Extra funding supports early intervention for at-risk women and children

Queensland Government media release

The Queensland Government is supporting vulnerable mothers and children with new funding for early intervention and support through the Putting Queensland Kids First strategy.

The $11.2 million over two years will support two early intervention initiatives to help women who are pregnant or have children, and are experiencing hardships, to reduce the risk of child protection involvement.

The Safe Pathways initiative will receive $9 million over two years and deliver a range of interventions that support pregnant women and mothers with young babies to meet immediate housing, health and parenting needs.

Safe Pathways partners include Micah Projects, Brisbane Youth Service and Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane and REFOCUS on the Sunshine Coast.

Safe Pathways will include an outreach service for mothers who are homeless or at risk of homelessness or who are experiencing domestic and family violence.

A short-term pilot in Brisbane has already assisted 264 families in its first six months, helping women to find safety and support from domestic and family violence.

Safe Pathways will also provide intensive therapeutic and housing support for 16 to 25-year-old mothers who have experienced domestic and family violence or homelessness.

It will also target young mums who are at risk because of other factors such as alcohol and drug use.

In addition, an integrated care team will work with at-risk new mothers while they are still in hospital by linking them with long-term accommodation, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Another part of the Safe Pathways initiative will focus on delivering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led pregnancy care across the Greater Brisbane region from hubs in Logan, Salisbury, Strathpine and Bayside.

Trials of this type of early intervention are showing significant success in keeping young families together, and mums are also 50 per cent less likely to experience a pre-term birth.

Funding of $2.2 million will also be allocated over two years to trial the Family Connections program in two high-need locations.

As part of the trial, clinicians will do home-based visits with families and connect them to services such as counselling, parent education and crisis intervention.

The Queensland Government is investing more than half a billion in the Putting Queensland Kids First strategy – the biggest investment in early intervention in our state’s history.