Community Wide Change

Change at scale comes when people and projects across a community work together towards a common goal.

This is beginning to happen with a number of MPF projects and partners in some areas.

The No Limits speech and oral language program operates across six primary schools and their feeder kinders.

It involves over 40 practitioners who are building a community of practice across the schools and kinders with a commitment to evidence based teaching of reading.

No Limits addresses low rates of oral language in children entering kinder and preparatory year.

The key measure for the program is for all children to be reading to learn by the end of year 2.

The Western Port Learning Guarantee (WPLG) brings together educators and wellbeing support across primary and secondary schools.

It reflects the vision of community leaders to use education as the means of assisting whole communities to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage.

WPLG includes No Limits and Music at Tyabb Railway Station, Crib Point, Wallaroo and Hastings Primary Schools.

It includes Learning Enhancement Program at Tyabb Railway Station and Crib Point Primary Schools and

Elevate at Western Port Secondary College.

WPLG works closely with the Family Support Service at Western Port Community Support Centre.

Learning Enhancement Program

The Learning Enhancement Program addresses very low rates of readiness for secondary school, evident in low levels of literacy and social and emotional wellbeing.

The program involves

  • assessment and targeted intervention in literacy using synthetic phonics;
  • a consistent whole school response to intervention and
  • a coordinated response to child trauma and family stress in partnership with local family services.

The key objective is for all students to be ready for the transition to secondary school as measured in reading and emotional wellbeing.

Currently Tyabb Railway Station Primary and Crib Point Primary Schools are involved in this program. We hope to expand to more schools in the near future.

Western Port Music includes Wallaroo and Hastings Primary Schools as well as Tyabb Railway Station and Crib Point.

Elevate

Elevate focuses on high absentee and low school completion rates.

It incorporates teaching practices and philosophies successfully employed at Oakwood School into a mainstream setting.

It focuses on gaps in reading and writing and trauma resulting from environmental stress as well as whole school culture change through all staff training in trauma informed practice.

Students work at the Elevate House, which is separate to mainstream classes, but on the school campus.

They are supported by dedicated staff (and Norman the therapy dog!) to work through individual learning programs with the aim of transitioning back into mainstream.

Homelessness

Homelessness was highlighted as a significant but hidden issue when MPF started work with the local communities in 2017.

With mainstream services based in Frankston or Dandenong, a number of volunteer and minimally resourced small nfps had formed organically to try to meet the complex needs of people who were ‘at the end of the road’ literally and metaphorically.

Lack of data was a major issue as there was no real understanding of the numbers of people involved or the situations they were in. 

MPF has worked with local agencies to better understand the situation and in funding a number of locally drive programs has amassed a set of data which is beginning to describe the complexity of the issue and to assist in planning a way forward.

As an issue that impacts the whole community it is of great concern to the MP Shire which is now partnering with MPF to use the data combined with insights into the layers and set ups of government structures, services and policies to test new strategies with a view to fundamental systems change.

This work will involve greater use of new technology to assist in data management and communications and is a great example of philanthropy and local government working together to combine assets and insights towards a common goal.

The programs currently funded by MPF include:

Assertive Outreach and SPLaSh

Southern Peninsula Community Support Centre provides emergency relief for people experiencing acute vulnerability. This support extends beyond the service site on Port Nepean Road Rosebud as outreach to people who are homeless via the SPLASH and Assertive Outreach programs.

SPLASH provides biweekly connection for people who are rough sleeping, in rooming houses, in cars, etc. With a meal and opportunity to shower and wash clothes, the program offers and opportunity for personal connection for people who are often intensely isolated.

To enhance this work, SPCSC has recently started the Assertive Outreach Program which extends the connections made at SPLASH through intensive case management that supports people who want to engage through the many steps towards greater housing stability.  

Western Port Housing and Homelessness

The Western Port Housing and Homelessness program operates from the Western Port Community Support Centre in High St Hastings and also provides intensive case management.

Clients vary more widely than in the Rosebud programs as they may be at risk of homelessness, recently homeless or long term homeless. Assistance is flexible and client directed.

Experienced case managers collaborate with the wider services network to ensure as much support as possible is available to clients. 

Private Rental Assistance

Run by the New Pen Community Care, PRAP works with people who are at risk of homelessness and are in private rental.

With unexpected shocks or a series of compounding events, there are many avenues to homelessness and the earlier they are identified and supported, the greater the chance of averting this situation.

PRAP works closely with real estate agents to support their needs too and finds that the mutual understandings that can be developed between business and individuals greatly contributes to the very high rates of securing housing that are being achieved by this program.