On September 26th 2014, the long awaited opening of the Child and Parent Centre Challis became a reality.
Officially opened by the Honourable Minister for Education Peter Collier, the celebrations brought together a number of dignitaries including the Director General of Education Ms Sharyn O’Neil, Mayor of Armadale Henry Zelones, Commissioner for Children and Young People Jenni Perkins, Professor Ted Wilkes, Honourable Alannah MacTiernan, Chief Executive for Minderoo Foundation Nicola Forrest, and Executive Directors from the Department of Child Protection and Family Support, Department for Health, and Department of Local Government and Communities to name a few. Less than a month later, on October 15th, the Langford/Thornlie community welcomed the Honourable Peter Collier to officially open the Child and Parent Centre Brookman. Surrounded by well-respected Aboriginal elders, local government and non-government agencies and families the openings of the two Child and Parent Centres highlighted the overwhelming community support in advocating the importance of early child intervention.
Compelling evidence has existed for some time of the importance of investing in children from the earliest possible stages of life and that a collaborative and integrated approach to the provision of services to infants, children and families will result in positive outcomes for children and the community more broadly. Five years ago, Parkerville Children and Youth Care began its journey in early intervention and prevention programmes.
Last year Parkerville provided primary, secondary and tertiary services to over 10,000 children, young people and adults across Western Australia. The two Child and Parenting Centres, not even fully operational reached out with services to over 2000 children and parents.
These services included multicultural parenting groups with ESL teachers, Aboriginal playgroups incorporating the Indigenous Parenting Factor literacy programme, Kindergarten Transition programmes led by a Speech Pathologist, 3-year old supported playgroup for children with developmental delay, Young Parents at Play playgroups, St John Ambulance First Aid Training for parents and children, Speech Pathologists working in community playgroups and kindergartens, School Readiness assessments, teacher workshops on protective behaviours, managing trauma in the classroom and self-regulation, Triple P parent workshops, ‘WIZE’ therapy bulk screening assessments, aboriginal health checks, and the list goes on.
Now with purpose built premises, the Child and Parent Centres at Challis and Brookman will continue to grow these services to include a fulltime Child Health Nurse, Clinical Psychologist and targeted Speech and Occupational Therapy services. With the official opening of these two centres, the sky is the limit in achieving improved health, social and educational outcomes for families and children within the Child and Parent Centre communities.