8. Aug, 2016

Does this cut across Archdiocesan policy?

Does this cut across Archdiocesan policy?

Children in a low socio-economic community in the south-east region of Perth had experienced years of consistently poor and declining academic, health and social outcomes. A key program was implemented that integrated its existing services on the school grounds with additional services including a child health nurse, playgroups, a family support worker, a speech pathologist and other support groups. Research suggested that the greatest brain growth period is between conception, birth and three years of age (Australian Government, n.d.). So I believe they acted out of a sense of duty to provide care to these children during critical periods in their life (as the intervention would possibly impact on their entire life).

Although noting the dubious nature of significance testing (see previous blog dated 30 th May, 2016), significant improvements have been reported in schools that offer fuller services such as the Challis program. The Challis program was commended by WA Labour describing its focus on extended services as an early intervention mechanism, and that their programs also aim to empower parents to become actively involved in their child’s education (WA Labour, 2015). Offering child and parent services makes schools community hubs – hubs that provide the community with enormous benefits beyond performance in numeracy and literacy. One parishioner informed me that the Challis program addressed social problems that had previously been policing problems. He was saying that the program had a profound impact on the life of the entire community.

Is this a good strategy for rural communities? In Moora some extended services are offered to the children at St Joseph’s Primary School. As parish priest I would love to St Joseph’s to be in the position to offer more integrated services, making it a community hub. Would the implication be that as that community hub St Joseph’s would also be the centre of parish life? And does this cut across Archdiocesan policy?

References

Australian Government. (n.d.). Challis Early Childhood Education Centre—a success story. Retrieved from https://indigenousjobsandtrainingreview.dpmc.gov.au/challis-early-childhood-education-centre-success-story

WA Labor (2015). Creating Strong Communities: Full Service Schools. Retrieved from http://www.markmcgowan.com.au/files/Creating_strong_communities-Full_Service_Schools.pdf