Launceston TAS, Australia

What would it take for every child in Launceston Tamar Valley to have material basics by 2035?

More than 25% of our children live in low income families (much higher in some areas). Housing affordability is an issue, with only 5% of advertised housing suitable for a single parent on income support. Many families do not have basic necessities such as food, clothing and heating.

Posted by Sharon on the 29th Jun 2015.

The statistics mentioned come from the State of Launceston's Children report which was published in July 2014, providing a baseline measure of how we are doing. Community consultations occurred from August 2014 to February 2015, and Community Committees in each area (George Town, Beaconsfield, Waverley/St Leonards, Northern Suburbs/Lilydale, Ravenswood) have discussed the data collected.

Now it's over to you. We want to know what it would take for every child to have access to basic things like stable and suitable housing, heating, clothing, healthy food, clean water, transport and materials to participate in education.

Pirjo177 - We need to have better co-ordination between federal and state agencies in regard to child health services at a local level. When a child is born in a particular area, the necessary services e.g. child health clinic, local school could be notified so that contact is made with the family to offer support, advice and services. Even before a child is born a doctor could provide details to the relevant services. If we can track a child from birth, we may be able to better assist families and prevent problems before they occur.

Sharon - Hi Pirjo, I know that currently Child Health and Parenting nurses are notified of births in the local area so they can follow up with newborn health checks. I like your idea of providing support to prevent problems before they occur.

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bofa - More jobs for parents and for kids. Government can help but we parents need to collaborate

kmiller - Hi Bofa, This comment took my eye because it asks for support not for rescuing. It seems to imply a certain degree of responsibility lies with each of us not just those that are paid to deliver a service. Work, whether for adults or kids is a great way to build self confidence and self efficacy. A degree of discipline, initiative and motivation are available within all of us if we make the decision to make it a priority and tap into them in positive ways. Many of our Teacher's Assistants started as volunteer parent help. My own children's volunteer work has eventually led them into paid work. We all need help from time to time but we also need to learn how to stand by ourselves which can be very difficult if we haven't learnt how.

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trish - Offer courses that can give both adults & children the skills to cope with the day to day of life challenges & also the government to give encouragement too

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beetle - Connection - how do we engage all families. We have the capacity to track children the system often 'lets them down' CPS is overwhelmed the turnover of case workers for families is higher than has been seen in the past therefore loss of connection. Loss of connection = having to repeat your story over and over and over and over to the point people don't bother. Notifications are made and closed follow up appears to be at times uncoordinated. The whole system is frustrating from the outside looking in. Mandatory reporting requirements = must make a notification however there often appears to be little follow up this is left to childcare, CFCs, schools who already have lots to do. Who's role is welfare let's be clear about who does what might re establish connection for some.

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Carmen - From our experience as a training provider, we have found that supporting parents to re-engage in education has achieved many positive outcomes for both the parent and child. Including the following: • Increased self-confidence • Sense of achievement • Role-modelling education for their children • Increased value of education for their children (anecdotal evidence suggests improved learning outcomes for their children when they commence school) • Continued learning pathway onto further education • Gained employment and financial stability

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Katherinebrooks - Educating and empowering the children and parents.

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kmiller - I agree that education is a priority on so many levels and basic budgeting as a starting place. I recall an excellent Anglicare PD where a lady spoke who didn't point out where clients chose to spend their money but allowed them to reach their own conclusions based on the evidence they had given her. I would love to see budgeting taught across all age groups so people have the opportunity to learn how to prioritise their spending to best meet their basic needs first. Good mental health education and support needs to be intrinsic so that food and shelter have the opportunity to be the priority over addictive substances. Real sex education, complete with the full responsibility of child raising at its centre, is needed to try to prevent early pregnancy that results in reducing potential educational outcomes. These issues are so 'chicken and egg' that I think education of all are needed throughout primary, secondary and tertiary systems. It seems ironic to learn trigonometry if you haven't yet learnt to shop on a budget as even those who choose to go on to uni often quit because they don't know how to survive on minimal money.

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Vic - Do not want to lose the public transport but we need more.Some people live out of town and do not drive and can not get in to access services. Some older women have lost their partners and do not drive and have to rely upon others.7270

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Vic - Young people who do not yet have their licence but need to get to town for job interviews find it hard . There needs to be more public transport available for this .

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Vic - huge lack of being able to access the internet is holding some people back 7270

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kmiller - The Equestrian Program educates children in what material basics actually are by studying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how it relates to horses. Students quickly recognise the similarities between the horse’s needs and their own and the budgeting decisions made in their own homes. In MindUp Curriculum students study the difference between needs and wants and reach the realisation that many of the things they thought they needed are actually just things they want. Material basics are food, clothing, shelter, warmth and luckily for Australians, extends to free education and healthcare. Cultural Literacy educates students that just having access to land/country is a material basic to many Aboriginal people as it provides all the other basics. Many of us are so far removed from this concept that we think a: large house, flat screen TV, IPad, microwave, dishwasher, 4x4 car, Gold Coast holiday, fast food, money to gamble, cigarettes, etc are material basics, when they are actually luxuries.

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PDSStaff - Breakfast Club works. We need more money for uniforms.

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PDSStaff - Breakfast Club creates positive interactions first thing in the morning. It is a healthy start, setting students up for success. It is constant so students can attend every day and know who and what to expect.

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PDSStaff - Having a Student Networker enables us to liaise more easily with the community re: meeting students material needs.

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PDSStaff - What else is needed? - Parental support regarding financial management and budgeting, as well as positive ways to control student behaviour. Timetable/routine support to assist students organise themselves prior to school eg wake, breakfast, shower, dress. Drug education. Intervention programs to prevent Child Protection as next step.

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PDSStaff - Breakfast program is critical to some student’s well-being and learning. What else is needed? – Extend it to other parts of the day.

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PDSStaff - What else is needed? – Programs to develop financial awareness amongst community and students.

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rftForum - Poverty – Lack of Material basics – how do we build resilience to overcome this • Mentoring – people to inspire others, positive role models • Expanding community connections • Community engagement programs • Increasing early literacy rates- encouraging reading/early learning • Taking young people out of their community for experiences • Social workers are a gateway into schools • Resources and access for isolated communities – workers being a part of a community – community networkers in Northern Suburbs/George Town • Financial literacy • Nutrition literacy • Community development workers within community • Create community connections between services – honour voices of children • Utas - children’s university - giving children recognition for encouraging engaging/participating in community • Building confidence and self-esteem

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Second Bite

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Breakfast clubs 2nd Bite outreach

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RavenswoodCommunityM - *Financial programs for parents (Budgets) *Breakfast club *Social worker to help children (health etc) *Programs run through their schools *Bravehearts

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rftForum - Poverty – Lack of Material basics – how do we build resilience to overcome this Mentoring – people to inspire others, positive role models Expanding community connections Community engagement programs Increasing early literacy rates- encouraging reading/early learning Taking young people out of their community for experiences Social workers are a gateway into schools Resources and access for isolated communities – workers being a part of a community – community networkers in Northern Suburbs/George Town Financial literacy Nutrition literacy Community development workers within community Create community connections between services – honour voices of children Utas - children’s university - giving children recognition for encouraging engaging/participating in community Building confidence and self-esteem

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rftForum - Poverty – Lack of Material basics – how do we build resilience to overcome this Mentoring – people to inspire others, positive role models Expanding community connections Community engagement programs Increasing early literacy rates- encouraging reading/early learning Taking young people out of their community for experiences Social workers are a gateway into schools Resources and access for isolated communities – workers being a part of a community – community networkers in Northern Suburbs/George Town Financial literacy Nutrition literacy Community development workers within community Create community connections between services – honour voices of children Utas - children’s university - giving children recognition for encouraging engaging/participating in community Building confidence and self-esteem

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rftForum - Poverty – Lack of Material basics – how do we build resilience to overcome this Mentoring – people to inspire others, positive role models Expanding community connections Community engagement programs Increasing early literacy rates- encouraging reading/early learning Taking young people out of their community for experiences Social workers are a gateway into schools Resources and access for isolated communities – workers being a part of a community – community networkers in Northern Suburbs/George Town Financial literacy Nutrition literacy Community development workers within community Create community connections between services – honour voices of children Utas - children’s university - giving children recognition for encouraging engaging/participating in community Building confidence and self-esteem

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rftForum - What does resilience look like? • Social connectedness – mentoring • Being able to take risks and learn from failures • Being confident to say no • Ownership to emotions and knowledge – building emotional intelligence • Sense of self-worth • Being able to feel hope / hope for future / hope for acceptance • Developing self-awareness • Building relationships – importance of key people in a child’s life – how you make me feel

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rftForum - Social and emotional learning • Develop a social and emotional learning curriculum in education (compulsory) • Article – shaping brains shaping communities • Building social and emotional learning into teacher training • Kids Matter https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/primary/programs/values-education-toolkit • Mind Matters www.mindmatters.edu.au • Heart Masters https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/primary/programs/heart-masters • Circle of Security circleofsecurity.net/ • Early years framework • Newpin

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RavenswoodCommunityM - BMX Track

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RavenswoodCommunityM - School Pool

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Mental health education

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Drug education

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MichelleR - Connections with their community: NSCC 7248

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MichelleR - Workers i.e. Community Family Workers to be there and listen to families when parents say they are struggling financially and give food support, talk to schools for them: NSCC 7248

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MichelleR - Give us help with power bills so I can buy shoes etc. for my children: NSCC 7248

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MichelleR - Make school shoes cheaper: NSCC 7248

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MichelleR - Our communities helping other families when in crisis: NSCC 7248

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MichelleR - Knowing our neighbours and supporting each other i.e. a family helping another family if short on food until next pay: NSCC 7248

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MichelleR - Low loans - NILS program - Clean clothes - Washing machine - Car to get kids around: NSCC 7248

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