Good Beginnings Australia is a Not for Profit organization that works with communities in Australia to build better outcomes for children through effective early intervention programs. While most Australian children generally have good beginning in life, Good Beginnings Australia targets those that do not have that opportunity, its programs being free to children and families. The kind of support given by Good Beginnings Australia ranges from literacy programs, supported playgrounds, fathering initiatives, volunteer visits for new families, and family support. Good Beginnings works with communities as they are best informed about the needs of their own vulnerable children. To ensure children have better outcomes, they advocate for change and deliver services tailored to the needs of that particular community.
Good Beginnings has been in operation from the year 1997 and has numerous programs covering more than 2000 children at any one time across Australia. The charity is an off-shoot from the national Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) which had home visits as a key objective in effective promotion of the care and protection of children. The charity has worked continuously from then to date with thousands of children benefiting from their programs in Australia and it continues to do the same.
Good Beginnings, while child focused, tries to mitigate issues affecting children in their homes as that is the best placed source of support that children need. By valuing the unique strengths of parent and carer, the unique capacity of each person is respected to help them do as much as possible for their children with the highest degree of independence.
Working with communities helps build ownership of the programs undertaken by Good Beginnings as this enables them to come up with solutions and intervention measures that would specifically meet their challenges.
Advisory and Development Activities
Good Beginnings Australia works to turning attention to sustainable long-term solutions from modest short –term goals y addressing the root cause of social problems. They gather existing knowledge from communities for advocacy to change policy and influence new planning and delivery approaches.
Groups for Families and Children
Families in a community can access these groups to take advantage of their programs for the wellbeing of their children. Opportunities for confidence building for parents and carers are provided by imparting skills to help children grow with a better beginning from which it is hoped that better outcomes will ensue. There is also learning for kids to in these groups for children.
Good Beginnings hold that for a child to grow to bee a responsible person, a good beginning is essential. This means that the parents and carers should understand their children better so that they can help them grow to be better persons in future. Over several weeks, Good Beginnings hold discussion sessions with parents and carers to achieve this purpose.
In-Home Support for Families
There are some support services that re not easily accessible to families in vulnerable communities. Good beginnings comes in to mitigate this situation by visiting homes with needs or meeting them in mutually agreed locations. This builds confidence in parents that they are not alone with the issues they may be facing. Good Beginnings also endeavor to support families who may have a parent in prison. This is due to the fact that such families face unique problems and a helping hand is usually necessary and this is where Good beginnings come in.
Groups for Referred Services
In many communities, there are children in difficult circumstances who may require more help from other people beyond their families and communities. In this program, where activity is by referral or by invitation by social services, Good Beginnings conducts group education and play for in-care children. They are also focused on children who are at risk of neglect and/or abuse from their households or the wider community. Also of interest are children with early childhood school difficulties.
Reconciliation Action Plan
In 2013, Good Beginnings met with more than one hundred and forty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in a consultative mission to find out what they wanted included in the charity’s 2013-2015 Reconciliation Action Plan which was the first by Good Beginnings. All Australians have unique issues affecting them and that includes Aboriginals and The Torres Strait Islanders. Good beginnings aims at establishing and maintaining and improving ongoing programs and partnerships to with these communities so that they are able to unite and ensure a good beginning for their children in health, socially and emotionally. This, it is hoped, will greatly influence how their children will turn out on future for themselves and for the communities as well.
Future 5 is a five year plan from Good Beginnings which details the main performance indicators for the charity over a five-year period from 2011 to 2016. This strategy is an outline of the key indicators of the Good Beginnings’ performance against their main indicators which are programs, development and operations.
Good Beginnings partners with other charities and businesses to positively change the lies of vulnerable children in Australia. This helps in earning the trust of the community the charity works in. Partnership involves financial support for national programs, event and program sponsorships, pro bono support in merchandise and goods.
Good Beginnings partners with the federal government departments in its work. They include the Attorney Generals, Human Services, Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Community Organizations departments. They also work closely with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
The charity also works closely with state and local governments as well as schools all over Australia.
For effective care and protection of children, Good Beginnings partners with various organizations to extend assistance to thousands of children every year. These include Booz and Company who assist the charity with their Future 5 strategy by focusing the organizations main agenda n its work. Trak HR Consulting provides recruitment consultancy services to ensure the right staff is retained to drive the strategies Good Beginnings employs to provide care and protection to children. Clayton Utz provides pro bono legal services while Investment Advice provides direction on financial matters.