Western Sydney University highlights impact of Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections

A new report led by Western Sydney University has highlighted the transformative impact that the Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections Community Development Program (LNC-CDP) is having on women, ‘families in crisis’ and the broader Liverpool community.

The report, released this month, reveals that the Program – which provides direct relief from poverty, and runs programs that provide accessible information, community development, capacity building and advocacy services – has transformed the lives of numerous migrant and refugee women and their families.

Report co-author, Professor Brian Stout from the School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, said reasons for the Programs success are numerous.

“There are a number of characteristics that make the Program work so well. The first is the LNC’s exceptional leadership, the second is the model that the program uses which engages with the community and understands the need of women using the service.

“Our report shows that if you support women through education and skills training, and then provide an environment that allows them to engage in these things, by, for example, providing accessible childcare services, that this is going to be impactful to both the woman accessing these services, her family and the community more broadly,” he said.

Dr Teddy Nagaddya, report co-author from the School of Social Sciences at Western Sydney University, said that one of the key findings was the impact that the provision of childcare and child services programs had on enabling women’s labour participation and improved parenting skills, leading to happier families.

“These services have not only empowered women to live as financially independent individuals, but also proved to have the potential of reducing welfare dependency and promotion of mental wellness,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer, Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections, Pat Hall, said their organisation – which runs 65 programs accessed by 22,000 people annually – has become a place where women can feel safe and empowered.

“Our centre has become a place where women from different cultures and who speak different languages, can come and feel safe and feel heard. Our aim is to show kindness, nurture our community and empower women.

“Women who contact us in the first instance, usually do so through things like our childcare services. Many then go on to access our women’s groups, TAFE classes or our social enterprise programs which can change the whole dynamic of a family. With these skills women in crisis finally have a way out as they have access to money and start believing in themselves,” she said.

Research for this report was based on work led by an international cohort of Masters of Social Work students at Western Sydney University. Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections Community Development Program (LNC-CDP) is supported by Department of Communities and Justice; Department of Education; Western Sydney University; Sydney Community Foundation; Be Kind to Sydney Fund; Sydney Women’s Fund; Weir Anderson Foundation; Sherry Hogan.

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