Many researchers, practitioners and policy makers have struggled to address this issue. This book has been compiled from a series of presentations given at the 2010 Children Communities Connections conference in Adelaide. Over 300 professionals from NGOs, state and federal departments and academics from all states in Australia attended and focused on three key ideas: what do we know about these families and children, what are we doing to help them and what could we do better. Papers covered a range of topics from neurobiology, to service redesign and family engagement.
Here we have a snapshot of some of the most promising programs and research being undertaken in Australia. It provides a platform for starting conversations on the need to focus on the child and family in the context of their whole life, the need to cross service and professional boundaries and the need to change the way we as professionals do things to improve outcomes for families. It is a book that captures the challenges, the opportunities and the hope for the future.
*Includes contributions from more than 40 practitioners, policy makers and researchers who work in community services, education and health for state, federal government and non government sectors.
Margaret Sims is Professor of Early Childhood at the University of New England. Her research interests focus around family support and community-based services for young children and families. She has an extensive publication record in this area. She is currently working with colleagues around Australia on developing a suite of postgraduate courses for those working in integrated early childhood services.