First Steps Count
child and family centre
- The Family Centre trains professionals to work in partnership with families.
- A happy, safe, supportive, welcoming and inclusive environment
- Connecting community with support services & skills
- Facilitation of intensive family support services for children and their families.
- Provision of life skills education and recreational facilities for general health and wellbeing of children and their families.
- Provision of a referral service for children and their families.
The Centre will operate as a not-for-profit incorporated association. The following are some of the services that will be provided:
Families will be able to access therapists in a non-clinical (family friendly) environment. Speech pathologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and Trauma Counsellors will be able to use child friendly spaces (inside and outside).
Multidisciplinary assessment services will be available. Rather than parents having to go through several assessments to determine their child’s needs, services will work closely together throughout the assessment process.
- Provision of integrated early intervention services:
These services will be offered for children (0-12) and their families, especially where poverty, distress, suffering, misfortune or helplessness occurs. The Centre “Connector” will ensure that a strong partnership is formed with the services needed and that the support is integrated and functional.
- Collaborate with school education providers:
The aim is to support vulnerable or disengaged students throughout their educational journey. This can take many shapes depending on the needs of a particular child. We have a strong partnership with Manning Gardens Public School and other Taree Schools. The Centre will directly support Regional Plan targets such as improvements in early childhood learning and care and school participation rates
- Community Garden and Kitchen: Families will be involved in setting up bush tucker and edible permaculture gardens and learning to take food from the gardens to the table. Specific training and workshops will be available about gardening, food preparation and cooking. Social events and working bees will be a regular part of the Centre’s activities.
- Support early childhood education: Assist childcare providers to develop strategies to increase access to early childhood education and comply with the immediate and longer-term national reform requirements. Train educators to work in partnership with families.
“I offer my full support to the work that the First Steps Count Inc. committee are committed to carry out on behalf of our Aboriginal families. It is so important that we look after our children and get them through life as strong Aboriginal people. I see this project as a way to develop strong families and communities in this area. I look forward to working with the committee and making a difference for our children.”