BUSHkids Annual Report 2019-20

ANNUAL REPORT 2019–2020 TOPIC SECTION 13 Our biggest challenge this year was to rapidly change our service delivery model to comply with the constraints of COVID-19. This necessitated a change from delivering face-to-face (F2F) services from our Centres to telephone and teleHealth services and then to delivering services from home. We therefore rapidly focused on training all our teams in: delivering teleHealth, preparing staff to work from home, developing and adapting resources, and in being flexible and maintaining consistent and regular communication across all the teams. As these changes occurred, we also increased communications with our families and the wider community. One of our goals for 2020 was to recruit a full complement of staff and, once achieved, our new recruits began induction in their respective Service Centres. Although the rapid changes had been unprecedented, the teams embraced these and were committed to providing both quality and effective services to families to support their children’s development. To support the changes in our service delivery to a Working from Home (WFH) model, a suite of documents was produced to guide our teams. These documents covered Operational Processes – detailing processes and procedures to be followed by all staff; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) support – using ZOOM and BUSHkids technology and equipment; and Clinical Service Delivery – identifying risks, challenges and mitigation strategies to ensure continuity of quality and effective service provision. The teams adapted well to teleHealth and they continued to modify and deliver a mix of service types, including group programs, individual unidisciplinary and multidisciplinary supports and educational, capacity- building activities for families and the wider community. Overall the delivery of teleHealth has been very successful for many families with the teams reporting positive outcomes despite the pandemic. Notable was increased child and parent engagement, increased opportunities for parent coaching, valuable insights in supporting children within their own home environments, and greater ability to identify and use the family’s resources in therapy sessions. During the WFH period the teams also engaged in project work overseen by the professional leads, such as developing TIPSheets and adapting group programs, such as Zones of Regulation ® and Fun Friends for use in teleHealth, and participation in BUSHkids initiatives such as Virtual Storytime, wherein Centres delivered a weekly virtual story session to their families and the local community. Roles of our Family Health Support Workers (FHSWs), in particular, changed significantly in 2020 as, previously, most group programs were delivered in the community, in schools and early childhood centres, and this longstanding approach was, of course, severely impacted by COVID-19 protocols. With the reduced number of groups being delivered, the FHSWs focused on providing support for individuals – both children and parents – and these were delivered via teleHealth through single sessions or small group programs. Fortunately, we were able to continue to provide some virtual group programs to a small number of childcare centres and we were also able to support the Multibirth Playgroup via teleHealth. In addition to increased support and supervision from their Professional Leads and Line Manager, the teams also received external tele-mentoring from Griffith University . A contract for this initiative was developed in 2019 to include all team members. Sessions for each Centre were scheduled in 2020 to include all new staff members and to maximise the benefit for the newly formed teams. These sessions were enthusiastically received and all provided positive feedback. CAHS The year for our Children’s Allied Health Services teams has certainly been full of challenges, successes and new experiences! We began 2020 with the Human Services Quality Standards (HSQS) audit of our Allied Health services; the resulting notification of Accreditation and formal Certification reflects well on our efficient and effective business operations that result in quality outcomes for our clients: a great achievement for the CAHS teams and all of BUSHkids! CHILDREN’S ALLIED HEALTH SERVICES CAHS

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