Australia’s largest child advocacy centre is being built on a heritage site at Midland’s historic railway workshops.
Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE) is excited to be working with our client Pindan Constructions by providing a variety of services towards the development, including acoustics, audio-visual, civil, electrical, hydraulics, mechanical, structural and sustainability.
The first sod was turned on the $25 million project earlier this week (Tuesday 8 May) and Parkerville Children and Youth Care chief executive Basil Hanna said holistic services at the new centre would help children recover as well as saving them from the horror of reliving abuse by telling their story repeatedly to police and other authorities.
This is the second child advocacy centre to be built by the organisation and the second in Australia.
“The first opened in Armadale seven years ago and we have seen 15,700 children and young people who have been affected by trauma and abuse,” Mr Hanna said.
“We do child safety assessments three times quicker because we’re not working in silos, we have integrated services working alongside the police and government agencies.
“The child only tells their story once and doesn’t get re-traumatised from telling it over and over to 10 individual disciplines. They come together to work under one roof and everyone shares information.
“That’s what the success of the centre has been — it benefits the child and family.
“We work with families who are distraught and in a state of confusion and anger
“We would say we are saving a lot of money too — when you remove the duplication of work, it’s a no-brainer.”
Mr Hanna said a recent evaluation of the George Jones Child Advocacy Centre by the University of South Australia noted the centre as meeting international best practice. It responds to a third of all child sexual abuse reports in WA.
The Midland centre, called the Stan & Jean Perron Child Advocacy Centre, will be bigger to accommodate seven government and not-for-profit groups: Parkerville Children and Youth Care, WA Police, Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support, Ruah Community Services, Wanslea Family Services, Yokai and Ngala.
The multi-storey, 4000sqm facility is designed to provide education, advocacy and recovery treatment for youngsters and their families.
The building, on vacant land at the old railway precinct, is due for completion mid-2019. The renovation of two heritage listed buildings into offices and a cafe will follow.
Article and image courtesy The West Australian; first published Wednesday 9 May.