COMMUNITIES FOR CHILDREN » provides funding and coordination for services and activities that ensure children have the best start in life by encouraging a positive approach.

Bernie the Blue-tongued Lizard

Ensuring children have a positive start in life

Communities for Children provides funding and coordination for services and activities that ensure children have the best start in life. We do this through prevention and early intervention approaches that bring about positive outcomes for family functioning, safety and child development for children and their families in disadvantaged communities across Burnie.

Communities for Children is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS) and facilitated in Burnie by CatholicCare. We work in partnership with service providers across Burnie to offer a range of supports for families. Our main activities include: Bernie’s Pad in the Plaza and Bernie the Lizard; wrap around support for young parents; activities and support for families with children aged 5-12 years; a neighbourhood project with people who live in Havenview; and the ‘Dream Big’ project in primary schools across Burnie.

In the past we have funded the hugely popular “Billy” project in both Montello Primary and Havenview Primary Schools, which has helped families and schools develop strong relationships that support children.

We continue to develop creative, innovative approaches to supporting families across Burnie.

Bernie the Blue-tongued Lizard

Bernie The Blue Tongue Lizard

Bernie is an easily identifiable icon – a 6-foot tall blue tongue lizard! When Bernie is around there is sure to be lots of excitement and interest. Bernie can be found hanging out at The Pad in the Plaza Arcade, wandering the streets to meet new people and attending numerous events in the community.

Bernie’s Pad

Bernie’s Pad in the Plaza is a family-friendly drop-in centre promoting and supporting healthy, connected and happy families in the community. Mums, dads, carers and grandparents all use this safe, friendly area to change nappies, bottle/breast feed, enjoy art/craft activities, toys and games, and relax in our baby and toddler friendly area. Parents and carers also have access to our friendly worker, for information on anything and everything to do with parenting e.g. Playgroups, child health and development, events, and accessing local services. The Pad is open 10am-3pm Tuesday to Friday and it is all Free!

To find out “What’s On” simply like us on Facebook, "Bernie the Blue Tongue Lizard"

Bernie the Blue-tongued Lizard

Young Parents

Supporting young parents continues to be a priority in our community. Communities for Children have engaged with many young mums and dads who are looking for opportunities to dream and aspire, find peer support and make new friends, be supported as a parent, and to study and create opportunities for themselves and their children. With support from our key workers, young parents have been able to guide and develop the program into a meaningful experience of growth, change, support, acceptance and connection to the community.

Families with Children aged 5-12 years

Our “Getting Connected” program supports hundreds of parents who would like to build their community connections, extend their knowledge and skills as a parent, get back into education or training and navigate the support system. Based on an ongoing relationship with a trusted worker, this program focuses on strengths, and supports the achievement of individual families interests, needs and dreams.

We provide a range of innovative opportunities including in arts-based programs such as “Big Window”, which is specifically provided training around Aged Care in a creative way. See the results here:

Bernie the Blue-tongued Lizard

Fostering child-friendly community culture

We continue to work with many families in Havenview through our partnership with Havenview Primary School. Over the next few years we will strengthen our partnership with people In Havenview through our Neighbourhood Project starting in mid-2015. The goal of this project is to foster and strengthen a child-friendly community culture that supports families at a neighbourhood level as well as individual families.

This is an exciting opportunity to engage with a whole neighbourhood - expect the unexpected! The Havenview community will be involved in all the decisions and direction of this project - what will happen? Keep watching or get involved, and you’ll see…