Dubbo West Public School

Where individuals matter.

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SaCC School as Community Centre

Purpose and focus

The purpose of the SaCC program is to reduce the impact of disadvantage for children entering school. The program facilitates partnerships with families with children from birth to eight years, in communities where indicators of disadvantage are high, with a focus on the years prior to school.


The SaCC program aims to:

  • improve decision-making processes relating to the provision of services through increased community participation
  • improve the effectiveness of service provision for families with young children through integration and interagency collaboration
  • increase the confidence and skills of parents in their role, and
  • strengthen communities through building community networks.

Principles and approach

The SaCC program has a strong commitment to the principles of:

  • recognising and building on community strengths, assets and skills
  • prevention and earl intervention
  • valuing cultural diversity
  • mutually respectful and supportive relationships involving agencies and community members
  • working in partnership and sharing resources
  • participating in the development of networks that promote collaborative planning and accessible services
  • learning as a life-long process.

The SaCC program takes a community development approach to strengthening families and communities.

A community development approach aims to:

  • build the capacity of families and communities
  • involve people in the issues that affect their lives
  • promote cooperation and encourage the process of participatory democracy
  • build on the potential and aspirations of the community
  • facilitate sharing and development of knowledge
  • facilitate local democracy, challenge inequalities and promote social justice
  • build community relationships and networks.

Recent social research indicates that agencies and organisations, as well as children, families and communities, benefit from a planned and collaborative interagency approach.

The benefits come from their involvement in collaborative planning which impacts on service delivery and include:

  • enhanced communication
  • more effective resource allocation and usage
  • opportunities to learn from other professionals
  • organised change that supports the interagency approach

The structure of the SaCC program and its management and operation reflect the research.

The SaCC program incorporates:

  • participatory structures including State Steering Committee and management committees as well as structured and unstructured opportunities for community input. These could include focus groups, community forums, community advisory groups, project teams or other strategies
  • Collaborative planning which enables the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources between local community members and service providers
  • Collaborative service delivery involving local community members and local service providers. This may involve resource sharing such as personnel, information and infrastructure.


The SaCC program seeks to achieve improvements in the following areas:

Outcomes for children:

  • children and families are safe
  • children and families are healthy
  • children have a positive start to school
  • children are learning at home and school