The Core of Life Program in the NSW North Coast region is a joint initiative of North Coast Primary Health Network, Northern NSW Local Health District and Youth and Family Education Resource Program. North Coast Medicare Local Program Officer and Regional Core of Life Coordinator Claire Malseed supports Core of Life collaboration between schools and organisations involved, to ensure a sustainable model of program provision which engages both health and education sectors.
The program has been rolled out to a number of high schools in the region, with promising results. For example, a pre/post survey from Kyogle High showed that participants improved their short-term knowledge of the common first signs of pregnancy, the physiological process of childbirth and the benefits of breastfeeding. In addition 72% of participants responded that the session made them think more about the responsibilities of having a baby.
In 2015-2016, the Core of Life program will continue to expand in the region, with a number of schools and community groups eager to roll out the program. In June, 20 additional facilitators from a range of government and non-government organisations will undertake Core of Life facilitator training which will ensure the program’s sustainability into the future. This will add to the fantastic pool of facilitators available in the region who bring a diverse range of skills and expertise to the Core of Life program.
YFER is conducting a Core of Life Instructor Training in Ballina during November 2016. This will increase the capacity of those regions throughout Australia involved to sustain the Core of Life program for young people and young parers in their areas. New Instructors will be able to schedule Core of Life Facilitator Training workshops locally on a needs basis to ensure they always have enough staff from local services to co-parent the program in schools and community settings.