Debra Doherty, entertainer Clowry Kennell and Dr Katrina Lines at the launch of fostering families in Maryborough.
Debra Doherty, entertainer Clowry Kennell and Dr Katrina Lines at the launch of fostering families in Maryborough. Robyne Cuerel

Trial to stop child neglect officially launched in M'boro

AN EARLY-intervention trial trying to stop child neglect on the Fraser Coast has been officially launched to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

The Fostering Families program, run by ACT for Kids, has already taken on more than 100 referrals of families between Howard and Curra.

Two family support officers and three in-home officers work with the families in their homes, addressing issues such as routine, nutrition and food, how to play with children and other factors of neglect.

A crowd that included child safety workers, educators and MP Anne Maddern helped to officially launch the trial on Monday, four months after it opened its Maryborough office.

ACT for Kids program executive director Katrina Lines said the Fraser Coast region showed an obvious need for family support services, with the trial already at capacity.

Nursery rhymes featured heavily in the launch thanks to the latest ACT for Kids campaign, Twinkle Twinkle.

The campaign aims to build awareness of emotional and social child neglect by getting people to sign a nursery rhyme and upload it to the campaign website.

Dr Lines said emotional neglect came hand in hand with physical aspects of neglect.

She said evidence showed young children especially needed emotional contact with people, best done through nursery rhymes and stories.

"They (neglected children) miss out on all that," she said.

Fostering Families

  • The Maryborough District is one of three trial sites in Queensland, announced in the 2012-13 budget
  • The program began taking referrals in April and is now at capacity


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