Midland advocacy group seeks input into new Child Development Atlas

L-R: Lisa Joy (Manager Childrens Services at the Shire of Mundaring), Di Ryder (Noongar Elder), Raeleen McAllister (Midvale Hub) and Helen Dullard (Chairperson for we the people).  A new report is being released which looks at the developmental status of children aged 0 to 8 years in the Midland region, focussing on children facing adversity.
L-R: Lisa Joy (Manager Childrens Services at the Shire of Mundaring), Di Ryder (Noongar Elder), Raeleen McAllister (Midvale Hub) and Helen Dullard (Chairperson for we the people). A new report is being released which looks at the developmental status of children aged 0 to 8 years in the Midland region, focussing on children facing adversity.

AN advocacy group for people living in the Midland region is keen to be involved in the development of the Australian-first Child Development Atlas.

The Atlas will use geospatial technology to map data on Western Australian children’s health, learning, development and social characteristics so that community leaders and service providers can identify the priority issues for their children.

We the People chair Helen Dullard said Midland was ready to have input on the project.

“Our recent research project Supporting Children and Families facing adversity in the Midland Region will benefit from the local data and demographics that the Atlas will provide,” she said.

“It seems like the Atlas was specifically designed for Midland to take the next step in gathering robust research into early years development.

“The Atlas will identify patterns and trends, strengths and challenges relevant to suburbs in the Midland region.

“Clear base-line data will be evaluated and provide the critical evidence on child development factors to enable advocacy for policy change at local, state and federal levels.”

The report estimated around 100 local families with children ready to start school were developmentally behind their peers and could benefit from a new approach to delivering services to vulnerable families.

Australian Early Development Census data showed Bellevue, Koongamia, Middle Swan, Midvale, Midland and Swan View had the greatest number of children and families facing adversity.

Telethon Kids Institute Director Professor Jonathan Carapetis said the idea for the Atlas came from the Institute’s innovative Developmental Pathways Project team and the government agencies they work with.

“We will be seeking feedback from policy makers, service providers, and researchers with the aim of providing a publicly-available online resource that enables easy access to comprehensive information on the development and wellbeing of children and young people in each WA community,” he said.

The Atlas has been funded by The Ian Potter Foundation and the Minderoo Foundation.