Logan Together partners are busy doing the things that will get long term results for our kids. Here’s just some of their recent work
Specialist Parents Drug and Alcohol Service
In February 2016 Logan Together partners Metro South Health established a new specialist service focussing on the needs of parents struggling with addiction and mental health challenges. The service includes outreach workers embedded in community settings such as the Family Place where supportive relationships with parents can be formed. Outreach workers also support families through the maternity and paediatric services offered at Logan Hospital.
Logan children with autism and their families received a boost in support in July 2016 when Logan Together partner organisation AEIOU received a $1 million investment from the Federal Government’s National Stronger Regions fund (NSRF) to construct a purpose built Logan Autism Centre.
The investment will support AEIOU Foundation to provide early intervention services, creating a lifetime of opportunities for children with autism and their families.
The Centre will be part of the innovative Meadowbrook Health and Knowledge Precinct in Logan, which is transforming a suburb into an integrated centre for health, education, research and community.
As part of the establishment of the centre, AEIOU will collaborate with Griffith University to create training pathways for disciplines including behaviour therapy, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy and medicine.
Community Maternity and Child Health Hubs
Logan’s Community Maternity and Child Health Hubs are moving closer to reality since funding for the exciting project was announced in May 2017.
An oversight committee, including key participants from the original consultation process has been formed and is guiding the implementation proves for the Hubs.
Work has also begun on recruiting an inspiring team to deliver this game changing service to the community.
Relationships Australia Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub
In 2016 Relationships Australia secured funding for a new preventative mental health and wellbeing hub in the community. The Logan and Southern Moreton Bay Islands Hub was funded by the Queensland Mental health Commission under the Early Action: Queensland Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Action Plan 2015-17.
Early Action acknowledges that good mental health and wellbeing are fundamental to all our lives. It is the foundation of flourishing individuals, families, and communities, and central to achieving long-term social and economic prosperity.
The work of the Logan and Southern Moreton Bay Islands Wellbeing Hub is to improve knowledge and understanding of positive mental health, including the ways in which individuals and communities can enhance and protect mental health and wellbeing. This includes promoting the understanding that mental health wellbeing is an important end in itself and not just an absence of illness.
YFS Sure Steps Program
Logan Together partners YFS and the Department of Housing and Public Works are trialing a “Family Coach” model through the new Sure Steps program. A Family Coach works holistically with all members of the household to understand aspirations and then work long term to help achieve those goals.
The model has wide implications for service change.
School Hearing Screening
In March 2016 educational opportunities for kids in Logan were further improved with the introduction of School Hearing Screening by the Hear and Say Centre. With hearing a critical factor in developing speech and accessing educational opportunities ensuring children’s hearing is developing on track is vital. Over 200 prep classes have benefited from hearing screening and referral.
Goodstart EChO Centre in Logan
Logan Together partners Goodstart Early Learning saw the need to develop a program aimed at providing additional support to children who may find early learning more of a challenge than others. Their Enhancing Children’s Outcomes program has been introduced at Centre’s across Australia including at Goodstart Waterford in Logan.
EChO centres enrich communities by providing access to high quality early learning support targeted to the children in those centres with additional developmental needs. The centres are provided with additional resources to allow time for family engagement, community connections and additional educators supporting in speech and language, occupational therapy and child and family linkages.
Each centre offers services that meet the individual and unique needs of the centre community. The program and services offered range from providing nutritional support, to transdisciplinary and outreach services. One of our transdisciplinary services include child and family practitioners who engage and support vulnerable children and families and focus on intervention strategies to sustain their participation in early learning. Outreach services including parenting support, playgroups, transport assistance, co-located allied health and other visiting services and after hour access to Goodstart support staff.
In 2017 the Queensland Family and Child Commission commenced a trial using the interactive video game Rumble’s Quest to measure the wellbeing of children via selected family support services across Logan.
The game is part of an Australian first suite of online resources developed by staff at Logan Together host and partner organisation Griffith University.
Rumble’s Quest gives children the opportunity to report their own feelings and sense of wellbeing as they journey through an interactive universe.
As they progress, the game asks questions designed to obtain a detailed measure of the child’s social-emotional wellbeing with results able to be evaluated at an individual, school or community level.
Kingston Kindy is a Deadly Kindy
The importance of Kindy was highlighted with the start of the Deadly Kindy program by Logan Together partner Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane. Activities such as a stay and play day at Kingston Community Kindy early in 2017 helped introduce parents and kids to their local Kindy and also highlighted the important part Kindy plays in preparing kids for big school.
The Family Place Approach
Logan Together partners The Salvation Army and Griffith University have collaborated to develop a unique approach to creating safe community spaces for children and parents. The Family Place Approach utilises soft entry universally accessible programs for children and families and creates a culture of safety for children, parents and other practitioners.
The Approach is embodied in the Family Place community space at Woodridge where free activities and support are offered to families in Logan. The service offers a range of different programs, including playgroups, literacy groups, drop in health clinics, family fitness programs and support for fathers including a Dad’s Playgroup.
Access Gateway Community Hubs
Increasing social inclusion for new arrivals and refugees settling in Logan is one of the aims of the Access Gateway community hub established by Logan Together partner Access Community Services. Long time Logan residents and new arrivals can connect, interact and build relationships with each other and crucial services at the Gateway which is driven by the lived experiences of refugees and migrants. From English classes and driving lessons to work experiences and legal advice the Gateway door is open to everyone seeking assistance or advice.
Hosanna The Village Hub
Logan Together partner Hosanna Logan City opened The Village Hub in March 2017. The Village Hub is the only community controlled and owned hub designed to strengthen links in the Pacifica and Maori communities in a culturally safe environment.
Run by two pastors within the church, the Village Hub provides a range of services to the community including homework club, playgroups, prison ministry, seniors programs, budgeting assistance, parenting courses and food relief.
Abecedarian roll out
It might sound like a mouthful but Abecedarian is a powerful approach to develop language, a key factor in our children’s early learning.
The main areas of focus for Abecedarian techniques are the use of: learning games, conversational reading, enriched caregiving, and language priority. These techniques support children to create bonds and attachment with adults from ages 0-1, feel secure and know they’re supported when exploring the world from ages 1-3, and use play to explore from ages 3-5. The tools also support healthy emotional, social, and cognitive development in children and babies.
Education Queensland partnered with Logan City Council Library to deliver Abecedarian training to early childhood education and care practitioners and community service providers across the City. These professionals can then pass these techniques on to parents and caregivers in the community, including via free Abecedarian playgroups delivered by Kingston East Neighbourhood Centre in Logan City Council Libraries
Education Queensland has committed to maintaining an accredited Abecedarian trainer long term in Logan, so the approach looks set to benefit the community over many years to come.
First Five Forever
We’ve known for some time that reading to children from a very young age helps to stimulate their brains and lays the groundwork for improved literacy in later years. But research is now showing us that up to 90% of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years making every interaction with parents and carers an opportunity for learning.
First Five Forever is a Government funded community program aimed at supporting parents and carers in their roles as their children’s first and most important teachers. The program is thriving in Logan with a range of free sessions at Logan City Libraries and other community spaces, sparking a joy of learning in babies and children across the City.
Got good news to spread ?
Contact Jen Kyriacou at Logan Together to tell your story here: j.kyriacou@Griffith.edu.au