Caption: Patricia Brand, John Hathaway, Dr Neil Carrington, Tarnya Smith and Glenys Schuntner
On 26 May Mrs Tarnya Smith MP and Mr John Hathaway MP officially opened the Act for Kids Child and Family Centre of Excellence in Townsville. The flagship facility will lead the way in national child protection by providing best-practice therapeutic support for abused and neglected children, and early support for families at risk.
In 2012, Act for Kids was awarded $3.4million from the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) and $600,000 from Queensland Governments Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services towards the $4.6million development of the centre, built on the land donated by James Cook University.
Auto & General Insurance, Subway Australia and many of Act for Kids supporters have generously contributed $170,000 towards completing the facility. The playground for the centre was funded by the Non School Organisations Program (NSO) of the Queensland Governments Department of Education, Training and Employment.
The Act for Kids Child and Family Centre of Excellence includes:
- purpose-built therapy spaces and a specialist preschool with indoor and outdoor play areas for abused and neglected children
- improved office facilities to accommodate delivery of outreach parenting support and programs
- a child friendly outdoor play and meeting space for families and for Act for Kids and other community organisations to conduct parenting programs
- a training centre for professional development workshops, undergraduate subjects and postgraduate courses developed in partnership with James Cook University
- a child protection and development research centre to promote evidence based practice, evaluate services and inform program and policy development.
Act for Kids CEO, Dr Neil Carrington, said its exciting to see our vision for the regions most advanced therapeutic centre become a reality.
Not only will the centre be a family friendly facility for community use, it will also enable us to increase the capacity and capability of the human services sector in the region, create safer home environments for children, increase community awareness of childrens needs and provide better access for Indigenous children and families, Dr Carrington said.
Renée McAllister, Act for Kids North Queensland Regional Director, has also expressed her great enthusiasm for the opening of the Child and Family Centre of Excellence.
The purpose-built centre combined with research and education will go a long way to addressing North Queenslands growing need for child and family support services, by providing evidence-based therapy and interventions that will improve the outcomes and future for thousands of children and families, Renée said.