Logan Together is focused on the following strategic projects this year:
- Community Maternity and Child Health Hubs
- Early Development Initiatives Birth to Prep
- Early Years Neighbourhood Networks Project
- Young Parents Project
- Community Mobilisation Campaign
- Jobs for Families Project
- Social Investment and Service Integration
- Child Development Workforce Plan
- Children Together
It has always been clear that improving the health of mums and babies during pregnancy and birth was going to be essential to us achieving the overall vision of Logan Together. Initial results of our community wide consultation process held in 2015 showed that, each year, between 500 and 600 women in Logan were accessing little or no care during their pregnancy. And many of those who were seeking and receiving support were not getting continuity of care after their birth.
This news inspired action from individuals and health and community service providers across Logan and work on the Community Maternal and Child Health Hubs Strategy commenced.
The aim of the Strategy was to provide access to and engagement with care throughout the pre-birth, birth and post birth period to age 1 by developing ‘community maternity centres’ that offer community-based continuity of care models.
Individuals, health system stakeholders and community groups came together to design a local community based child and maternal support service that offered unique opportunities to engage with and support pregnant women and their families.“Community maternity hubs are spaces for the community – for facilitated groups, health delivery, social services and integrated care.” Click To Tweet
The result was a model that that included the following features:
- Long-term relationship based care pre and post-natal
- Social and emotional wellbeing screening and support
- Antenatal care
- Child development and parenting education
- Social connection opportunities
- Links to birthing options and hospitals
After many months of tireless effort from members of the Logan community, who worked with Queensland Health, Logan Hospital, Griffith University and dozens of local providers, a long term funding allocation for the Hubs was announced in May 2017 by local member and Minister for Health Cameron Dick as part of the Logan Community Health Action Plan.
The Hubs will operate using a long-term, relationship-based community midwifery program delivered by Metro South Health to support expectant and new mothers. To ensure we bridge the gap for women not accessing pregnancy care, and bring Logan in line with the state average, women from the following population groups will be able to access the service:
- Women and their families who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ethnicity
- Maori and Pacifica women and their families
- Culturally and linguistically diverse women and their families
- Consideration will also be given to women and families referred by the core members of the hubs due to their inability to engage in mainstream maternity services (caseload numbers and complexity permitting).
The services will be based in ultra-local community locations like neighbourhood and community centres to meet the diverse socioeconomic and cultural needs of the community.
Find out more by clicking here.
Project contact: Debbie Cowan, Metro South Health
Research the world over is telling us that the first three years of a child’s life has a profound impact on their future health, development, learning and wellbeing. Participation in quality early childhood education has been shown to be an important factor in overall development as well as improving children’s successful transition to school.
In addition to the overwhelmingly positive effects exposure to early childhood education brings, a robust early education network also provides early opportunities to identify and act on the need for care interventions and health and developmental support.
In Logan 40% of children aged 0-4 years don’t attend formal early childhood education and care programs so early development support presents a key area of opportunity for focus for Logan Together.
One area of focus for this project area is clearly working to increase kindy attendance. Logan Together is working with our partners to develop a holistic approach which not only focusses on kindy attendance but also identifies other opportunities for early learning and development to take place outside a formal structure. Community led activities such as playgroups, neighbourhood centres and community hubs will all play a major part in this project.
We are developing some exciting concepts with the Department of Education and Training and partners across other sectors and the community to support high quality early childhood education for kids in Logan.
The proposal focuses on the establishment of several “proof of concept sites” where strong Early Years Neighbourhood Networks will be supported by Early Years Coaches. The Networks consist of a group of local schools and their feeder early learning services. Professional development and strong professional and community linkages will be fostered with the Early Years Coaches providing dedicated learning and development support to Network members. In time the plan is to add transdisciplinary support services from child health and social service agencies. Currently sites being developed include Eagleby, Yarrabilba and the Kingston/Marsden area.
Supporting a terrific transition to school for kids and their families at each site is the primary outcome for the approach.
Through their work in the community, the Young Parents project group have identified the need to provide some additional support to women who are embarking on their parenting journey under 19 years of age.
After talking to service providers and young parents, the group saw the need for a “goodie bag” designed specifically to help young people receive information and practical items that would assist them as they began their vital roles as mums.
Logan Hospital receives approximately 300 young mums each year and the group is keen to start distributing Goodie Bags from October and are currently seeking the support of individuals, community groups and businesses to stock the bags.
The bags will include information on support groups and services in the Logan area as well as fact sheets on common new born issues and the importance of attachment parenting but help is needed to source practical items to give the young parents a hand.
Project contact: Nadine LePre, Benevolent Society
Employment in the household has a big impact on child wellbeing. On average, children who grow up in households where working and regular household income are the norm tend to do better.
A number of strategies are being developed including a Young Parents project and a Jobs for Families project focusing on the needs of jobseekers with extra barriers to employment. A collaboration of among providers of the Parents Next program is also delivering some good results in keeping parents with young children in contact with the community and the world of work.
One of the powerful ideas arising from these projects is the need to focus on the family unit in order to get employment outcomes and to consider the needs of all family members as part of a longer term and holistic approach.
Project contact: Luke Robinson, Department of Social Services.
Science and research is showing us that a child’s early years are more important that we ever knew – setting the foundations for learning, resilience and brain development. Through the delivery of a localised community education and mobilization campaign we want to support local parents to learn heaps about the behaviours and routines that will help set their kids up for life.
Working with Logan Together partners, we are creating shared resources and toolkits for our community to start conversations on topics from what’s important in pregnancy, through the value of reading, singing and talking to enrolling in Kindy and Big School.
Tools like our Early Years checklist give parents and carers practical advice and guidance on steps they will need to take to enrol their child in school while our Ready for Big School Chart shows parents and kids developmental milestones that need to be considered when transitioning from early learning to school.
Mobilising the community around the information and actions that make a difference to kids at each life stage is crucial to creating sustainable, long term change in Logan. That’s where our Community Connection and Engagement Strategy comes in. This is a broadly based strategy to work across many partners to engage and empower local community members to add their energy to the Logan Together movement and have a real influence on the issues that are important to them. Using local networks and Community Empowerment Agents the strategy is activating local people to get the most out of the Early Years resources and take action on other issues that make a difference.
The Early Years resources are distributed at community events and are available on our website for you to print, use and share.
Project contact: Sharon Worboys from the Logan Together Backbone Team.
On the surface there seem to a vast range of services and support programs available to help vulnerable members of our communities. Yet social issues around unemployment, substance abuse, housing, health and violence are still affecting the lives of so many people.
Service fragmentation, access difficulties, low levels of service engagement and social stigma around accessing services are recognised in research and in community feedback as major impediments to translating support opportunities into improving people’s lives.
For any of the community’s effort to support individuals, families and improve child development trajectories to be effective, these fundamental issues of efficiency and relevance must be addressed.
Put simply we have to provide the right support to the right people, in the right way, in the right place if we want to achieve the right outcome for our communities. We also need to better invest in social inclusion and empowerment initiatives that sit alongside service responses as powerful drivers for change.
This project proposes a transformative redesign across multiple family-facing disciplines and projects to address the questions of how families engage with and experience support systems across the health, education and social services domains. It will also focus on whether the joint effort across those domains can be more effective in achieving long-term positive results for families.
The Sure Steps project developed with YFS and the Department of Housing is a small test project piloting an integrated “Family Coach” model to give effect to these ideas.
Work in 2018 will focus on some further small scale pilot activity, whilst also looking at more systemic responses. We expect this will be done in partnership with the Community Services Industry Alliance.
Project contact: Sandra Fields from the Logan Together Backbone Team.
The development and retention of a skilled workforce that supports families and kids is an essential ingredient in ensuring long term improvements in child wellbeing in our city.
The Child Development Workforce Plan has been designed to support the child-facing workforce to better support healthy child development and life trajectories. The project is focussing on boosting skills and knowledge within the local workforce, assessing skills availability and labour force churn, and identifying gaps in current training arrangements.
Of particular importance to the project group is identifying ways to develop skills in critical areas such as child development knowledge, social and emotional learning, cultural competence, needs screening and referral.
This project is in its early stages but the energy around it is strong. Commencing in September, 2017, The Salvation Army Griffith Knowledge Partnership will be delivering 5 Master Classes using the Circles of Changed Revisited process to enhance service design and practice in Logan.
The Circles of Change Revisited process is nationally recognised as being a highly effective tool for those working with children and families and the team is excited to be able to offer it free of charge in the Logan area.
Project contact: Jenny Cartmel, Griffith University
This project is focussed on creating a culture that protects and values the social and emotional wellbeing of children. Based on the Unicef Child Friendly Framework the project is working to ensure the rights of children are reflected in policies, laws, programs and budgets.
Children are active agents, and their voices and opinions are taken into consideration and influence decision-making processes. Concepts being explored as part of this project include a Children’s Summit to capture the voice and aspirations of Logan children and what they want for their community.
Project contact: Geraldine Harris
Got more to tell the world ?
If you’d like to add details of your Logan Together project, please contact Jen Kyriacou from the Logan Together Backbone Team.
See how all these projects are coming together to achieve our goals by exploring The Roadmap.