On Friday 13 March, Regional Director of Child Safety Ms Erica Russ and Vice Chancellor of University of Southern Queensland, Professor Jan Thomas, officially opened the new Intensive Family Support service at University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba.
The new service is funded by the Department of Communities, Women and Youth, Child Safety and Multicultural Affairs as part of the Queensland Governments Stronger Families initiative. The funding will increase the charitys capacity to deliver additional services, tailored to help families address issues such as domestic violence, mental health, parenting and stress management.
Dr Kaye Pickering, Acting Southern Queensland Regional Director at Act for Kids, said the new service was rolled out across Queensland in January 2015 to provide better support to vulnerable families who are experiencing difficulties.
Act for Kids will provide support in the Toowoomba/Roma area to approximately 180 families per year through the Intensive Family Support service. Our program evaluations show that the outcomes for the families in our prevention programs can be very positive, empowering them to develop ways to cope into the future, Dr Pickering said.
Toowoomba Program Manager of Intensive Family Support, Deborah McLachlan, said all parents experience stress and unfortunately it can become overwhelming and lead to potential child abuse and neglect.
The program ensures families get access to the wrap-around support they need to overcome problems compromising the safety and wellbeing of their children. We work with the whole family to help them identify their issues, to set goals and provide any additional support they need to achieve them, Deborah said.