The establishment of 38 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Family Centres (ACFCs) across Australia was a major initiative in the development of integrated services that respond holistically to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young children and their families.
The flexible, inclusive and community-based approach of ACFCs has been successful in facilitating the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to access high-quality early childhood education programs. ACFCs connect vulnerable families to an array of integrated services designed to meet locally determined priorities and needs. As a trusted ‘one-stop shop’ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families who would otherwise be unlikely to access any other service supports, ACFCs have a significant impact in improving the safety, health and wellbeing of families and communities.
Federal funding for the 38 centres was discontinued in July 2014. From July 2018, the ACFCs will face new challenges under the mainstream Jobs for Families Child Care Package.
SNAICC is developing a series of profiles to provide an overview of the 36 services still operating. The profiles detail the key features of each participating service, namely: programs offered; governance structure; funding; engagement with families and communities; and some highlights on outcomes for children and families. The profiles aim to deepen understanding of the work of these services and their impact, as well as to foster sharing and exchange amongst services themselves.