The Early Support project has operated successfully in Sutherland Shire since 1994.
Funding for service has over the years been most generously provided by the Big Sister Foundation, Rotary, Clubs NSW, Sutherland Shire Council, Zonta Club, Lioness Clubs just to name a few.
Orana Early Support officially opened on the 30th of May 2005 and retained rooms at Sylvania Community Health Centre previously occupied by Sutherland Family Network. This allowed for a smooth transition thanks to the continued support from the South East Sydney Illawara Area Health Service (SESIAHS). The fact that the new service was able to re-open after only a few months is indicative of the good reputation it enjoys as well as the dedication of the staff, volunteers and the Orana Board. We were delighted to receive the Sutherland Shire Community Group of the Year Award 2006 presented by Sutherland Shire Council.
The service relocated to the new Community Health Centre building at Sutherland Hospital in early 2007 following the sale of the Sylvania Community Health Centre site by SESIAHS. However due to a recent restructure of The Sutherland Hospital and SESIAHS we have more recently moved premises again to our Orana Central Office at 3a Stapelton Ave. Sutherland.
To support and respond effectively to the needs of parents and their young children (0-3 years) by:
- Employing best practice in our early intervention program for stressed families with young children,
- Developing networks that link families with their community, and
- Promoting the needs of families burdened by physical, social and/or emotional problems.
The first three years of life are critical for children’s development. Research shows that not only children’s emotional and physical growth but also their neurological development is affected by their experiences during these years. Neurological development plays a significant role in a child’s capacity to learn to cope with stressful situations and to interact socially in later life.” (Perry 1993, Families First Resource Kit)
- Reduce social isolation through community development and capacity building projects
- Create a caring, inclusive community.
- Improve family function to the benefit of the family and the community,
- Provide support, education and access to additional services to families
- Increase self-esteem, confidence and parenting skills,
- Decrease family stress,
- Prevent or reduce crises that may lead to child abuse,
- Provide assistance to disadvantaged families where financial difficulties and poverty exists,
- Provide an understanding of child development and behaviour
The above goals are achieved by:
- Assisting families to develop social networks in the community and by connecting people to support one another.
- Helping families reach their full potential through a nurturing, protective and enriching environment, and
- Promoting optimum family care for children,
Region of Service
Orana Early Support Service currently covers the area within the geographical boundaries of the Sutherland Shire local government area.