On Wednesday 2 October, Napranum was a sea of graduation certificates, smiles and pride as the Act for Kids SafeKIDS Program team received their Certificate III in Community Services Work.
After a year of study, the tertiary qualification will complement the graduates extensive on-the-job experience working with local children and families. Their SafeKIDS Program colleagues in Aurukun also graduated on Thursday.
Act for Kids CEO, Dr Neil Carrington, said the graduates are already doing excellent work in community and should be proud of their achievement.
The SafeKIDS Program provides safe houses and a family support service. The staff working in the house provide a safe, caring home for kids while authorities investigate concerns about their safety and wellbeing. This means kids can stay connected to community, culture and country instead of being placed in care far from their family and familiar environment, which can be very traumatic.
They also look after kids or young people who have been living in out-of-home care far away from community, so they can come back and visit or be reunified with their family.
The family support service team works with families to help them become stronger and overcome challenges that compromise the safety and wellbeing of their kids.
Theyre doing fantastic work, keeping kids in community and strengthening families. Graduating from tertiary study is a great achievement, doing it while they work in what can be a challenging job is something to be extremely proud of, Dr Carrington said.
Act for Kids delivered the training locally, in partnership with Sunshine Coast TAFE. The course was structured in monthly blocks of one week solid training, provided in community, and funded by the Department of Education, Training and Employment.
Jack Budby from Napranum was a committed student, working through lunch breaks. He said it was good to be able to study locally.
It was very challenging. Im not good at reading, and not much good at writing. Its made me happy to pass, I didnt think I would.
I feel proud, and my children are proud of me. Its helped me a lot in my work, and Ive changed a lot, Mr Budby said.
Wed like to congratulate all 21 graduates for their outstanding efforts and great work with local kids and families.