Stronger Communities for Children

Supporting Aboriginal people to build strong, independent lives, with a focus on safe and healthy children and their families.

Client: Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Stronger Communities for Children aims to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people the best possible start in life through safer families and communities, nurturing educational environments, positive participation opportunities and cultural events. Our approach has been to ensure that local communities have a real say in local decision-making, including what services they need and how they are delivered.

What is the Stronger Communities for Children Program?

Stronger Communities for Children (SCfC) initiative is a place-based community development program which aims to give Aboriginal children and young people in the participating NT communities the best possible start in life so that they grow up strong, healthy and confident. SCfC began in June 2013 with five communities and in June 2015 five new communities were added to the program. SCfC is one of a range of measures funded by the Australian Government that is seeking to support Aboriginal children and families.

What has been achieved under SCfC so far?

In 2017 there was an independent evaluation to measure progress of SCfC and to see if the activities were delivering any changes in the communities. The evaluation found early indications of improved family functioning, positive participation in education and increased safety and wellbeing for children, young people and their families as a result of SCfC.

A strong focus of SCfC has been on increasing jobs for local Aboriginal people. As at 30 June 2017, 236 Aboriginal people had taken up jobs created under SCfC, and around 195 people had actively volunteered their time to serve on a SCfC Local Community Board.

 

The Aims of SCfC

  • Increase support for the nurturing of young children
  • Improve school readiness of young children
  • Increase support for children and young people to attend school and gain an education
  • Increase opportunities for children, young people and families to participate in cultural events
  • Improve family and community safety
  • Build community capacity to lead, plan and prioritise services that children, youth and families need
  • Build the capacity of Aboriginal organisations to deliver these services and increase local employment opportunities.

 How does it work?

SCfC operates through an ‘Advisory Group’, comprising local Aboriginal community members, whose role it is to:

  • Work with the wider community to identify SCfC priorities
  • Develop a long term vision and strategies for SCfC, captured in a Local Community Plan
  • Make decisions
  • Deliver services or activities that are most needed in communities
  • Work with the Facilitating Partner to develop a suitable Monitoring and Evaluation framework in order to review how services or activities are going

The SCfC Advisory Group works with a lead non-government organisation, or a ‘Facilitating Partner’, whose role it is to:

  • Support the SCfC Advisory Group to do its job
  • Take advice from the SCfC Advisory Group on how to run SCfC and operate at capacity
  • Work with the SCfC Advisory Group to ensure local services work together to support children and families in the community
  • Develop and deliver a Service Delivery Plan in accordance with the budget
  • Manage contracting and subcontracting arrangements for organisations and individuals who are delivering SCfC services and activities to the community.
  • Help get local people into SCfC jobs and training

 

Community Facilitating Partner Organisation Website  
Galiwin’ku Partnership between Red Cross & Yalu http://yalu.cdu.edu.au/
Wadeye Palngun Wurnangat Association http://palngunwurnangat.com/
Ngukurr Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation https://yugulmangi.com/
Ntaria Tjuwanpa Outstation Resource Centre
Lytentye Apurte Atyenhenge-Atherre Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC) http://aaacorp.org.au/
Gunbalanya Adjumarllal Aboriginal Corporation
Atitjere & Engawala Jesuit Social Services transitioning to Children’s Ground https://www.childrensground.org.au/
Lajamanu Life Without Barriers http://www.lwb.org.au/
Utopia CAYLUS https://caylus.org.au/
Maningrida Malabam Health Board http://www.malabam.com.au/

What is Ninti One’s Role?

Ninti One is the lead organisation in the Quality Service Support Panel (QSSP), which works with SCfC communities by engaging with evidence around children, families and wellbeing.

Ninti One supports SCfC communities who are in the early stages of implementing the program, working directly with SCfC Advisory Groups as well as Facilitating Partner organisations and local Aboriginal Community Facilitators (ACFs). Ninti One assists in the following areas:

  • Strengthening capacity of community members to take local ownership of SCfC program
  • Helping communities to understand the model and opportunities in SCfC
  • Working with communities to strategize, and identify priorities
  • Providing  governance and training support to Advisory Groups
  • Encouraging the casual employment of ACFs (roles vary and are directed by SCfC Advisory Groups)
  • Supporting Facilitating Partners organisations in administering SCfC service delivery
  • Brokering external services
  • Working as a conduit of information and knowledge to SCfC stakeholders
  • Responding to localised needs and requests from SCfC stakeholders

 

To find out more please visit this link