26 Nov The National Child & Family Hubs Network support service launched
National Child & Family Hubs Network Revolutionizes Support Services for Australian Families
The network brings together expertise from health, early education, NGOs, community organizations, research institutes, universities, philanthropy, and government to strengthen the capacity of the existing 460 Hubs across Australia. The goal is to ensure families receive vital care and support during the crucial first 2000 days of a child’s life.
In a groundbreaking move, Dr. Anne Aly, Minister for Early Childhood Education, alongside Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Karitane, officially launched the National Child & Family Hubs Network. This transformative initiative aims to enhance accessibility and impact for Australian families by bolstering integrated community-based child and family Hubs.
Key Benefits for Families:
- Comprehensive Services: The Child & Family Hubs, supported by the network, function as comprehensive one-stop shops. Families can access a range of support services enhancing child development and family health from pregnancy to the early school years.
- Reduced Fragmentation: These Hubs integrate various services under one roof, reducing fragmentation. They provide non-stigmatizing and safe spaces while building parent/caregiver capacity.
- Equity for All Families: With over 60% of existing Hubs in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, the network strives for equitable access, focusing on families facing life challenges.
- Addressing Developmental Vulnerabilities: The network aims to bridge developmental gaps, especially for the one in five children and four in ten Indigenous children developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains of the Australian Early Development Census.
Minister Aly emphasized the importance of holistic wraparound support during the early years, stating, “If we get those vital early years right, we have the ability to change the trajectory of a child’s life.”
Real Impact on Families:
Anne-Marie McNamara, a local mum attending the growing Karitane Hub in Sydney’s Fairfield shared, “Karitane Hub has been my lifeline through the joys and challenges of raising two sets of twins. From the Residential Unit and Breastfeeding Clinic to the Careline and Playgroups, every step has been a reassuring handhold. Currently attending the toddler clinic with my 3-year-old twin girls, Karitane feels like an extension of our family. Becoming a part of this big family network has transformed my journey as a mother – without the Karitane Hub, we would not be the parents we are today.”
Prof Sharon Goldfeld, Chair of the National Child and Family Hub Network, envisioned an inclusive learning network. She stated, “Our vision is for families to walk through the welcoming front door of a Child & Family Hub and receive the right care and support at the right time, leading to improved and equitable health and development outcomes.”
Grainne O’Loughlin, CEO of Karitane, stressed the historic nature of the network, noting its role in coordinating and evaluating integrated community-based Hubs through evidence-based practice. The aim is to build collective capacity across the Hubs and accelerate learning for the best quality support services.
For more information, visit childandfamilyhubs.org.au.