Vulnerable families in the Lismore area now have information about what services are available to them at their fingertips.
To coincide with Child Protection Week, former Queensland premier Anna Bligh, who is now chief executive of NSW YWCA, visited Lismore to launch the service.
The ‘Lismore in Touch’ project includes a website that provides comprehensive information about children and family services in the area.
The information is easily accessed by a touchscreen, one of which is being installed at in the emergency department at Lismore Base Hospital, as well as the mental health unit.
Ms Bligh said the website offered information about when children were considered unsafe, and what to do when there were concerns about a child’s health or wellbeing.
The website also provides information about parenting when mental health issues are impacting on a family, and how the community can help vulnerable children.
Ms Bligh said YWCA NSW Communities for Children staff had consulted with the community about their needs prior to the introduction of the project.
She said surveys revealed that parents, community workers, health workers and education staff needed reliable, regularly updated information about what services were available in Lismore.
As part of the project, flyers and fridge magnets will be distributed to health service staff to alert them to the new website.
The site also helps workers direct families to the information they might require to help keep their children safe, happy and healthy.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell praised the initiative, and also made special mention of the needs of Aboriginal families in the area.
Cr Dowell pointed out that the birth rates among Aboriginal people were higher than the wider community, and they also often faced special challenges.
She said any new service that helped people access the information they needed was welcome.
The ‘Lismore in Touch’ Project received seeding funding from the Australian Centre for Child Protection.
The website can be found at www.lismorechildandfamily.info