time to help other families in the sometimes difficult and stressful task of parenting.

“Not only will this program help parents but it will also increase a family’s sense of belonging in the local community and ease their isolation.

“With nearly 5,500 children aged between zero and four years in the West Belconnen area, there is a need for this vital home visiting program.”

Mr Anthony said the Good Beginnings program has proved highly successful and will complement other local programs.

“The flexibility of this program will allow working parents with young children to access the service of volunteers after hours, such as evenings or weekends.

“This is an excellent example of the social coalition in action, where communities and governments work together to strengthen families which benefits the entire community.”

Charnwood will be used as the focus suburb for the program with clients and volunteers also coming from Dunlop, Flynn, Fraser and Macgregor.