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Ovens Murray

Home visiting program supports families earlier in the post-natal period

Image adults giving apples to children
Image adults giving apples to children

The Ovens Murray Area Partnership is assisting the Wangaratta Rural City Council to evaluate an innovative antenatal home visiting program designed to engage much earlier with families who are at risk or may struggle with parenting.

The Maternal and Child Health Innovation Project is being run in partnership with North East Health/Child First and the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The project aims to build greater trust of services and longer-term engagement with families to address many post-natal needs – ranging from cot and car seat safety through to smoking and drug and alcohol issues, family violence, and maternal emotional wellbeing.

The project has brought together key health and family support services to share information and consider each individual family in the process. It has also developed a new risk assessment tool.

To date, there are very positive and promising signs that the program is making a difference, including increased take up of services and improved Child and Maternal Health visitation. 

The role of the Area Partnership is to assist in a thorough evaluation of the project, that encourages take-up of similar practice elsewhere in the region by sharing the process and results widely to improve outcomes for vulnerable women and their children.