Communities for Children (C4C) Bendigo is a partnership between over 15 different organisations, families and the broader Bendigo community.
Anglicare Victoria – St. Luke’s Region, has been the Facilitating Partner for C4C Bendigo since 2005. As the Facilitating Partner, we coordinate the initiative locally, working with several partner organisations (Community Partners), supporting them to deliver specific projects that aim to improve long term outcomes for children and families.
These partners include (but are not limited to):
- Bendigo Health
- Bendigo District Aboriginal Co-operative
- City of Greater Bendigo
- Bendigo Community Health Services
- Noah’s Ark
- Centre for Non Violence
- Goldfield’s Library
- La Trobe University
- Goodstart Early Learning Centres
- Jenny’s Early Learning Centres
- Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Service
- The Smith Family
- Anglicare Victoria
Communities for Children Outcomes
In 2014, the Communities for Children Bendigo Reference Committee finalised and approved a set of locally defined priority areas/outcomes based on the previous work and reflections by Communities for Children stakeholders and partners. Our key outcomes to be achieved through the Bendigo Communities for Children Bendigo Action Plan 2015-17 are:
- Children’s Language and Literacy Development
- Building Parenting Confidence
- Educational and Vocational Pathways for parents
- Addressing Family Violence
Underpinning each of the four outcomes is the need to embed Aboriginal cultural safety in all Communities for Children Bendigo activities and projects, together with specific actions to further build cultural safety and competence.
These four outcomes were identified in multiple forums and consultations as the most pressing areas of concern for services providers and families. The feedback from the consultation process aligns closely with the AEDI data, the Victorian Police Crime Statistics, DEECD data and ABS data for the Greater Bendigo region. The State of Bendigo’s Children Report 2013 highlights the following:
- By age 6, Bendigo children are below the Victorian State average with regards to their language, cognitive skills, communication and general knowledge
- Reported family violence incidents have increased from 649 in 2011 to 1165 in 2013 and child protection notifications have also increased and are significantly higher than the Victorian average
- Young people are less likely than the Victorian average to be engaged with learning or earning by age 15
The development of Communities for Children Bendigo Action Plan for 2015-17 has been designed based on a ‘Collective Impact’ model. Collective Impact describes an arrangement whereby a range of organisations or individuals from different sectors make a commitment to a common agenda, using a structured form of collaboration.
Research shows that successful Collective Impact initiatives typically have five conditions that together produce true alignment and can lead to change to within a community. The five conditions of the collective impact model as outlined in the 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review article ‘Collective Impact’ are:
- Common Agenda
- Shared Measurement Systems
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities
- Continuous Communication
- Backbone Support Organisations
Communities for Children Bendigo will continue to incorporate the principles of the Collective Impact model both in the ongoing development and implementation of the Action Plan for 2015-17.