Stronger Communities for Children

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

Stronger Communities Resources

Resources to help build stronger communities

Learn More
Stronger Communities for Children


Evaluation reports and stories from SCfC

Learn More

Client: National Indigenous Australians Agency

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?

The 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 Northern Territory 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.

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.

Where is it happening?

Stronger Communities for Children projects were established in Ngukurr, Galiwin’ku, Wadeye, Ntaria and Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) in 2013. In 2015, an additional five projects were established in Gunbalanya, Maningrida, Utopia Homelands, Plenty Hwy (Atitjere & Engawala) and Lajamanu.

How does it work?

SCfC operates through a Local Community Board, 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 Local Community Board works with a lead non-government organisation, or a ‘Facilitating Partner’, whose role it is to:

  • Support the SCfC Local Community Board to do its job
  • Take advice from the SCfC Local Community Board on how to run SCfC and operate at capacity
  • Work with the SCfC Local Community Board to ensure local services work together to support children and families in the community
  • Develop and deliver a Community 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

Participating Communities 

There are 10 sites in total participating in the SCfC program. Information on each community’s facilitating partner organisation is provided below.


Community Facilitating Partner Organisation Website  
Galiwin’ku Yalu Aboriginal Corporation 
Wadeye Thamarrurr Development Corporation 
Ngukurr Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation
Ntaria WANTA Aboriginal Corporation
Lytentye Apurte Atyenhenge-Atherre Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC)
Gunbalanya Adjumarllal Aboriginal Corporation
Atitjere & Engawala Children’s Ground
Lajamanu Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC)
Utopia Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation
Maningrida Mala’la Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

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 with the implementation of the program, working directly with SCfC Local Community Boards 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 strategise, and identify priorities
  • Providing  governance and training support to Local Community Boards
  • Encouraging the casual employment of ACFs
  • 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

What has been achieved under SCfC so far?

While the full impact of SCfC is still emerging, we are seeing fantastic outcomes for children, families and communities across the 10 regions. Local Community Boards are pushing to address gaps in service delivery to secure a safe, strong and healthy future for their children.

In 2020, Ninti One set out to produce an SCfC program-wide evaluation of these outcomes, the product of which is the SCfC Storybook. The Storybook details the successes achieved across six communities at an individual, community and systems level. Importantly, it demonstrates that SCfC communities are investing in programs that are making important strides towards Closing the Gap.

A significant area of success for SCfC has been in employment. As of August 2021, there were 675 First Nations people employed over an 18-month period across the program, with 83% of the total workforce for SCfC identifying as Aboriginal.

The Storybook also details the strategic learnings that have come from the experiences of each community, their local boards and the programs they have implemented. Local communities have learnt valuable lessons around what the critical drivers of positive change are, including the profound impact of effective local governance and the role of cultural authority in achieving positive change. These are key insights that will inform future work towards Closing the Gap in remote Australia and ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait children get the best possible start in life.

You can read more about the Stronger Communities for Children Storybook here.