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Funds for stronger families.



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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au Web: www.davidhawker.com.au

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

20 June 2005

FUNDS FOR STRONGER FAMILIES

Member for Wannon, David Hawker, today welcomed $550,000 to help children whose parents who are undertaking treatment for drug abuse.

“Families in Western Victoria will now have access to Odyssey House Victoria’s Counting the Kids National Brokerage Fund project,” Mr Hawker said.

“The Brokerage Fund will provide direct assistance to children so that they can live a normal life while their parents undertake treatment.”

Under the program, local non-government organisations or care givers will be eligible to apply to Odyssey House for small grants ($500-$4,000) to support either individual children or groups of children.

The money will give children of drug-using parents the opportunity to participate in normal childhood activities like playgroup, music lessons and sporting activities.

Mr Hawker said that the funding is being provided under the Strengthening Families program of the Australian Government’s National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS).

“It is an early intervention family-focused program that is specifically directed towards family support rather than the health, education or criminal aspects of the Strategy,” he said.

“The primary focus of the program is to provide support for families including parents, grandparents, kinship carers and children of drug-using parents.

“The support can be provided in the form of education, counselling support services, advice and referral services and targeted projects for families.

“Funding negotiations with Odyssey House Victoria have begun and it is expected that the new services will be available in the near future,” Mr Hawker said.

Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100