Additional funding for Indigenous Advancement Strategy helps to close the gap Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Ltd currently delivers the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Tracks to Success program in Toowoomba. The Lifeline Darling Downs IAS mentors work with families whose children and young people have disengaged or are at risk of disengaging from school. This program focuses on the Closing the Gap educational targets and aims to increase school engagement and retention rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. There are a range of reasons why children and young people may not attend school and these include social isolation, intergenerational trauma, poor mental health, environmental factors and grief and loss as well as more practical considerations such as the ability to access transport or afford school supplies. There are a range of reasons why children and young people may not attend school. When the IAS mentor develops the case plan, they will identify any practical problems which may be contributing to a child’s disengagement from school. For example, a mentor may determine that a child is avoiding school due to bullying. In this case, the mentor will work with the school to address the bullying behaviour and to implement strategies so that the child can safely return to school. In many cases, the barriers to school attendance are practical. For example, a child may only have one school shirt which they wear five days a week, families can’t afford school supplies or books, they have no access to transport to school during bad weather. If the family’s resources aren’t sufficient to address issues such as lack of uniforms or school supplies, the mentor will work with the family to purchase the necessary items. ...some children only have one school shirt which they wear five days a week, families can’t afford school supplies or books... Lifeline Darling Downs was fortunate to be chosen as a recipient of the Queensland Community Foundation (QCF) Regional Grant program. The funds received will help support the activities of the IAS program by enabling us to provide essential supports for children and families who need a little extra help. The funds have (and will) enable the team to provide items such as an extra school shirt, text book or bus pass that will significantly enhance the recipient’s ability and motivation to engage or reengage in school. The work of QCF supports over two hundred charitable organisations each year through the distribution of grant funding and we are thankful to be one of these recipients in 2020. We are incredibly grateful to QCF for their dedication to the mission of meeting the social needs of Queensland into the future. QCF supports over two hundred charitable organisations each year A special thanks go to Joy Mingay (of Classic Recruitment and Human Resources) and the local QCF Toowoomba team for their work and their ongoing support of our region and countless charitable causes. If you’d like to learn more about how Lifeline Darling Downs is supporting the community - reach out to us here. As always, if you or someone you know is experiencing crisis please call 13 11 14 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or text 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm and midnight 7 days a week. For all other enquiries you can contact Lifeline Darling Downs on 1300 991 443.