We are committed to the highest standards, support and accountability for our children and their families. Making a difference now in the lives of children will have a positive influence on the Territory’s future. Giving every child the best start in life is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do and our kids deserve nothing less.
Expand Child and Family Centres
The Northern Territory Government is investing an additional $34.6 million over five years to establish eleven new Child and Family Centres and enhance the existing six centres. Child and Family Centres aim to provide a safe space for all families and to improve a range of wellbeing outcomes for children and families experiencing vulnerability, by supporting them to access services that will help address their needs.
The Child and Family Centres will coordinate the accessibility and delivery of support services to children 0 – 18 years and their families and assist families to navigate the local service system to make sure their needs are met.
This might include addressing any child safety issues so as to avoid the need for further involvement with the statutory child protection system. The new Centres are being rolled out through local decision making and are led by Aboriginal Community Controlled Services wherever possible, linking with services, programs and activities that the community has identified as being important for meeting their aspirations for their families.
Child and Family Centres aim to achieve generational change by strengthening family and community capacity to raise children.
Building better schools
The Building Better Schools Program provides $300 000 to every school in the Northern Territory across a four year period.
The program commenced in 2017-18 and enables new and improved school facilities that enhance students’ education experience and facilitate quality learning outcomes.
The non-government schools will be provided with the $300 000 through a capital grant, subject to schools entering a funding agreement with the NT Government. The successful schools will be nominated by the non-government school peak associations.
The Non-Government Schools Ministerial Advisory Council will be the conduit for communications from the Department of Education.
Delivering the Story of Our Children and Young People
The Story of Our Children and Young People, a State of the Children report for the Northern Territory, is an integral part of the Northern Territory Government’s commitment to improving the lives of our children. The Story of Our Children and Young People (the Story) shares the story across 48 indicators of wellbeing for children and young people, with 20 case studies and cultural stories of wellbeing. It tells a story for the Northern Territory, Greater Darwin and our five regions.
The Story will help ensure we have the most complete picture available, so we can make more informed decisions to help those who need it most, from the antenatal period to young adults. This inaugural Story, released in November 2019, was prepared independent of Government under the guidance of an Editorial Committee and Menzies School of Health Research.
The Story provide the community with a rich resource to inform and guide policy, planning, decision-making and practice.
Some of the data is confronting, but it serves to make us more determined to improve the lives of all our children and young people
Go to Department of Chief Minister website to view the Story and its chapter and Regional Story downloads
Delivering the Early Childhood Development Plan
Every Northern Territory child deserves and must have the best possible start to life.
Territory children need to be ready for school, day one, term one, year one. All the evidence shows if we give children the best possible first 1000 days, they have the best shot at growing into happy and healthy adults. We know the best possible start is a right, but sadly too many Territory children miss out.
The Northern Territory Government’s Early Childhood Development Plan Starting Early for a Better Future is about breaking intergenerational cycles of disadvantage. It’s about making our communities – from our major centres to the remote regions – stronger, safer and more engaged.
If we succeed in giving every Territory baby the best possible start to life – the best possible healthcare, education and nurture, we will succeed in transforming the fortunes of this place we love, for the people we love. The Starting Early for a Better Future Implementation Plan 2018-22 sets in motion the actions to be undertaken in the first four years.
Go to Department of Chief Minister website to find out more
Expanding Families as First Teachers
The Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program is an early learning and family support program for remote Indigenous families.
The aim of FaFT is to improve developmental outcomes for remote Indigenous children by working with families and children prior to school entry.
FaFT early learning activities have an emphasis both on child and adult learning and are described as dual generational.
The key components of dual generational early childhood learning in FaFT and Mobile FaFT programs are:
- quality child-centred early learning experiences
- facilitated adult-child interactions through the Abecedarian Approach including conversational reading, learning games, enriched caregiving and language priority
- adult learning opportunities
- nutrition, health and hygiene
- linking families with support services and agencies.
Expanding nurse home visiting family partnerships
The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership (ANFPP) is a voluntary, strengths-based, sustained home visiting program designed to support women pregnant with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child.
The aims are:
- improving maternal and child health outcomes
- helping women improve their prenatal health through education
- improving child development by enhancing parents’ capabilities to provide competent care
- to improve parental life-course.
The program is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to meet it’s Closing the Gap Targets. The work is guided by self-efficacy, human ecology, and attachment theories.
Better pathways for youth
The Territory Government continues to support a range of youth justice initiatives and recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children to make generational change and provide better lives for young people across the Territory.
Government’s plan - Safe, Thriving and Connected: Generational Change for Children and Families outlines how whole-of-government action in collaboration with the community sector will deliver historic reforms in the Territory.
Back on Track
The Back on Track program gives courts better diversion and sentencing options and supports other government initiatives to prevent youth crime. The key aim of the program is to get young people back on track while taking responsibility for their actions.
Go to Department of Chief Ministers website to find out more
Indigenous Education Strategy – Stage 2
The Indigenous Education Strategy was developed in response to recommendations from the A Share in the Future Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory.
The strategy comprises five elements:
- foundations - Indigenous children entering primary schooling have the skills and attributes they need to succeed in their education
- essentials - Indigenous students achieve age benchmarks in literacy and numeracy in their primary years of schooling and plan for their secondary education with confidence
- pathways - Indigenous students complete schooling well equipped to take up employment, training and higher education opportunities
- engagement - Indigenous children at all stages of schooling attend school regularly and are supported in their education by their families and community
- workforce - Indigenous student outcomes are improved through a consistent system-wide approach to providing highly skilled and motivated educators and leaders.