Getting together to support Mid Murray kids
|01/07/2018||Posted by admin under 南京夜网||
Working together: Promise Neighbourhoods Institute director Dr Michael McAfee, Together SA chief executive officer Kate Simpson and Truro Primary School principal Di Hancock participate in question and answer time at the Getting it Together forum in Mannum on Thursday.Supporting children from cradle to career could be the key to reducing Mid Murray’s high rate of developmentally vulnerable children in the next five years, according to an international expert.
On Thursday, Dr Michael McAfee presented a forum to the region’s Family Connections (MMFC) network and interested community members in Mannum, highlighting important factors in children’s development and wellbeing.
He spoke about the success of Promise Neighbourhoods, a United States program improving educational outcomes for students, and addressed issues which have been a high priority for MMFC since it was established in 2013.
Dr McAfee said a single solution to improving the vulnerablility rate within Mid Murray’s physical, social, emotional, language and communication domains did not exist, but the MMFC network should start by tackling one area at a time.
“We’re not ready to talk about programs, we’re not ready to talk about partners, we want to begin to understand why,” he said.
“After we understand why those domains are trending in the wrong direction, we can then ask ourselves what does the evidence tell us about what would get them trending in the right direction.
“Then we can have a community meeting and marry what the science says, what our experience says and come up with some sense around what do we think is the best way forward.”
Figures released in the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) in 2012 showed that one in two children in Mannum were developmentally vulnerable in two or or more domains – more than double that of Murray Bridge.
“You have about 700 children … in this area that really need help, the exciting thing is that is a very manageable number,” Dr McAfee said.
“You’ve just got to focus on what this 700-population needs right now and when you develop the muscle to do this around one or two domains, as other problems come up you guys would have already built capacity to work effectively together.
“It’s totally do-able to see big progress in at least five years.”
Together SA chief executive officer Kate Simpson said the knowledge obtained from Dr McAfee would help create real change in the region.
“One of the anxieties is “have we got all the right people here?” and I think one of the take home messages from Michael is start doing the work,” she said.
“We’re probably going to narrow the number of domains we focus on and we will be much clearer of who in our leadership we need to invite in when we have done some more of the work.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.