Stronger Communities for Children (SCfC) is a flexible initiative that works with Northern Territory communities to identify and implement local, integrated services and activities that create a safe and positive environment for children and families.
SCfC aims to give children and young people the best possible start in life by:
- making families and communities safer
- nurturing young children
- providing children, young people and families opportunities for participation in cultural events
- supporting children to be school-ready
- supporting young people to attend school and gain an education
- building community capacity to lead, plan and prioritise services that children and families need
- building the capacity of Indigenous organisations to deliver these services.
SCfC projects are community-led. Local people have a real say in what services they need and the way they are delivered. Services should be provided by locals too, with support available for Indigenous people to learn new skills to do these jobs if necessary.
Funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy’s Children and Schooling Programme, the Australian Government has committed $25.45 million to SCfC through to 30 June 2018.
Stronger Communities on the ground
A non-government organisation is assigned in each community to be a SCfC Facilitating Partner. Their job is to work with a local Community Board to determine which child, youth and family services are most-needed. The Facilitating Partner then works with other organisations in the community to make sure these services are delivered.
For example, a Community Board may identify that there isn’t enough support available for local young mothers. The Board would discuss this with the Facilitating Partner and together they would agree that parenting workshops should be introduced. The Facilitating Partner would then find a service provider to deliver the workshops and work with that provider to ensure the workshops met the community’s needs.
To help Community Boards and Facilitating Partners identify the right services and activities to meet their needs, they can seek advice from the SCfC Quality Service Support Panel. The Panel features two research-based organisations: Ninti One (the lead organisation) and Menzies School of Health Research. The Panel provides information and resources around data collection, impact assessment, community engagement and service delivery.
Stronger Communities is for children and families
- Children from 0-5 years: to improve the health and wellbeing of families and the health, wellbeing and early development of young children.
- Children from 6-11 years: to assist parents and families build their confidence and parenting skills in meeting their children’s developmental needs, ensuring children are nurtured and educated so that they can grow up strong, healthy and confident.
- Young people 12 years and over: to improve life choices and outcomes for young people.
- Families: to promote safe and healthy social interaction of women, men and families.
- Men and women: to provide men and women with greater capacity to meet the needs of their families.
- Indigenous community services: to strengthen cooperation and collaboration and avoid duplication of existing community services.
- Wider community: to strengthen community capacity, staff development and organisational governance for Community Boards and local service providers.
Stronger Communities for Children projects were established in Ngukurr, Galiwin’ku, Wadeye, Ntaria and Santa Teresa in 2013.
In 2015, an additional five projects are being established in Gunbalanya, Maningrida, Utopia Homelands, Atitjere (encompassing Engawala and Bonya) and Lajamanu. Local Community Boards are being established and the Facilitating Partner is consulting with communities on what services are required.
- Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation in Utopia Homelands
- Yalu Marnggithinyaraw Aboriginal Coporation in Galiwin'ku
- Katherine Regional Aboriginal Health and Related Services Inc (KRAHRS) in Ngukurr
- Tharmarrurr Regional Authority Aboriginal Corporation (TRAAC) in Wadeye
- Tjuwanpa Outstation Resource Aboriginal Corporation in Ntaria
- Atyenhenge-Atherre Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC) in Santa Teresa
- Malabam Health Board Aboriginal Corporation in Maningrida
- Adjumarllarl Aboriginal Corporation in Gunbalanya
- Jesuit Social Services Ltd in Atitjere, Engawala and Bonya
- Life Without Barriers in Lajamanu