How KEYS started
Kwinana Early Years Services Inc (formally Kidlink Early Intervention Programme Inc) was established early in 1993 to provide a home and centre based service to families with children (0-8 years) living in the Kwinana area. A feasibility study conducted in 1992 by the Department for Community Development found a need in Kwinana for coordinated, multi-disciplinary service that would meet the needs of young families in the area.
This study showed that Kwinana had the largest Homeswest concentration in the metropolitan area, a high concentration of low cost housing, a fast growing population, high unemployment, insufficient resources to meet the community needs and a high percentage of special need cases in the area. It was found that although a number of agencies existed in the area, those families most in need of these services were least likely to access them.
Families often lacked the factual information on where to go and what was being offered in the community. Many families with pre-school children also found it difficult to access services when they did not have private transport. Motivation to develop positive relationships with their children could also be difficult when the major caregiver(s) had multiple problems to contend with, such as the lack of finances, unemployment, domestic violence, poor health, housing issues, and a lack of skills and/or knowledge about how to access information.
Local Government, the Department for Community Development, the Local Member of Parliament and other community services and agencies identified and expressed the need for an early intervention strategy. The proposed model was for in-home parent skill development and support as well as providing assistance to families to access the existing community resources.
Funding was made available for a pilot project by the State Government through the Social Advantage Package. The purpose of this pilot project was to provide an early intervention initiative in the Kwinana area for isolated and disadvantaged families with young children. Funding was provided for a period of three years.
The project was sponsored through its establishment phase by the Town of Kwinana until its incorporation in July 1993.
During 1995 a review of all agencies funded through the Department for Community Development was carried out. This review process included a mapping of services to ensure that they were appropriate to needs in the community and to stop any duplication.
As a result of this process our organisation was refunded and continues to benefit from recurrent funding, now through the Department for Child Protection.