Department of Human Services

Community Development program

    The Community Development Program is part of Safer Family Services, in the Department of Human Services.

    Community Development Coordinators

    Community Development Coordinators (CDCs) are based at Department for Education Children’s Centres across South Australia. CDCs work within a strength-based approach focused on creating a sense of belonging and identity for families within their local and broader community.

    Community Development Coordinators:

    • Are a friendly and welcoming face for families to connect with, who are passionate about building child, parent, caregiver and community capacity by strengthening their skills, abilities and knowledge
    • Value the critical role parents, caregivers and communities have in the lives of children
    • Highly value relationships with children, families and communities and use strategic community development methodologies to draw upon their strengths, skills, knowledge, resources and abilities to help drive local level planning
    • Create opportunities to connect families with a focus on alleviating social isolation and developing strong supports within and external to the family
    • Ensure parents, caregivers, children and community are consulted and become the leaders in the goals and vision for their own lives
    • Gather the voices of children and their families, and together develop projects in response to their needs and identified gaps in services, at a local response level
    • Provide opportunities for families to increase their knowledge and skills relating to their parenting journey and childhood development
    • Support and empower parents and caregivers as the strongest influence on their child’s wellbeing and development
    • Encourage families and staff to have a strong voice about the programs and services offered
    • Work with key stakeholders including the Children’s Centre team, local non-government agencies, family support agencies and members of the wider community to develop a range of programs, events and services relevant to local families and community strengths and needs
    • Coordinate and participate in regional stakeholder networks and identify opportunities relevant to local context and families’ needs
    • Provide connections for families and stakeholders within the community including: CaFHS, NDIS, local schools, kindergartens, Family Day Care, health care, non-government agencies, groups and events
    • Gather and analyse population data in order to develop responses relevant to local context.

    Community Development Coordinators work in partnership with families, educators, allied health, family practitioners and other government and non-government agencies to ensure a timetable of programs are provided that are relevant, topical and responsive to each community context.

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    Programs and Services

    Programs and services may include:

    • Playgroups and programs with a focus on child development including attachment, early literacy, song time, music and movement, baby massage, sensory play
    • Groups for new and existing parents and caregivers to share and celebrate their parenting journey
    • Community events including family days, community lunches, school holiday programs, culturally relevant celebrations and events, community meals, coffee and chat
    • Short- and long-term regional projects including: Our Big Backyard, Southern Deadly Fun Runs, Community Gardens, Cooking programs, Women’s and Men’s support groups
    • Workshops and seminars facilitated by local and nationally recognised specialists including DHS Parenting and Family team (in partnership with Parenting SA) on topics including: Family Relationships, child development milestones, sleep and feeding
    • Personal development to enhance parent literacy, career pathways, skill development, volunteering, TAFE and SACE studies and links to further employment
    • Development of resources that are relevant and responsive to local families and communities. For example, local services guides outlining regional playgroup schedules, food services (that is, Foodbank and OzHarvest) and resources to build a stronger and resilient community.

    …and many others relevant to your community.

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    Contact your local Children's Centre

    Contact your local Children’s Centre for a copy of their current Term timetable and a selection of options for you and your family.


    The State Government is committed to a strong plan to see every South Australian child grow up safe and healthy with a prosperous future. The Community Development Program sits within Safer Family Services, Community and Family Services Division in the Department of Human Services.

    Safer Family Services (established July 2019) is part of the South Australian State Government’s broader child protection reforms and was established in response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission Report (2016).

    Related information

    Page last updated : 26 May 2021

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