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June van de Klashorst
Albany families benefit from Coalition plan for strong communities
30/01/2001 11:05 AM
Families in the Albany region will directly benefit from the Coalition’s Family Policy which contains initiatives to benefit everyone from babies and toddlers, to youth, school students, men and women.
Speaking in Albany today, Family and Children’s Services Minister June van de Klashorst, said families were the foundation of our society.
She said the Coalition’s initiatives reflected its commitment to the belief that strong families built strong communities.
Initiatives to benefit families in the Albany area include:
an interactive web site which will allow parents throughout the State, particularly those in rural and remote areas, for the first time to receive instant online professional advice on family problems;
funding an increased participation of Western Australia in the Kids Helpline- - a national freecall telephone counselling service for young people aged from 5 – 18;
expanding the Building Blocks program being successfully piloted in Albany which builds on the strength of families and improves their children’s health and well being. Parents of each newborn baby will be eligible for a visit from a child health nurse to offer help and advice. Cost - an additional $4 million increasing the total expenditure to $15.5 million over five years;
as part of the expansion of Building Blocks, produce a video series for parents with a newborn child to provide information on positive parenting. There will also be a video for students in years 11 and 12 offering information on the realities and responsibilities of being a parent;
expanding the services available to families at the time of separation or divorce including programs to help parents focus on their children’s needs and courses to assist people representing themselves in the Family Court;
establishing five new mobile playgroup activity services in Western Australia for families unable to access existing services one of which will be in the south of the State;
establishing a family information service through a free 1800 number and a web site containing all the information on all the State Government services available for families;
a small grants program, Lifetime Links, will be expanded to improve contact between young people and seniors with particular emphasis on families and children in rural and remote areas;
an expansion of the successful Cadets WA program to allow the participation of an additional 2,000 young Western Australians. A State Youth Round Table will also be established;
all not-for-profit organisations funded by Family and Children’s Services will not be subject to the conditions applying to profit making companies and will be exempt from re-tendering every three years while being subject to normal Government accountability and performance standards;
introducing a new Family and Children’s Services Bill to reflect the changed way in which Government delivers services to families; and -
a multimedia campaign to increase the awareness of the value of men in families as nurturers and carers to be run over the next three years.
Mrs van de Klashorst said the policies were based on research that consistently showed the family was the most important influence on a child’s development, and that the early years of a child’s life were a critical influence on later development.
“Early intervention for families experiencing difficulties could prevent a much greater social problem in years to come,” she said.
“The initiatives build on the new ways of supporting and strengthening families introduced by the Coalition over the last eight years.
“In spite of the social changes that have taken place, the family remains the most influential of all social institutions and the Coalition will continue to support and strengthen this fundamental part of our social structure.”
Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810