MEDIA RELEASE - Re-ACT CQ partnership program

11 September 2023





Central Queensland children to receive vital support through new pilot program following partnership between Act for Kids and QCoal Foundation.

Act for Kids and QCoal Foundation are excited to share a new partnership which will fill a significant gap in service delivery for children in Central Queensland.

Called Re-ACT CQ, the pilot program will expand crucial and high demand trauma-informed therapy services in regional and remote Queensland, with an initial focus on Central Queensland.

In 2021-2022, more than 470,000 reports were made to child protection authorities in Australia with 45,548 of those substantiated, including 6,249 Queensland children. This equates to 125 children every day in Australia.

In response to the growing need, particularly in remote and regional areas Act for Kids and QCoal Foundation have entered into a three-year partnership which will facilitate the establishment of a pilot program delivering face to face sessions, including in outreach locations, and therapy delivered by telehealth.

The program will be delivered in the Central Queensland region which currently has very limited multidisciplinary therapy services to support children and young people and will include support for an additional therapist based in Rockhampton in Central Queensland.

QCoal Foundation CEO Sylvia Bhatia said that research has shown the impact of children experiencing abuse or neglect was amplified in regional and remote areas due to a lack of available trauma-informed therapy services.

“Without treatment and support, abused and neglected children can experience poor future health, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, juvenile offending, criminality and incarceration,” Ms Bhatia said.

“This pilot program, Re-ACT CQ, will fill a significant gap in Central Queensland and we hope it will create a positive and lasting change in these children’s lives,” she said.

Act for Kids CEO Dr Katrina Lines said Act for Kids’ emphasis was on prevention and early intervention through a trauma-informed, holistic approach to therapy that supported improved outcomes across the community.

“Trauma-informed therapy involves working with children and their families through an integrated approach including psychology, speech pathology and occupational therapy that addresses their individual needs to help them heal from trauma and achieve future goals,” Dr Lines said.

“This new pilot program has been made possible by the partnership with QCoal Foundation and their generous commitment and dedication to help vulnerable children, where we know there is significant demand. It means many children will now receive the vital support that they deserve to go on and lead happy lives.”

“We are already experiencing plenty of early engagement about this new program which reaffirms the strong community need, and we are grateful to the QCoal Foundation for the opportunity to extend our services in Central Queensland, particularly in out-reach locations where there has been limited support available to kids,” she explained.

QCoal Foundation has committed $150,000 per year for three years to this partnership with Act for Kids.

Act for Kids CEO Dr Katrina Lines and QCoal Foundation CEO Sylvia Bhatia discuss the roll out of the Re-ACT CQ program.

Act for Kids CEO Dr Katrina Lines, QCoal Foundation CEO Sylvia Bhatia and QCoal Foundation Chair Christopher Wallin celebrate the launch of the Re-ACT CQ program.