“It is through a partnership approach that schools...and the broader community can share responsibility for the learning and development of young people and support them to reach their full educational and social potential.” (Schools Business Community Partnership Brokers Program)
A partnership approach strengthens the collective efforts of schools and organisations in the best interests of children’s mental health and wellbeing. This is one of the goals of Australia’s National Mental Health Plan, of which KidsMatter is one part.
We are invested in creating partnerships because we know that implementing KidsMatter is enhanced when schools are connected to health and community organisations. Having an understanding of, and connections to, the broader community:
facilitates access to professionals who can support children’s social and emotional learning
increases access to parenting support
ensures children who need mental health support have access to help in a timely way.
KidsMatter can be very effective in making these links between health and education.
For example, last month KidsMatter NT helped six schools explore community partnerships with representatives from the Department of Education and Children’s Services, Carers NT, CatholicCare NT, Good Beginnings, Grow NT, NT Medicare Local, St John’s Ambulance, TEAMhealth and the Smith Family. Each agency provided an overview of their services and outlined their capacity to work with schools to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. Schools were encouraged to think about how partnerships can add value to KidsMatter, and organisations were encouraged to reflect on how they could further their connections with KidsMatter.
This is one example of how partnerships can make the best use of diverse skills, knowledge and resources available across schools and the community, and how KidsMatter can bring health and education together.