Kidzspace – supporting families in need
By Kim Sykes,
CEO, Bendigo Community Health Services
Bendigo Community Health Services recognises that some parents and children need more help than others.
That wrapping services around families and children of all ages is essential in allowing them to reach their full potential.
So with the help of the state government we built kidzspace.
The kidzspace centre enhances our existing community health platform to promote generational change that delivers a positive lifelong impact on the health, education and future earning power of Bendigo children.
A child’s future health, wellbeing and development are shaped by the experience of their early years.
With the right support families can build strengths that significantly contribute to their resilience and ability to recover from adversity and sometimes ongoing challenge.
But not all children have a good start to their lives and not all families know how to deal with a child’s illness, behavioural issues or the stresses that some parents experience.
There is a need to wrap services around children and families that are most vulnerable in our community and kidzspace is designed with that in mind.
Kidzspace is working with kids and their families to ensure every child under BCHS care has the healthiest start possible - a big step in addressing health inequality.
The new centre enhances an early years health and wellbeing hub at our Helm Street site that will deliver unprecedented support for vulnerable families by integrating our services with the City of Greater Bendigo’s maternal and child health service, a kindergarten with a high number of children with a disability and St John of God’s Raphael Centre for mothers experiencing postnatal depression.
Kidzspace has also delivered the opportunity to build partnerships that help us to reach even more children.
Partnerships such as the state government’s Cradle To Kinder program supporting vulnerable mothers and their children from pre-birth to aged four.
We deliver Cradle To Kinder in partnership with MacKillop Family Services and CatholicCare Sandhurst to provide key services and support to these families for a sustained period and give them the best chance of achieving real change.
Like kidzspace, this partnership has the potential to change lives and we feel privileged to play a role.
Kidzspace operates from the BCHS site at 13 Helm Street in Kangaroo Flat. Contact kidzspace by calling 5430 0500 or learn more at www.bchs.com.au