Relationships Australia 2016 - 2017 Annual Report 1 - Page 41

multiple household moves and family breakdown. Recent studies on low socioeconomic status families and child development show that community- based parenting programs can have a positive influence on parent-child relationships. Together4Kids delivers two community-based parenting programs focused on the first 1000 days of a child’s life. The World Health Organization emphasises the importance of the first 1000 days of life as a unique window to promote child development and shape more prosperous futures. The Garden is a structured child- focused parent-infant/parent-toddler program that aims to strengthen the relationship between parents and their infants/toddlers and reduce children’s risk of social and emotional difficulties and negative outcomes later in life. The Garden has a strong theoretical background and uses activities including exploration of the natural environment, art, shared sensory activities, movement, play, relaxation and reflective opportunities to support families. Over the past year The Garden has worked with 32 families across Adelaide and surrounding areas. The award winning Infant Massage program has played a significant role in increasing the wellbeing of mothers and their infants across metropolitan Adelaide, the Riverland and in two communities in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjara Lands. The program offers evidenced-based interventions for both healthy and at risk groups that protect, restore and enhance the attunement between mothers and babies. In the Northern metropolitan region Infant Massage has been embedded in Children and Parenting Service and Indigenous Children and Schooling Program. 10 groups with 68 participants received the benefits of Infant Massage as part of the service and program delivery. The Garden Infant Massage Funding acknowledgement Together4Kids is funded by the South Australian Department of Communities and Social Inclusion through the National Affordable Housing Agreement and National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness. Success Indicator: Client relationships and parenting capacity are strengthened. The first 1000 days between a women’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday offers a unique window of opportunity to shape healthier and more prosperous futures. Professor Kerry Arabena, The University of Melbourne The Garden Individual, Family and Community Wellbeing | Relationships Australia SA Annual Report 2016 -2017 37