Unitingcare Tasmania Program Gives Hope To Vulnerable Children And Families

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29th October 2010, 04:00pm - Views: 3311

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An agency of UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania

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Vulnerable children and families in Tasmania can look forward to a brighter future with the launch

today of UnitingCare Tasmania’s NEWPIN Family Futures program in Hobart.

The program, to be launched by Secretary to Cabinet, Cassy O’Connor, provides intensive, long-term

support, working with families for up to 18 months.

Based on the successful 1980s UK model, NEWPIN (New Parent Infant Network) aims to break

intergenerational cycles of abuse and neglect and to build positive parent child relationships.

UnitingCare Tasmania CEO Lindy O’Neill said if done successfully in Tasmania, the model could be

used to support families in rural and remote communities across Australia.

Ms O’Neill said Tasmania has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country and many

young parents do not engage with traditional services. 

NEWPIN incorporates the Pregnant and Young Parents Support program (PYPS) which provides

support to pregnant and young parents up to the age of 25 years. 

PYPS offers young parents peer-support programs and home visiting services providing information

and support about childbirth, early childhood development and parenting skills.

“Young parents really value the support of their peers and other young parents,” Ms O’Neill said.

“Because of their age, they often feel that they are being judged by the wider community.

“PYPS can also help young parents to deal with relationship issues, housing, financial and practical

life matters,” Ms O’Neill said.

UnitingCare Burnside brought NEWPIN to Australia just over 10 years ago and a NEWPIN centre has

been supporting families in northern Tasmania since 2004 with remarkable results.

Based on this success the Tasmanian Government is providing $2.7 million over three years to

expand the NEWPIN program across northern and southern Tasmania.



29 October 2010


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Susan Helyar from UnitingCare Australia will be a special guest at the launch. She said child

protection debates in Tasmania and nationally have focused on finding someone to blame for the

growing number of children and young people in the child protection system. 

“But UnitingCare Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government are choosing instead to invest resources

and energy in intervening early enough, and for long enough to stop the violence and neglect,” Ms

Helyar said.

“High expectations and hope, along with realistic funding and commitment from governments,

services and the community, will deliver real improvements in Australia’s child protection statistics.

“Programs like NEWPIN Family Futures are vital if we as a nation are serious about the care and

protection of our children,” Ms Helyar said.

Contact:  Lindy O’Neill, CEO, UnitingCare Tasmania, 0408 140 015

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