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Karitane receives $13M for Fairfield children and families

3 min read
children and families

NSW Health Minister, Ryan Park announced the Minns Government will be investing $6.5 million in the 2024/2025 NSW Budget to redevelop Karitane’s facility at Carramar into the Karitane Fairfield Integrated Child and Family Hub. These funds will be matched by a $6.5 million grant from the Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF). 

With these generous contributions, Karitane is poised to deliver a world-leading “One Stop Shop” for families to access the developmental and early intervention services they need to ensure their children get the best start in life.  

This Hub will support the growing and diverse needs of the Fairfield area, ensuring services cater for the culturally and linguistically diverse community. The Hub will also offer virtual services to families across NSW. 

The new Fairfield Integrated Child and Family Hub will be a meeting place for local families experiencing parenting challenges and will offer: 

  • Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services 
  • Toddler Behaviour Clinic 
  • A Parenting Centre which includes Child and Family day stay services 
  • In-Language Supported Playgroups 
  • Integrated Services with partners which will include Early Education, Disability, Social Services and Health 

In addition to this ‘One Stop Shop’ for families, in the crucial first 2000 days, the Fairfield Hub will also be home to the Centre of Research Excellence in Strengths-based Tiered Access to Resources and Supports (STARS-CRE). 

Professor Valsamma Eapen from UNSW Sydney Medicine and Health’s Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health was awarded $2.5 million to lead a multidisciplinary Centre of Research Excellence in Strengths-based Tiered Access to Resources and Supports (STARS-CRE).  

The aim is to promote optimal child development outcomes by addressing inequity in health and developmental service access for children, particularly from priority populations, in the first 2000 days from pregnancy to start of school. This world-first strengths-based and co-designed model of care will enhance child and family health, so that every child, irrespective of their geographic, cultural and linguistic, or economic background will have an equal opportunity for the best start to life. 

“Karitane is deeply appreciative of the support provided by the NSW Government and our partners at the Paul Ramsay Foundation that will enable us to provide this one-stop shop for families in Fairfield,” said Karitane CEO Grainne O’Loughlin. 

“The Hub will provide families with access to a wide range of early parenting supports from pregnancy through to school all in one place.” 

According to O’Loughlin by bringing together services from health, early education and social care, as well as providing parents with the opportunity to build social connections, we will support families to identify emerging issues before they become entrenched and help children to thrive. 

“Sometimes the challenges experienced by children and families are complex and require an integrated response to meet their needs.” 

“Having to travel to multiple locations to access multiple services or navigate complex systems prevents families from getting the right care, at the right time,” added O’Loughlin.  

“The Fairfield Hub will ensure services that are more comprehensive, accessible, and responsive to families’ needs in an inviting, safe and welcoming space that has been co-designed by our local community.” 

According to Paul Ramsay Foundation CEO Kristy Muir, the Fairfield Integrated Child and Family Hub is a cornerstone support service designed to ensure that the children and families of the Fairfield area have what they need to thrive. 

“PRF is proud to support Karitane in developing this vital service for families so that it can provide integrated services that support child development.” 

“Currently children from multicultural and priority populations experience challenges in accessing health and developmental checks early and hence miss valuable opportunities for early intervention,” said CRE Director, Professor Valsamma Eapen, UNSW Sydney and SWSLHD. 

“They often present late after complexities have developed and this integrated hub will fundamentally shift this inequity by empowering parents and transforming the way we deliver care for children and families from priority populations.” 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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