The Go Goldfields Alliance has been developing and supporting the implementation of integrated strategies to improve outcomes for all children and families.
Better service integration
Key priorities include facilitating conversations and problem solving across services, kindergartens and schools with the aim of working towards making it easier for families to understand and access services. This work is guided by the messages families told us as part of the Central Goldfields Shire Family Consultation Project 2013. Local families told us:
Support services accessed by families locally are committed to strengthening their ability to work better together to provide wraparound support that values families’ strengths and supports them to create the future they want.
Central Goldfields Early Years Forums
All primary schools, kindergartens and early years support services, including maternal and child health, speech therapy, family support, parenting education and other allied early years supports, have commenced meeting each school term to workshop ways of improving the early learning experience of young children and their families. A priority for this group of professionals has been improving our local transition processes during the ages and stages of children, including from kindergarten to school.
Vulnerable Children’s Community of Practice
Support services who support vulnerable children and / or families and parents, have established a community of practice to strengthen their professional partnerships and to support each other in their professional practice, particularly in supporting our more vulnerable community members. This has brought together family support services, welfare coordinators from schools, mental health services, alcohol and other drug support workers, housing and homelessness support, disability services and family violence services.
Making parenting easier
Work is occurring to improve the availability and accessibility of parenting education to support parents to feel more skilled and confident. Go Goldfields is facilitating stronger partnerships between the Regional Parenting Service and local providers to bring more evidence-based, high quality, parenting education to the Shire. This is driven by what parents tell us is needed and how it should be delivered.
Services who provide various levels and intensity of parent support and education are being assisted by Go Goldfields to better coordinate their resources and effort to provide a suite of options for families in a scheduled way that better meets what families say is needed.
Including the voice of children in decision making
In addition to strengthening the voice of families in the decision making processes connected with Go Goldfields as per the establishment of the collaborative table, Go Goldfields is working on ensuring children’s voices are also heard. Decisions which effect children often have better outcomes when children are appropriately involved. Seeing and treating children as citizens in their own right also enhances protective factors for children and supports them in their development. This is work in progress and commenced with children as young as 3 years being consulted about the best things for children in Maryborough. The Go Goldfields collaborative table’s work will be more powerful as it considers the opinions not just young people and families, but also of children, including young children.