Policy Essay

Words: 4332
Pages: 18

Policy Brief
Families are often faced with a range of different, complex health and psychosocial problems. Place-based approaches aim to address these complex problems by focusing on the social and physical environment of a community and on better integrated and more accessible service systems, rather than focusing principally on the problems faced by individuals. A place-based approach targets an entire community and aims to address issues that exist at the neighbourhood level, such as poor housing, social isolation, poor or fragmented service provision that leads to gaps or duplication of effort, and limited economic opportunities. By using a community engagement approach to address complex problems, a place-based approach seeks to make
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Rationale for place-based approaches
The rationale for adopting place-based approaches is based on various factors: Place shapes people’s wellbeing. Both social and physical environments influence health and wellbeing. Children’s daily experience of living and learning in the environment around them is a significant factor in their overall wellbeing6-8,19-23. Feeling connected and having social networks matters for people’s wellbeing. Children’s welfare and family functioning are crucially dependent upon the social support available within local communities24, and social isolation is a risk factor for both child development and family functioning24-27. Some communities are trapped by locational disadvantage28-32. Despite Australia’s recent strong economic growth, some communities remain caught in a spiral of disadvantage such as low school attainment, high unemployment, poor health, high imprisonment rates and child abuse31. When social disadvantage becomes entrenched in a particular locality, a disabling social environment can develop, leading to intergenerational disadvantage. The economic collapse of certain localities30,33,34. Neighbourhoods that were reliant on the old economy have been devastated by globalisation, economic rationalism, restructuring and closure of manufacturing industries. Some of these neighbourhoods have become almost entirely dependent on welfare benefits and publicly funded services. Orthodox