FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- WHY DO WE NEED COMMUNITY HUBS?
Migrant and refugee families are among Australia’s most vulnerable residents. They can quickly become isolated from the rest of the community, particularly parents caring for pre-school children. These young children are undergoing a critical stage of human development. Without access to early childhood learning and development experiences, they are at risk of starting school developmentally behind their peers. Early intervention to reach and support these families, and especially their children, is the best investment in moving people out of poverty into self-sufficiency. Evidence indicates that the best way to achieve successful settlement outcomes for these hard-to-reach families is to establish trust-based relationships that engage them at the local level.
- WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HOSTING A COMMUNITY HUB FOR SCHOOLS?
A recent evaluation of the National Community Hubs Program found that it led to a number of benefits for the school and the wider community; that the hub enhanced the schools’ capacity to form collaborative partnerships with families, and to respond to the needs and aspirations of families.
Principals and school staff also reported that their awareness of, and connections to, early years and other community services has increased as a result of having a hub. Furthermore, most local community service staff and principals reported that as a result of the hub the school and community services were working collaboratively to develop shared plans to work with migrant communities.
- HOW DOES THE NATIONAL COMMUNITY HUBS PROGRAM WORK?
Hubs are supported by the school Principal and the school community; by a hub coordinator and other hubs; and nationally, by Community Hubs Australia. The key to their success is due to the team; the hub coordinator, hub leader, and school principals and leadership team.
Each community hub is different, because each hub responds to the needs of its local community, available services, and characteristics of its host school.
Although there are two hubs based in community centres, we are not seeking expressions of interest from community centres at this stage.
- HOW IS A COMMUNITY HUB MANAGED?
Each hub is managed by a hub leader, who is employed and hosted by the school for at least 20 hours per week. The hub leader acts as a liaison between the primary school’s staff, women and children and their families, and other community organisations and key stakeholders, such as local migrant resource networks, to establish the best possible interface between families and services.
Community Hubs Australia supports professional development of hub leaders and support agencies, and provides opportunities for support and engagement of principals across the hubs network. A coordinator supports hub leaders, providing: training, facilitated workshops, coaching, and advice on building hub capacity and linking with the local service system around the hub, as well as providing material to support network meetings and quality improvement activities. The hub coordinator will work closely with each school principal and hub leader.
- HOW ARE COMMUNITY HUBS FUNDED?
The Australian Government Department of Social Services, in partnership with Multicultural NSW funds the program in New South Wales, including the proposed new hubs in Liverpool. Schools are expected to co-fund the community hub after two years
For this round, funding is currently available until the end of 2019.