Child health experts call for collective action to address early childhood vulnerability

In a Policy Brief published by the Centre for Community Child Health, child health experts have made the case for utilising “place-based collective impact” to address systemic disadvantage in communities around Australia.

In some communities in Australia, as many as 1 in 2 children are starting school developmentally vulnerable. In the Brief, authors David Hogan, Lori Rubenstein and Rebecca Fry argue that combining place-based approaches with collective impact can provide a model for addressing complex and embedded disadvantage.

“Its focus on citizen engagement, and devolved, cooperative decision-making represents a fundamental shift in the distribution of power and authority away from government and service providers,” state the Brief’s authors.

Place-based approaches use people working together to address issues within a particular community or area.  Collective impact involves the commitment of a group of stakeholders from different sectors to a common agenda for addressing the complex problems experienced by a community such as childhood vulnerability and disadvantage.

The Brief’s authors argue that an approach combining place-based methods and collective impact strategies would see more efficient and effective services for Government, improved services and reduced disadvantage for communities, and a stronger role in program design and delivery for service providers.

The full Policy Brief can be read at the Centre for Community Child Health’s website.

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