With the Victorian State Election less than one month away, Generation West and cohealth are calling for urgent action to support vulnerable families in Melbourne’s West who are missing out on the basic health and social services they desperately need.
Melbourne’s West is the fastest growing area in Victoria with 250 babies born each week, but healthcare infrastructure is not keeping up. Children living in the West’s most disadvantaged areas are less likely to get the services they need, which can lead to developmental vulnerabilities that could impact them later in life.
“Right now, some of the West’s most disadvantaged families are missing out on the services they need to give their children a happy, healthy childhood,” said Lyn Morgain, Chief Executive of cohealth.
“Every day we see families struggling with multiple challenges including family violence, caring for a child with special needs, and mental health issues.
“Having health and social support services spread around and with no coordination makes it that much harder for people to get the help they need to do the best for their families. These barriers must be removed.
“I’ve seen how life improves dramatically for families when they are at the centre of their care – identifying their needs and goals, and being supported to achieve them.
“By having the right supports at the right time I’ve seen people grow in confidence and how this flows on to big improvements in the health and development of both parents and children.
“We are proposing a new service to deliver comprehensive health, family violence, alcohol, drug, and other social support services all together in a community hub located in Laverton.
“If this project is successful, we will roll out similar hubs across the West to meet the needs of our most vulnerable families.
“We know Melbourne’s West needs a new approach to health and social support services in our most disadvantaged suburbs. Every family and every child must have the same chance at a happy, healthy and thriving childhood.
“There is less than one month to the Victorian State Election, and we want our local MPs to show they support all families in the West by committing to expanding services for vulnerable families where they live,” said Ms Morgain.
Generation West spokesperson Councillor Samantha Byrne couldn’t agree more.
“We know Melbourne’s West is a great place live and bring up a family, but without strong investment in our health care system vulnerable families will continue to fall through the cracks.
“We need medical and social services located in an easy access single hub so struggling families can get support where and when they need it.
“We’re calling on our MPs to invest in the West’s future and ensure that every family and every child has the same chance at a happy, healthy and thriving childhood,” said Ms Byrne.
Read more about the Generation West campaign: https://bit.ly/2pVeWTi
MEDIA CONTACT: Rosina Rayns, 0401 991 792