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Communities for Children

Description

Communities for Children (CfC) is a strategy that encourages healthy community environments for disadvantaged children. It is an initiative of the Federal Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and is part of the Family Support Program.

A key local non-government organisation (Facilitating Partner) in each site acts as broker in engaging smaller local organisations to deliver a range of activities in their communities. The Facilitating Partner oversees the development, implementation and funding allocations for activities and strategies in the community. Funding is mostly allocated to local service providers who deliver the activities.

Examples of activities being implemented under CfC are:

  • home visiting
  • early learning and literacy programs
  • early development of social and communication skills
  • parenting and family support programs
  • child nutrition
  • community events to celebrate the importance of children, families and the early years

Evaluation Evidence

An evaluation of the early impacts of the CfC program on child, family and community outcomes (Edwards et al., 2011) found evidence that CfC had positive preliminary impacts including:

  • fewer children were living in a jobless household
  • parents reported less hostile or harsh parenting practices
  • parents considered themselves to be more effective in their roles as parents

Monitoring Recommendations

  • Boards can monitor change over time by examining trends in publically available data such as the Australian Early Development Index.

Implementation Tip

Access to the Communities for Children intervention is at the discretion of FaHCSIA. Boards can propose, and advocate for, disadvantaged neighbourhoods that may benefit by being included in the initiative.

Contact: 

Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Program details
Target Audience: 
Pre natal - 2 years
Target Risk Factors: 
  • Low neighbourhood attachment
  • Community disorganisation
  • Community transitions & mobility
  • Personal transitions & mobility
  • Laws and norms favourable to drug use
  • Family conflict
  • Family history of antisocial behaviour
  • Favourable parent attitudes to problem behaviour
Target Protective Factors: 
  • Community opportunities for prosocial involvement
  • Community and family rewards for prosocial involvement
  • Social skills
Community Indicators: 
  • Low income, poor housing, unemployment
  • Teenage mothers, sole parents
  • Lack of successful community coalitions
  • High rates of early development risk factors