A new service offering support to Indigenous families in Taree was launched on Wednesday, November 25 at a First Steps Count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Yarnin' Circle.
The Volunteer Family Connect program (VFC) is an initiative of not for profit organisation and registered charity, Karitane in partnership with Western Sydney University.
VFC is a home visiting program that mobilises trained volunteers to provide support for parents of young children who are feeling isolated and/or overwhelmed by their parenting role.
Karitane is working in collaboration with First Steps Count, Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre and Manning Support Services (MSS) to respond to the local needs of the community and ensure that every child gets the best start in life.
"Following community consultations, it was identified by local Elders that there was a need for VFC to complement the stepped care approach to integrated services provided in the Taree community," Karitane CEO Grainne O'Loughlin said.
"VFC is an evidence based program that has been shown to improve parenting confidence, build stronger connections, and increase emotional closeness and belonging.
"We are excited to be part of a greater collaboration with Biripi, First Steps Count and Manning Support Services and have felt incredibly welcomed by the community," Ms O'Loughlin said.
"First Steps Count is excited to be collaborating with Karitane on this project. We know that there are a number of incredible professional services in our region providing services to Aboriginal children and their families," Clare Brennan, transition manager First Steps Count said.
We are excited to be part of a greater collaboration with Biripi, First Steps Count and Manning Support Services and have felt incredibly welcomed by the community.Karitane CEO Grainne O'Loughlin
"Volunteer Family Connect will offer a lovely adjunct to these services and programs, providing supports that are culturally appropriate and flexible, while at the same time, building volunteering skills within the community.
"The partnership forged between Karitane, MSS and Biripi in this project is a clear example of the intended purpose of the future First Steps Count Child and Community Centre," Ms Brennan said.
Karitane VFC will be co-located with First Steps Count, currently in their temporary office (Milligan St, Taree) and will move with them to their new site once established.
If families or people interested in becoming a volunteer want to know more they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to karitane.com.au/community-programs.
WHILE YOU ARE WITH US: