A community development program for disadvantaged children and young people aimed at boosting child wellbeing and preventing crime is proving the adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.
Communities for Children, a national program for children and families in 52 disadvantaged areas and run by the Department for Social Services, uses a ground-breaking model developed by Griffith University.
Professor Ross Homel and his team from the Griffith Criminology Institute developed the capacity-building CREATE model as part of the Creating Pathways to Prevention project that builds on the Pathways to Prevention Project that operated in a disadvantaged region of Brisbane from 2002-2011.
CREATE is an acronym for Collaborative, Relationships driven, Early in the pathway, Accountable, Training focused and Evidence-driven.
Professor Homel said the Creating Pathways to Prevention program aims to strengthen the development system for children with a long-term view to reducing youth crime and promoting both human and community development.
“The basic focus is policy pathways as the project aims to reorganise government, as well as societal priorities and practices and move punitive responses to social problems such as youth crime and substance abuse to primary prevention.
“The exciting thing is that we have great enthusiasm from a wide range of partners, including education departments across Australia, to put the science into practice and measure child and parent wellbeing.
“This measure can be used to evaluate services as well as plan new ones, tailored to the measured needs of children in the local area.”
Professor Homel and Drs Kate Freiberg and Sara Branch from the Griffith Criminology Institute will discuss Communities for Children partnerships at the Applied Research in Crime and Justice Conference at Rydges Hotel on February 19.