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A Step Up for Our Kids

More support for vulnerable Canberra families

A new program for vulnerable families delivered in partnership by the ACT Government and Uniting that aims to prevent children coming into care has been officially launched, Minister for Children and Young People Chris Bourke said today.

“The Uniting Children and Families ACT program aims to keep vulnerable families together and provide them with the tools and knowledge to sustain a safe home environment for their children,” Dr Bourke said.

“The program is tailored to the individual needs of the family and also supports parents to connect with education, mental health services or drug and alcohol programs.

“This important work goes to the heart of A Step Up for Our Kids, the ACT Government’s $16 million reform to out of home care.

“We have commissioned a system of services that will see government partner with community organisations to deliver better outcomes for children and young people.

The ACT Government’s partnership with Uniting (the community services and advocacy arm of the NSW.ACT Synod of the Uniting Church), will build on their 105 years of experience in working with vulnerable children and young people.

Claerwen Little, the Uniting Children’s Advocate believes there’s nothing more critical than continuing to innovate and adopt new approaches to supporting vulnerable families.

“We know that wherever possible, the best place for children is with their family and kin network. We’re focused on finding new and enduring ways to keep families together.”

“The ACT Government’s Step Up For Our Kids program is an outstanding model which has been developed collaboratively with many community service partners,” Ms Little said.

The program has been running since January, and is already working with 68 families.

“The Uniting Children and Families ACT program is a crucial part of the system reform and key to how we are transforming the way we support and respond to the needs of vulnerable children.

“It is heartening to see that this work is already having an impact, and a significant number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are engaged with Uniting,” Dr Bourke said.