The Centre for Community and Child Health is working with Social Ventures Australia towards a joint vision of a system that is responsive to the needs of all young children and families, and where all children have the supports they need to start school thriving and on par with their peers.
As part of our work, we are currently exploring the potential of holistic, integrated child and family centres to improve outcomes for young children and their families who are experiencing socio-economic vulnerability.
Together, we have drafted a set of evidence-based resources that we are delighted to now share and test with the sector:
Paper one: outlines a framework that sets out the conditions that parents need in order to be able to meet the needs of their family, based on a review of the evidence base about the core needs of young children and families.
Paper two: explores the key features of integrated child and family service models that have the most impact for families experiencing social-economic vulnerabilities, based on a review of common elements of effective services for young children and families.
Summary briefs of each of the papers have been prepared and can be accessed here.
The potential of integrated child and family centres
While there are a number of very promising models in Australia, our reviews suggest that there is a need for better articulation of and evidence on these models. It also finds that there may be greater potential for integrated child and family centres to meet the needs of children experiencing socio-economic disadvantage and their families building on certain features and with a lifelong health and wellbeing perspective.
The Centre for Community Child Health and Social Ventures Australia will continue to work together to explore the potential of integrated child and family centres to meet the needs of young children and families experiencing socio-economic vulnerability. Other resources that can be developed from this initial work include an assessment tool to enable existing programs to assess the extent to which their programs are addressing and meeting all the needs of young children and families.
These papers are our initial exploration into the role of integrated child and family centres in improving outcomes for young people and families experiencing vulnerability. We welcome your questions and perspectives. If you are interested in learning more or providing feedback, please get in touch with Emma Sydenham firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue West email@example.com.