Jeanette and Donna, facilitators at Familylinks, are pleased to announce they have now provided services to over 1,000 clients since commencing operation in October 2015. This is a huge milestone to celebrate!
Familylinks is part of Mission Australia’s Communities for Children partnership program, funded by the Australian Government. As part of the program, Familylinks provides supported playgroups for children 0-6 years within five local Mount Druitt primary schools as well as facilitating a variety of other programs and services.
Programs provided to the Mt Druitt Community during this time include:
- Supported Playgroups – provided every day of the week
- DRUMBEAT – a social skills program using djembe drums
- Sing & Grow – a music program delivered by a trained music therapist
- Tumble & Twist – a program designed by an acrobatics teacher to enhance the physical development of school-age children
- Parent-Child Mother Goose – a language-based program using singing, rhymes and storytelling
- Circle of Security – parenting program
- 1-2-3 Magic & Emotion Coaching – parenting program
- Eat, Play, Drum – a program designed by Familylinks to provide social support and networking for mums
- Drop in sessions (coffee and chat) – for parents to have a cuppa and connect with local services
- iJob – a program that provided parents with the skills to assist them to find a job
- Community Garden – Blackett Public School
- Op shop – open on a Tuesday at Whalan Public school
- Our Community Our Environment – delivered in partnership with Dharma Karta in order to build a closer connection with the environment and learn practical ways of leading a more sustainable life
Familylinks has had a significantly positive impact in the community and this result is a strong testament to that. Programs over the years have continued to evolve to meet the needs of the community. They’ve built strong relationships with many families throughout the years and feedback from program participants have highlighted the following outcomes:
- Participants have a greater connection to their local community and feel less isolated
- Participants have a stronger connection with their children and have learnt skills to assist them in their parenting role
- Participants have learnt new skills and ideas to use with their children – songs, stories, art activities etc.
- Participants are more aware of what is developmentally appropriate and when to seek help about their child’s development
Jeanette and Donna both expressed that “One of the most positive outcomes for us as facilitators is the relationships that have developed as a result of the programs. Participants have had the opportunity to meet new people and many have gone on to develop long term friendships and support networks outside of the Familylinks program. Eat, Play, Drum has been particularly successful in bringing mums together. This group of mums now have ongoing playdates, encourage each other to join other programs, provide ongoing support to one another and plan events and get-togethers. We have thoroughly enjoyed learning new skills and developing relationships with families. We have learnt so much whilst implementing our programs but most of all, we have learnt so much more from all of our wonderful mums, dads, grandparents, carers and children“.
A message from a parent who has been participating in Familylinks programs for over two years, “Over the last year and a half attending playgroup with Donna and Jeanette at Whalan and Blackett Public schools have been a major part in myself and my sons social, emotional and mental wellbeing. I have been through some major life changes and issues, but they have been a major part of my social support network. For my son [name deleted] has come along leaps and bounds socially and academically and have readied him for day care and he absolutely loves them and playgroup as a part of his weekly routine. They have helped me be a better mother in my home life. Amazing lovely ladies“.
Familylinks looks forward to continuing to deliver programs to support families of Mt Druitt for many years to come, and continue to reach new milestones.
For more information about Familylinks programs and services click here.