A unique statewide information campaign has been launched to encourage better communication between children and their parents.
The `Grow Together' campaign was jointly launched today by Premier Carmen Lawrence and Family and Community Development Minister Eric Ripper.
`Grow Together' would include:
· a new Parent Information Referral Service based at the Parent Help Centre in Mount Lawley with a 24-hour telephone information service for parents and a 008 line for country callers;
· special information brochures for parents provided to schools, libraries, doctors' surgeries, family and neighbourhood houses, and Department for Community Development offices;
· grants of up to $5,000 for community groups to provide programs to enhance relationships between adults and children;
· television and newspaper advertisements including material designed for Aboriginal and ethnic people.
"Research has shown good family communication and understanding can be vital in helping to prevent problems such as truancy, youth homelessness, juvenile crime, child abuse and youth suicide," the Premier said.
"Evidence from the Quit, Drinksafe, Respect Yourself and Fruit 'n Veg campaigns demonstrates that well-designed strategies, combining media advertising with practical programs in the community, can have a positive effect on people's attitudes and behaviour."
The $500,000 campaign was part of the Government's Social Advantage package which included about 80 separate community-based initiatives.
Mr Ripper said `Grow Together' stemmed from recommendations by several authoritative research committees such as the Community and Family Commission (1992), the Parent Education Review (1991) and the Sexual Abuse Task Force (1987). The Community and Family Commission based its report on the views of more than 6,000 Western Australians.
"These reports compiled after comprehensive public consultation separately called for public information campaigns to focus on children and their important role in society," the Minister said.
"The 'Grow Together' campaign is the first major project undertaken by the new Department for Community Development, formerly the Department for Community Services and will be systematically monitored to ensure its effectiveness."