Tuesday, 25 November 2008

South Australia: boost to preventative care for babies

Supporting South Australian children and families

November 20, 2008
Speaking on Universal Children’s Day, the Health Minister, John Hill, has announced that the SA Government's Family Home Visiting program will be extended across the state in 2009.

Introduced four years ago to support families and positive parenting, the program currently operates across the entire Adelaide metropolitan area and in regional areas including the Riverland, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Mount Baker, Southern Hills and most recently Port Lincoln.

Next year, the program will extend to Mount Gambier, Eyre Peninsula, Murraylands region, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

The Family Home Visiting program is a part of the Government’s Every Chance for Every Child program, and complements the Universal Home Visiting Program, which was taken up by over 16,000 families in the year ending 30th June 2008.

The Universal Home Visiting Program gives families a chance to meet a Child and Family Health Nurse in their baby’s early weeks, for their first health check and to help them with issues like feeding and settling.

If the nurse believes the family would benefit from additional support, they can refer them the Family Home Visiting program.

Families in the program receive up to 34 visits from a Child and Family Health Nurse until the child’s second birthday.

Health Minister John Hill said, “We want to provide support to all families who could benefit – whether they’re in the city or the country.

“In the 12 months to 30 June this year, 454 families completed the program, and another 1,291 were actively involved.

“Expanding the program means more families will have the opportunity to receive extra support and experience the longer term benefits.

“This is an outstanding and incredibly valuable service for families with new babies who need a bit of extra support - it’s all about doing what we can to give our children the best possible start to life.”

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