UnitingCare Queensland has received final approval from the Queensland Government to pilot ‘Newpin Queensland’ in three locations across Queensland to address Indigenous disadvantage.
Under a Social Benefit Bond (SBB), UnitingCare Queensland will establish three Newpin Centres in Queensland, with the first centre to open in Cairns by 2018.
UnitingCare Queensland Group Executive, Brent McCracken said the pilot would provide a first time opportunity to implement a proven program that had already been successful in New South Wales and the ACT at reuniting vulnerable children with their families.
“Newpin is a new approach for Queensland that has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out–of-home care.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are nine times more likely to be removed from their parents and placed in out of home care than non-indigenous children, and currently account for more than 40% of the children in care across Queensland.
“Newpin Queensland harnesses the power of outcomes-focussed investment to deliver real change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families,” said Mr McCracken.
Newpin Queensland is an evidence-based, intensive, therapeutic program aimed at breaking the cycle of intergenerational child neglect and abuse. It involves working with families to reunite them with their children currently living in out-of-home care.
Mr McCracken said the program provided parents with the opportunity to address their own emotional issues, improve bonding with their children, develop positive parenting skills and build family resilience.
“UnitingCare Queensland will work in partnership with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to support families by empowering them to take control of their future.”
“Our focus will be to build capacity within the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by empowering them to lead the development, implementation and delivery of key components of the Newpin Queensland program,” said Mr McCracken.
Wuchopperen Health Services CEO Debra Malthouse welcomed the Newpin initiative as a critical opportunity to reduce the ongoing high levels of removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Queensland.
“Wuchopperen’s involvement in this welcome initiative will ensure greater empowerment of our families in the child protection process and this will inevitably lead to better outcomes for both families and children,” said Ms Malthouse.
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