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Queensland Government media release

A new Family Wellbeing Service now underway in the Cairns region will strengthen support for vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

Minister for Child Safety Fentiman visited the WuChopperen Health Service in Manoora today (11 July) while in Cairns for Governing for the Regions week.

“WuChopperen Health Services has already been supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the region through a range of health services and the addition of the Family Wellbeing Service further strengthens their support,” she said.

The Queensland Government will provide more than $2.6million this financial year to the health service to undertake the Family Wellbeing Service.

The new service will help local Indigenous families in the Cairns region stay safe and together and is part of an overall funding package across the state for new community-run services to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

“It’s about providing culturally-responsive, community-led support to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families safely care for their children at home,” she said.

“We are committed to reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in the child protection system, and we know we will achieve the best results if we work in partnership with Indigenous communities.”

Family Wellbeing Services are rolling out in 20 locations across Queensland, as part of up to $150 million investment over five years, to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have access to the best possible family support.

Ms Fentiman said the services would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families access to targeted support to improve their social, emotional, and physical wellbeing and safety.

“By 2018, we are aiming to have these services offer more than 6000 families a coordinated approach to support them, address multiple needs and build family and community capacity,” she said.

Ms Fentiman also announced $124,000 in funding over the next two years for WuChopperen to provide an Early Childhood Development Coordinator (ECDC) within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing Service to increase early childhood educational access for children in contact with the child protection system.

“These investments will delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families and help to address their overrepresentation in the child protection system,” she said.

The Queensland Government has worked in partnership with key stakeholders, including the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP), to capture the voices of community, children, families and Indigenous service providers in the establishment of the Family Wellbeing Services.

For more information go to www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/reform-renewal/child-family

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