The Family Action Centre (FAC) at the University of Newcastle has a belief that a healthy family is the cornerstone of a healthy community. The FAC develops and implements programs whilst undertaking research and training that promote sustainability, social justice and community leadership.
The FAC has become a national leader in helping to strengthen families and communities. Through the delivery of support programs, dissemination of information, advocacy for family wellbeing, engagement in research and provision of training, the Centre has created a potent mix which can then act as a catalyst for lasting social change.
The programs run by the FAC help communities by focusing its activities into three key areas: strength-based practice; teaching and learning; and research.
Current FAC programs:
- The Boys in Schools Program helps boys achieve better success at school by providing research, support programs and resources to educators.
- The Hunter Outreach Project assists families who live in caravan parks and manufactured-home villages in developing their existing assets and strengths to further build empowered communities. The Hunter Outreach program dates back to 1986 and is the original community support program that the Family Action Centre was built on.
- Communities for Children is a project that has been running since 2005 to support new parents by providing improved antenatal care, home-visiting, playgroups and parenting courses. The aim of this program is to improve the early learning and literacy opportunities for children in the Raymond Terrace and Karuah areas.
- Home-Start is a program that helps to support families in the Newcastle and east Lake Macquarie area by having volunteers visit families in their homes to provide support and friendship to those who may be in need of it.
- Indigenous Programs The Family Action Centre has a growing commitment to supporting indigenous communities and service organisations to deliver strength based approaches when working with families. The Family Action Centre as a mainstream organisation, employs an indigenous worker, and builds partnerships with indigenous organisations in order to promote strength based approaches, disseminate the outcomes and develop culturally appropriate resources.
- Special Needs Unlimited Group (SNUG) provides families who have a child with a severe disability living in rural areas a five day residential camp close to Newcastle, from which they can better access the specialist care that they may need that is not available easily back at home. The camps can cater for up to 20 families at a time, which allows those families to foster friendships and further enhance resilience and family wellbeing.
The Family Action Centre also offers programs and support specifically tailored for Indigenous communities. These programs help to promote the achievement of sustainable outcomes for Iindigenous children through strength-based approaches in partnership with Indigenous organisations as well as the dissemination of outcomes and development of culturally appropriate resources.
The Family Action Centre is funded through departments of the NSW State and Commonwealth Governments, philanthropic organisations and also corporate and private sponsorship.
For more information on the programs, courses and support services offered by the Family Action Centre, or to make a donation to support their work, visit their website.