THE state government has announced it will invest more than $2.3 million over the next three years to trial a new model of ‘intensive family support’ on the Gold Coast.
The program, called SafeCare, will target vulnerable families with children aged up to five years who are at risk of entering the child protection system.
Act for Kids on the Gold Coast will deliver the highly regarded model which has already achieved excellent results in the US and is being rolled out in Victoria and New South Wales.
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Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer said Act for Kids will visit homes of Gold Coast families in most need of support for up to 90 minutes a week, every week for four and a half months.
Ms Farmer said the community organisation will help teach parents how to keep their children healthy, how to react when their child is sick or injured and to recognise when symptoms need emergency care.
“I have no doubt that parenting skills will be improved during that time” Ms Farmer said.
“The focus will be on parent support and behaviour and the training is structured to suit the needs of each individual family.
“This is just another way the Palaszczuk Queensland Government is working hard to keep children and young people safe.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the program would be particularly successful with young parents who had no social support.
“This program teaches parents to understand the importance of a safe home, the types of hazards in homes, ways to remove household hazards and the importance of supervision,” Ms Scanlon said.
Act for Kids regional director Gary Poole welcomed the funding and said the organisation continues to work closely with the Queensland government to deliver new child and family programs.
“SafeCare Family Educators will work one-on-one with parents in their home environment on the Gold Coast, to develop the practical skills and knowledge to make sure they can provide the best care possible for their children,” Mr Poole said.
“SafeCare is there to help families care for and protect their children at home.
“It’s important that parents feel they can ask for help. Sometimes they don’t know where to go for support or are afraid or ashamed to ask for help.
“SafeCare will help families avoid a path of stress, reaction and potential child abuse and neglect.”