Hunter Outreach Project
Hunter Outreach Program is a unique mobile support service offering a range of activities & assistance to families in the lower Hunter region of NSW. All services are offered free to families who require some extra support.
We work to build upon existing community and family strengths by fostering positive family and community relationships.
The program is funded through an Early Intervention and Placement Prevention Program (EIPP) for Child & Family Support with Human Services (formerly known as Caravan Project)and now known as The Hunter Outreach Project.
Due to the flexibility of our funding, services are offered to any family requesting extra support, as long as they have at least one child under 18 years.
The work involves a variety of activities including advice, support, referrals and parenting programs. Outcomes and Key Performance Indicators are measured via data sets which feed into a longitudinal analysis of vulnerable families with complex problems.
There is a literature review component within EIPP Service Specifications and we offer teaching and research opportunities for student placements from within Occupational Therapy, Health & Medicine, Social Work and other disciplines.
The services and activities currently offered by the is project include;
- Case Management
- Parenting Programs
- Practical Skills Development
- Experienced Family Workers visit families in their home (or at a place of their choosing) and provide information, case planning, support, encouragement and referral as needed to assist families to reach their goals. This service is also open to young parents.
- Youth support for young people aged 12-25 provides assistance and support in seeking employment, accommodation and education and in addressing other support needs. Young people can self-refer or are referred through agencies they are involved with.
Delivered every school term, these programs provide parents with an opportunity to meet other adults and build on their existing skills to make parenting more rewarding.
Parenting programs are developed and delivered to meet specific community needs i.e families residing in refuges or in other temporary housing such as boarding houses.
Practical and Skills Development groups
Offered each school term, a variety of groups and topics are delivered in conjunction with other services in the local community. Topics include life skills, cooking, learning to be more creative with children, communication strategies, playing with children and understanding childhood literacy.
Hunter Outreach Project Objectives
To assist families who have children under the age of 18 who require some extra support.
To design, deliver and support strength-based programs in collaboration with families and community.
To encourage and support families to identify and achieve goals.
To promote a sense of family belonging in communities.
Our staff know that all families have assets and strengths, and we work with families to develop these assets and strengths in order to help build more resilient communities.
In 2006 we conducted a best practice forum which brought together key practitioners and service providers to discuss principles of practice for people working with and on caravan parks.
Caravans have been used as a form of accommodation for hundreds of years. Australian caravan parks were initially intended for travellers or tourists, and it was not until the 1980s that it became legal in NSW to live permanently in a caravan park. The increase in the number of permanent residents has been influenced by a range of factors including:
- the decrease in housing affordability
- the reduction in public housing
- increasing numbers of retirees seeking residential communities, especially in coastal areas
- the increase in number of manufactured-home villages
- the introduction of the NSW Residential Parks Act 1998.
Principles of Promising Practice: Supporting Residents of Caravan Parks was launched in December 2007. Download report (link).
The Residential Parks Service Access Project 2012 -Residential parks are one of the housing options available to the community and many over 55's who live in these environments are unaware of the services that are available to them. (See pdf)