Maroondah’s future: Council adopts strategy for children and their families

Council has adopted the Children and Families Strategy, which seeks to support Council in raising the wellbeing of children and families in Maroondah.

The new Children and Families Strategy replaces the Maroondah City Council Children’s Plan 2015-2019 as Council’s key strategic document regarding children and their families.

The Strategy has involved extensive community consultation, research and needs analysis with children and stakeholders in Maroondah to identify their needs and help plan the most effective ways to maximise wellbeing outcomes for children and their families.

The document encompasses all children aged 0-12 years and their families who live, work, study or play in the City of Maroondah.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Marijke Graham said ensuring the views of children and their families and caregivers were heard was fundamental to the development of the Strategy.

“In developing a new Children and Families Strategy, Council sought the views of more than 3000 children, parents and carers, and the broader Maroondah community, including education and service providers, using a range of consultation methods to find out how we can better meet the needs of Maroondah children and their families,” Cr Graham said.

“Part of this involved Council working together with the Department of Education and Training, The University of Melbourne and schools in Maroondah to undertake wellbeing surveys with students, staff, parents and carers,” she said.

“Results from consultation have helped provide a clearer direction for the delivery of services and areas of support and advocacy for children and their families, both now and in the future,” Cr Graham said.

The Strategy outlines a number of key directions, including to:

  • Ensure that Council’s infrastructure and open spaces are well planned and placed to meet the changing needs of Maroondah’s children, their families and service providers.
  • Enhance opportunities for children in Maroondah to access high-quality local education and care services that meet community needs.
  • Provide accessible local services and opportunities that foster health, wellbeing and development of children and their families.
  • Effectively promote and provide accessible information about the range of services and opportunities available to children and their families in Maroondah.
  • Actively and effectively engage and consult with children and their families on matters that affect them and their communities.

Currently, there are an estimated 20,077 children aged 0-12 years living in Maroondah, representing 16.6 per cent of Maroondah’s population. By 2040, this number is projected to increase to 22,628 children.

“Children form a significant portion of the Maroondah community and Council is committed to investing in both their present and their future as valued members of the Maroondah community,” Cr Graham added.

“On behalf of Council I would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of all those who took part in making this Strategy possible, including the children, parents and carers, school staff and service providers who participated in the consultation and generously shared their experiences, stories and desires for Maroondah,” she said.

Children and Families Strategy two-year Action Plan

The newly adopted Children and Families Strategy will be supplemented by a sequence of two-year Action Plans, which will outline the actions Council will undertake, either individually or in partnership with others.

Given the changing landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a key element of the Strategy’s first Action Plan will be the adaptation of Council services to meet the emerging and future needs of children and their families resulting from the impacts of the virus.

“Council will continue to actively engage with children and stakeholders throughout the implementation of the Strategy, ensuring that children and families are always at its heart,” Cr Graham said.

The Strategy will be reviewed every two years and a new two-year Action Plan will be developed and reviewed annually to track progress.

You can view the Children and Families Strategy and comprehensive reports detailing the full findings of consultations on our Your Say Maroondah webpage

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