Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/803069
- Australian practices in family education
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Health , Family Action Centre
- The main thrust of this paper is that in order to maximize outcomes for children and families there needs to be effective integration between service providers, policy makers and researchers.Key considerations are: (1). The importance of common purpose and approaches ; (2). The need for structures that facilitate dialogue ; (3). Discovering what works, not just what does not work ; (4). Investing in resources for evaluation for service providers. ; I'd like to start by describing the contribution of a non-government, self-funded, university-based centre, namely, the Family Action Centre (FAC) at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia where I am Director, which aims to strengthen families and communities in Australia by changing policy and the way in which services to families are delivered. The Centre's primary focus is early intervention and prevention for families and the main mode of intervention is community development. In other words, the Centre does not render therapeutic counselling services. Instead it delivers a range of programs including the following: Engaging Fathers Project, Boys in Schools Program, Home-Start, and Caravan Project.It has been our experience that, for the most part, mainstream service provision is presaged on the determination of what is wrong with families and communities. This deficits-based focus is disempowering to families and communities and creates an unhealthy dependency as those with the most disadvantages are more likely to receive help.This emphasis has allowed family strengths and community assets to be overlooked when,ironically, these are the very factors that contribute to resilience. This has also led to a topdown approach in which policymakers and service providers are seen as the experts and the families as deficient, needy and powerless recipients. The FAC's position is that policymakers, researchers and sewice providers should be challenged to focus on the strengths of families and the assets of communities, as well as risk and adversity. The recent focus of the Australian and State Governments on the importance of early intervention and prevention has provided opportunity for these three groups to be aligned in their attention to strength based and early intervention approaches to create better outcomes for children.
- Urban Transition and Family Education p. 219-232
- Shanghai Culture Publishing House
- Resource Type
- book chapter