Dear KAUST community,
We are pleased to announce plans to launch a new service for children who have additional needs, beyond the scope of our existing educational or healthcare services. Provisionally named the Family and Child Support Center, this service will be a beacon of support, providing access to quality services and engaging activities, helping those aged 18 or under to achieve their full potential. It will be a center of belonging for children and their families, including those with additional physical, social, learning, emotional and other diverse needs.
This Center is being developed following proactive engagement from, and conversations with, families in our community on the subject of additional support for younger community members with diverse needs. These conversations followed an Inclusive Community Survey conducted by Community Life in 2021 which had the aim of identifying and understanding areas of need in KAUST.
The Family and Child Support Center aims to start offering limited services in September and will be located in part of the ECC3 building in the heart of the Gardens neighborhood. As the Center grows, it will provide a range of support services, activities, and facilities for children and their families, to develop, share, and thrive, including:
- Early intervention and assessment from clinical specialists aimed at identifying and supporting children for the best possible outcomes
- Training, emotional support, and networking for parents, children, and siblings
- A physical space of belonging for community members, including a sensory room and outdoor area and dedicated rooms for individual assessment, intervention and therapy where required
- A calendar of social and engagement events for the whole community to be involved
The Center is complementary to existing offerings in The KAUST School, daycare and KAUST Health and will work in partnership with these organizations and others internal to KAUST, externally in the Kingdom, and globally to achieve the best possible outcomes. It is not a replacement for any existing health or educational service.
Dan Buttigieg, Director, KAUST Health and the Family & Child Support Center team introduced the Center at last night’s Townhall. Please see the video of his presentation here:
Further interviews, focus groups, and community surveys are currently underway to help us understand how this service can best meet the community need.
Feedback survey – submit today
If you have a child, aged 18 or under, that you think can benefit from the Family & Child Support Center, we encourage you to share your feedback in our current survey so we can further develop our plans for the Center. The deadline for responses is June 16.
Participate in an information session
A parent/carer information session will be held on Sunday, June 12 at 5:00 p.m. in the EEC3 building. The Center team will provide brief updates about the development of the service and provide an opportunity for parents to contribute to different aspects of the Center’s operations and service provision. Anyone wishing to attend can contact Helen Wells on the contact information below.
Director, KAUST Health