An old foster home in Kalgoorlie, currently undergoing transformation into a neighbourhood centre, is being used by former children of the home as a playgroup for their own children.
Child Protection and Communities Minister Sue Ellery said Kerspien House in Piesse Street was being extensively renovated as a one-stop neighbourhood centre offering programs and activities for parents, children and families.
“Among the local people who can use this centre and are already doing so are Aboriginal mothers who lived in the former group home as young children,” Ms Ellery said.
“The Best Start program which caters for Aboriginal children, the Best Beginnings program for all infants and the Goldfields Parenting Information Service are some of the community programs that will now be permanently based at the new centre.”
The Minister said when complete, the centre would be a user-friendly, well-resourced and easily accessible facility for the whole community to use, including groups such as the Sexual Assault Resource Centre, Red Cross and Fathers’ First Playgroup.
“The renovations have provided three new offices, a new parenting library, a playroom for children, new carpets, fresh paint, a landscaped front garden and a children’s sand pit in the backyard,” she said.
“Work still to be done includes a renovated bathroom for the back flat, new children’s bathroom facilities, a backyard barbecue and shade area, fresh grass and new play equipment.”
Ms Ellery said the $28,000 makeover would meet a need in Kalgoorlie for intensive early intervention services for parents and a meeting point for mothers and fathers to enjoy interaction with their children and other parents.
“It is pleasing to see that what was once a residential home for children from families in crisis is now a hub of support for parents with infants and young children, and the whole community,” she said.
The new Kerspien House Community Centre is expected to be finished in June.
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