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$2M for Early Intervention Services in Aboriginal Communities

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-08-30 - $2 million boost in services to support the Aboriginal kids with a disability or developmental delay. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Department of aging, Disability and Home Care.

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The Keneally Government announced a three year, $2 million boost in services to support the Aboriginal kids with a disability or developmental delay.

The Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, said the Aboriginal Early Intervention project will enable families to identify a disability or developmental delay earlier, so that services can be provided to address the issue.

"Many families simply don't recognize a developmental delay in their child, which means that the challenges they face during childhood may not be addressed, such as difficulties at school or problems socializing," he said.

"This project will increase the number of Aboriginal families able to identify and address a developmental delay.

"This will be achieved by the Government partnering with service providers already working in Aboriginal communities who will assist and support families.

"Early support such as social support and speech pathology will give these kids a better start to life and a better chance of achieving their goals in the future," he said.

Mr Primrose was joined at the announcement by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Paul Lynch.

"This project will develop local culturally sensitive resources for Aboriginal communities and professionals working in Aboriginal communities that will raise awareness of disability and developmental delay in child development," said Mr Lynch.

"We will deliver the project through Aboriginal community controlled service providers, such as the Gandangara Management Services who are based here in Liverpool.

"Importantly, in the long term, there will be better coordination and collaboration for all professionals and services working with Aboriginal families and their children.

"It will to provide opportunities for them to access the services they need in a culturally sensitive and responsive environment," he said.

Other service providers for the project include Canowindra Aged and Disabled Aboriginal Corporation based in Tweed Heads and the Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney based in Mount Druitt.

Today's announcement follows an additional $1M announced by the Premier on Wednesday for more early intervention services

Wednesday's announcement focused on providing extra assistance to young people before they enter school, and help them build relationships once they are in school. It incorporates:

An extra $690,000 over three years for Lifestart, a non profit organization that provides early intervention services to kids with a disability; $300,000 for an Autism Australia documentary that will increase the understanding of autism amongst young people; and The Play for Kids project, which will raise awareness of the importance of play in the lives of children with a developmental delay or disability.

"The Keneally Government is absolutely convinced of the need for more early intervention services," said Mr Primrose.

"We will be making a major funding announcement about the next 5 year phase of our plan for disability services - Stronger Together - later in the year. And that will include more funding for early intervention.

"But we also need to get on with the job of getting these service on the ground now," he said

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