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Learning Links’ long and invaluable partnership with DOOLEYS Club has continued in 2024, with funding received for five vital support programs in local schools in the Cumberland area, which will empower over 100 children with their education, mental health and wellbeing.

Three of these programs are our new Assessments in Schools initiative, which enables children to access free diagnostic and clinical support to better understand learning, social and wellbeing needs. Funding for these programs is instrumental in minimising the access and equity issues that many children with learning difficulties face in the local Cumberland area.

An assessments with a psychologist is an essential first step in helping children and adolescents to overcome the challenges they are facing with learning, development and/or wellbeing. As assessments looks a strengths, areas and needs as well as how children learn in the best way, to outline the most appropriate supports and ongoing strategies.

Thanks to funding from DOOLEYS, Learning Links psychologists have been able to administer academic and cognitive assessments, as well as diagnostic support, in two high schools and will support up to 45 children. Referrals for these assessments come from teachers, school counsellors and parents of students experiencing academic difficulties, attention or behavioural issues both at home and in school, as well as mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Feedback from the two schools who have received support through the Assessment in Schools program shows just how crucial this service is in the local area:

“We have been facing an increasing number of referrals to our school counsellor for psychometric assessments, and they have been struggling to keep up due to the other demands of their job. With additional help, some of the pressure can be alleviated to ensure that our students receive the support they need in a timely manner. A Learning Links Psychologist would complement our teachers’ expertise and enable children whose families simply don’t have the means to pay for the external early intervention programss they need, to be supported within our school environment to reach their full potential.”  – Head Teacher Learning Support

“I wanted to say a huge thank you to Learning Links for the grant you initiated with our school this year. The Lidcombe Catholic Club grant enabled us to perform much needed cognitive assessments that have had been the impetus for important programs and supports that otherwise would NOT have occurred.”   – Head Teacher Learning Support Literacy and Numeracy

Learning Links is incredibly grateful for the support received from DOOLEYS Club for over a decade. The work we are able to do with the funding they have given has already, and will continue to, change the lives of children and empower them to build the future they deserve.