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The State Government is committed to a strong plan to see every South Australia child grow up safe and healthy with a prosperous future. The Community Development Program sits within the Community and Family Services Division in the Department of Human Services.
The new Division (established July 2019) is part of the South Australian State Government’s broader child protection reforms and in response to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission Report (2016).
With the rationale that investing time, effort and resources in children’s early years – when their brains are developing rapidly – brings lifelong benefits to them and to the whole community.
Community Development Coordinators (CDC’s) are based across South Australia within the 45 Department for Education Children’s Centres. CDCs play a critical role in strengthening families’ sense of belonging and identity within the centre and their broader communities.
- Are a friendly, trustworthy face for families to connect with who are passionate about building child, parent and community capacity by strengthening their skills, abilities and knowledge.
- Value the critical role parents, caregivers and communities have in the lives of children.
- Create opportunities to connect families with a focus on alleviating social isolation and developing strong supports within and external to the family.
- Ensure parents, 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.
- 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.
- Provide opportunities for families to increase their knowledge and skills relating to their parenting journey and childhood development.
- Support and empower parents 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 the Children’s Centre team, family support agencies and members of the wider community to develop and deliver a range of programs, events and services relevant to local families and community strengths and needs.
- Coordinate and participate in regional stakeholder working and network opportunities relevant to local context.
- Provide connections to local family services where needed including: CaFHS, NDIS, local schools, kindergartens, Family Day Care, health care, 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 agencies to ensure a timetable of programs are provided that are relevant, topical and responsive to each community context.
- Programs with a focus on child development including early literacy, song time, music and movement, baby massage, sensory play.
- Groups for new and existing parents to share and celebrate their parenting journey.
- Community events including family days, community lunches, school holiday programs, culturally relevant celebrations, community meals, coffee and chat.
- Short and long term projects including: Our Big Backyard, Southern Deadly Fun Runs, Community Gardens and Cooking programs.
- Workshops and seminars facilitated by local and nationally recognised specialists on topics including: Settling and sleep, First Aid, Fussy Eating, Family Relationships, Children with additional needs/challenging behaviours.
- 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 community. For example regional playgroup schedules and local services guides.
…and many others relevant to your community.