News Archive 2010
Click below to view news items released in the following months:
New Project | "Good Friends help us Bounce Back"
The Family Action Centre’s Caravan Project, Hunter New England Health’s Community Adolescent Mental Health team and Hunter Head Space, collaborated with young people at Coach Stop Caravan Park to create a community Photo Story based on the themes of; mental health building resilience and honouring the importance of friendships with mates. ‘Good friends help us bounce back’ is their Photo Story. It was taken over an eight-week period, and invited young people to capture their own images of positive friendships, having fun together, skating and scooting together. Photography, art, food, and sharing of the photos, were all important elements included in the process of producing ‘Good friends help us bounce back’. This project has highlighted the strong sense of community within the Caravan Park.
A project launch and celebration of the Photo Story was held at Coach Stop Caravan Park, where a BBQ was hosted and a display of the photos was showcased. All the park members were invited to this event.
In evaluating the project, children and young people were asked to describe in one word or sentence, their experience of participating in the ‘Good friends help us bounce back’ Photo Story. Some of the responses are below:
Responses by young people and children;
awesome… smecksey… mad…. cute… pretty nice… smick…
The community was also invited to respond, describing the Photo Story as;
choice…sweet as…pretty good… interesting… fabulous… awesome.. mad little photographers… surprising… shows the kids what they can achieve… imaginative…
Kerrell Bourne - Kerrell.Bourne@newcastle.edu.au
New Project | Health Screening for children in Raymond Terrace
The ‘Communities for Children Raymond Terrace and Karuah’ funded project called Grow Strong has had success in bringing early screening awareness to families in the Raymond Terrace area.
Project Officer, Cherie Stephens, with the assistance of Andre Martin, Bachelor or Social Work student on placement with the Family Action Centre, provided information packages to 171 children at a community expo held in the centre of Raymond Terrace on the 15th November 2010. The show bags contained speech and hearing flyers developed by the Grow Strong team, a craft activity kit for parents and children to do together (which assists with the development speech and support children’s learning), plus bubbles and balloons to highlight the importance of good ear health.
Cherie was also able to secure the attendance of Dr Bernice Mathisen, Speech Pathologist and Senior Lecturer at The University of Newcastle, and 12 first year Bachelor of Speech Pathology students to provide speech screening to 17 children (ages ranging from 2 to 12 years). Eleven children have been advised to seek specialist support.
The Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) conducted by the SAX Institute and supported by Awabakal Medical Centre provided hearing screening at the expo to 14 children using a Video Ostocopy.
Feedback from families who accessed the screening services provided at the expo has been very encouraging. One mother of five has booked in for the new ‘Hanen’ Speech program that will be run at Thou Walla Family Centre (within Irrawang Public School) early in 2011, another parent explained that she had been nervous to go to screening however after her experience with the health providers at the expo she will now access specialist services for one of her children.
Kerrell Bourne - Kerrell.Bourne@newcastle.edu.au
New Article | Making positive resources to engage Aboriginal men/fathers
A new article by Craig Hammond about making positive resources to engage Aboriginal men/fathers has been published in the Aboriginal & Islander Health Worker Journal. In it he discusses the work he has done in a number of communities creating posters with positive images of Aboriginal men. Craig is the co-ordinator of Aboriginal programs at the Family Action Centre.
Craig Hammond 02 4921 6821 firstname.lastname@example.org
Online course on engaging communities successful.
Students have submitted their final assessment for HLSC2241 (Engaging Communities: Cross Disciplinary Perspectives). 60 from 13 different degrees completed the course. Although there are some challenges in teaching the course online the overwhelming response was positive. Over half the class (54.8%) completed anonymous online survey about the course. All of them agreed or strongly agree that
- The course has helped deepen their understanding of engaging communities.
- The course has helped them explore practical strategies for identifying community based assets and resources.
Over 95% agreed or strongly agreed that
- They thought they would be able to apply the learning from the course in their future professional work.
- The course has helped them develop an understanding of processes and skills required to successfully engage communities.
Some students would like more contact with the lecture (e.g., face to face lectures) and, while students were learning from the course and finding it useful, not all students found it enjoyable (12% disagreed with the statement ÒI am enjoying the course.Ó)
Online delivery was an important factor in choosing this course for over 80% of the students and students generally appreciated the online nature of the course.
Fantastic!!!!!! This course has been so enjoyable, as it is so easy to follow, and so informative. It is also great to have self directed learning which i feel is useful for the workforce
This was my first experience at studying on-line and felt the tutors were helpful and available to support my learning. The content of the course was relevant for my field of study, which isn't always the case in many of the courses I have undertaken.
Graeme Stuart Ph: 4921 7241 email@example.com
New Research | Heading into Fatherhood - with courage...
New research by the FAF team shows that online support for fathering may be an important alternative or addition to traditional support services such as antenatal classes. The researchers investigated the content and style of communication in a fathering chatroom to better understand what fathers talked about and how they communicated. The fathers who contributed to the chatroom messages appeared keen to be involved in fathering, but many felt they were still ‘invisible’ as carers for their infants. Possibly because of this, fathers were enthusiastic in telling stories and giving advice to others, encouraging others to engage wholeheartedly in fathering. Two papers reporting the research have been accepted for publication in Qualitative Health Research and the Journal of Perinatal Education.
Jennifer StGeorge, 4921 6690
New Paper | Presentation on coparenting to midwives
Paper on "promoting supportive co-parenting" presented to a statewide antenatal education seminar held at John Hunter Hospital in August. Over 40 Antenatal educators attended from around NSW. Chris May is a PhD candidate in the FAF team
Chris May firstname.lastname@example.org
New Resource | Development of the Building Connection through Play resources for separating parents with young children
Recent reforms to the legal and service context surrounding parental divorce and separation have stressed the importance of focusing on the well being of the child when parents are negotiating the future arrangements for the family. Since young children can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of conflict and separation families with pre-school age children are the group most in need of this assistance. The Building Connection through Play project aims to test the feasibility of assisting parents with child-parent activity resources for parents to use post separation. Fifty booklets have been produced that are specifically designed for ages 6mo-1yr, 1-2yrs, 2-3yrs and 4-5yrs. A pilot study has demonstrated good acceptability of the booklets and they are currently being linked to a Child Development Consultant role (to introduce the booklets and offer consultation over 3 months) in a feasibility study based on mailing the booklets to separated parents.
‘Parents and Children Active Together in Raymond Terrace Project’
To encourage children and parents/carers to use the park in the Irrawang area of Raymond Terrace (which is surrounded by social housing for low income families) Housing NSW (formerly Department of Housing) asked the Family Action Centre’s Caravan Project team to run activities that everyone could be involved in. On Tuesday afternoons from 3.30 to 4.30 Brian & Jacquie (Caravan Project staff) facilitate games and fun activities – also a healthy afternoon tea is provided. From a quiet start with just 5 children attending, the final weeks in term three saw over 30 children and many adults join in the fun. French cricket, soccer, juggling, handball are some of the games played each week.
Family Action Centre and Housing NSW are working together to promote healthy active lifestyles and family connections.
Kerrell Bourne, Team leader - Kerrell.Bourne@newcastle.edu.au 49216751 or
Jacquie Howard, Project Worker - Jacqueline.Howard@newcastle.edu.au 49216795
SNUG Program – Camp 7 at Myuna Bay Recreation Centre (Lake Macquarie NSW)
The Special Needs Unlimited Group (SNUG) Program, which is financially supported by the Steve Waugh Foundation, is hosting 6 families from across NSW who have a child with a rare disorder called Bladder Exstrophy at a five day camp from Monday 27th September to Friday 1st October 2010.
The multidisciplinary team running the camp include, Project Coordinator Heather Hawes who is a Registered Nurse and Dental Hygienist specialising in children with complex needs, Family Worker Brian Morrison who is a Teacher & Welfare Worker and Camp Assistants, Kellie Dooner - Special Education Teacher, Julie Brooks – Teacher, Disability Specialist, Mary Ross – Welfare Worker, Counsellor.
Brian Morrison, Family Worker Brian.Morrison@newcastle.edu.au 49216832
Heather Hawes, Project Coordinator Heather.Hawes@newcastle.edu.au 49215241
News Update | Time Out Together Playgroups
The Time Out Together (TOTs) facilitated playgroup is winding down its fourth run of dates this year with an outing to the Avon Street Park. The group, which has been running since early this year is a part of the Homestart project, and provides families with young children a chance to play and learn in a light-hearted setting.
TOTs takes place in the Hunter Women’s Centre every Wednesday at 9:30am, and is free for families with children under 5.
For more information contact the group facilitator Mel on 0402 102 229
Open Day | "Sustainable House"
The Family Action Centre’s own Graeme Stuart will take place in this year’s “Sustainable House” open day on Sunday 12th September by opening his home to the public to demonstrate environmental sustainability in action. To find out more about Graeme and his work both with and outside of the Family Action Centre visit his ‘Community Engagement’ blog.
Graeme Stuart will facilitate the Shout Out youth forum as part of the City of Newcastle’s 2030 visioning process, next Tuesday at the Ethnic Communities Centre in Waratah.
The forum will explore what makes Newcastle unique, what more it could be and what young people are passionate enough to work on. The forum plans to use a range of processes including world café, open space technology, FaceBook and creative arts.
Visit Shout Out’s website for more information
Dee Brooks has facilitated a forum on homelessness for the Newcastle and Hunter Homelessness Interagency Network. The forum was attended by a range of local service providers and was followed by a soccer match between clients and workers. All reports indicate fun was had by all.
Researchers Dee Brooks and Graeme Stuart have just commenced a series of 14 two-day workshops with the Defence Community Organisation. The extensive series will visit every mainland capital city and a selection of regional centres over the coming months.
The workshops will have a solid focus the on the strengths perspective, and bring with it the principles of asset based community development.