Children and their families need social connection to thrive - The Sector
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Children and their families need social connection to thrive

November 2, 2022 - November 2, 2022

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Western Sydney University, Westmead Campus

Children and their families need social connection to thrive

Social (dis)connection is a critical social policy issue, with one in three Australians reporting that they feel extended periods of loneliness. We know from a broad body of research that children are healthier, happier, and learn better when surrounded by community and feel a sense of place, identity and belonging. When we think about supporting children and families who experience complex challenges, we often focus on formal programs and targeted interventions.


Connection and relationships are relegated to the private realm, nice to have, but difficult to measure or support. However, growing evidence supports connection and relationships as instrumental to making a difference in the lives of children and families experiencing adversity.

It has never been more critical to re-energise the notion that it takes a village to raise healthy children. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters have demonstrated the importance of social connection and the strength of communities when rallying together in the face of disasters through acts of kindness and service to support one another.


How do we bounce forward from these experiences and further galvanise communities to be proactive and community-minded in times of non-crises? How can we build their perceptiveness to the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalised among them, with the confidence to respond and support their needs?

Community connectedness is the glue that can reintegrate a disparate service system while supporting sustained, meaningful change long after programs end. Researchers at TeEACH are interested in understanding the strengths, resilience, and resources present within every community. We are working to acknowledge, leverage and mobilise these strengths to support the building of connected communities. Our goal is to build resilient communities for all children, where they can feel valued and heard and take action, know when and where to ask for help, and know that support will be available for them.

This interactive symposium brings together the voices of children, families, policymakers, service providers, volunteers and researchers to explore new ways of thinking about community connectedness and how to champion it for children and their families.


Register here

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