In January 2015, Burleigh Councillor Greg Betts and Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson officially opened the new Act for Kids Family and Child Connect on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
In November 2014, Act for Kids was awarded recurrent funding by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, as part of the Queensland Governments Stronger Families initiative. Act for Kids successfully tendered to provide support and assistance to vulnerable families on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast including Gympie, under Family and Child Connect.
The community-based intake and referral service will provide better support to families who are at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system. Through Family and Child Connect, Act for Kids will assist approximately 3,500 families per year by responding to enquiries and providing referrals for support.
Family and Child Connect helps families get back on track before their problems escalate, by connecting them to the services they need. The service is designed to support vulnerable families by assessing their needs and referring them to the most appropriate support service. Where a family has multiple or complex needs and is willing to access support, Family and Child Connect refers them to an Intensive Family Support service.
Dr Katrina Lines, Executive Director of Programs, Research and Education at Act for Kids, said Act for Kids has provided significant input into the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, and continues to work closely with the government to shape the new child and family support system.
Family and Child Connect will mean families at risk of statutory child protection intervention will no longer need to go through the door of Child Safety to get the help that they need. Service providers will be able to work together more effectively through the new Family and Child Connect.
Its important that parents feel they can ask for help. Sometimes parents dont know where to go for support or are afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Family and Child Connect will provide better access and help families avoid a path of stress, reaction and potential child abuse and neglect, Dr Katrina Lines said.
Anyone can contact Family and Child Connect on 13 FAMILY for information and advice. When you speak with Family and Child Connect, they will keep your personal information safe and only use it to refer your family to the right support service with your permission.
For more information visit http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/stronger-families
Family and Child Connect opening on the Gold Coast.
Family and Child Connect opening at the Sunshine Coast.