BUSHkids Annual Report 2019-20

ANNUAL REPORT 2019–2020 TOPIC SECTION 49 LOCATIONS DALBY • EMERALD Many of our young visitors and get-together groups of parents enjoy the quiet green space and outdoor seating arrangement. Starting 2020, some wonderful plans in place – such as ‘Breakfast with the Bushies’ in May, Barefoot Bowls in June and other events – were all put on hold as COVID-19 changed the way we do business and get together. We did, however, keep our connections to all our network groups and partners/sponsors as the good work from the professional health team we support continued to reach our vulnerable families throughout this time. I am grateful for the donations that continue to be received from a diverse collective in our community as each and every one of them have a genuine reason for wanting to help families in need and recognise BUSHkids as the organisation which not only assists the child but focuses on the family unit as a whole. World Children’s Day in November 2020 was our next get-together target, and at time of writing were in negotiations with Splitters Farm – a hands-on experience for everyone to enjoy. We will be joined by some of our likeminded network services for a great day out. Plans are also in place for a bigger, brighter future for BUSHkids here, so it is ‘watch this space’ for now. We are immensely grateful to the team in Bundaberg as well as to CEO Carlton Meyn and CSM Susan Harrison for attending our monthly meetings (whether in person or via Skype) to keep our committee informed and engaged so that we may continue to support the work of BUSHkids in the Bundaberg region. Judy Peters, Chair, FoBk Bundaberg The Dalby team supports a wide area with outreach to outlying communities including Tara, Jandowae, Cecil Plains, Chinchilla, Bell and Millmerran. Visits to schools and kindies provide individualised support and group programs such as PALS, Friends Resilience © and Fun Friends, as well as parental education sessions including A Steady Start to School © and Triple P Positive Parenting Program. Due to the needs of the families in Tara, the team has begun outreach services to the community in collaboration with Save the Children . This project started early in the year with BUSHkids taking part in the annual Teddy Bears Picnic and utilising the Tara Neighbourhood Centre to meet with families and hold group programs and community capacity-building activities. The team now schedules fortnightly trips to that community with visits to the local state school and the Save the Children playgroup “Play2Learn” to meet with vulnerable kids and families. This connection has been very positive,resulting in increased engagement with BUSHkids and referrals to our services. Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown period the team continued to deliver services via teleHealth. In response to the demand for parenting programs the team was able to deliver Friends Resilience © Strong Not Tough to a group of mums, and Bringing up Great Kids and Circle of Security © Parenting TM to groups of parents and carers. The team has maintained connections with established community referral pathways, particularly via child health nurses and paediatricians, as well as medical and early childhood centres in and around Dalby, and continues to receive referrals, especially for parenting support. Dalby • Case study: CAHS (SP) Helping Katerina thrive at school Katerina* is a six-year-old living in Dalby with her mother and younger brother. Her mum referred Katerina to BUSHkids because she was concerned with her development and schoolwork. She was most worried about Katerina’s communication skills, particularly her ability to understand concepts and vocabulary, which was impacting Katerina’s emotional wellbeing. She was too slow to complete classroom tasks and getting into trouble, making her anxious about attending school. Katerina’s mum had even employed a private tutor but seen little improvement in Katerina’s learning. Our multidisciplinary team (SP, OT and FHSW) stepped up to the task and began work. SP assessments showed Katerina had delayed literacy skills and to remedy this she attended a Phonological Awareness for Literacy (PAL) group over the winter holidays, supported by individual speech pathology sessions. Afterwards, Katerina’s mum wrote “Miss Reegan [our SP in Dalby] was amazing. My daughter enjoyed learning and spending time with her. 5 stars for Reegan’s work!” With our FHSW Julie, Katerina took part in a Peaceful Kids – Mindfulness & Positive Psychology Program © to address her anxiety. Katerina wrote that “Peaceful Kids has helped me to calm down and be calm” while her mum added “Julie was amazing, very helpful! Katerina has been a lot more calm/peaceful [since the program]”. OT support provided to Katerina included building her core strength (to get across the monkey bars), her fine motor skills (to improve strength for longer, faster and more legible handwriting) and handwriting skills (to write all numbers and letters correctly). Katerina said to the OT that she had “helped me a lot. You have helped me build up my strength and I am much more confident.” Katerina even drew a picture for our OT during her last session with the legend ‘I LOVE BUSHKIDS!’ while her mum said “BUSHkids service has been very helpful.” “Thank you for everything you have done, very grateful, you have gone beyond.” During the year the Emerald team has provided outreach services to the outlying towns of Comet, Capella, Dingo and Clermont. OTs and FHSWs visited local schools and kindergartens to deliver group programs and individualised sessions for children. Our OT and SP visited the eKindy pod at Anakie State School to provide supportandstrategiesfortheeKindyteacher to assist a vulnerable child and their family. A successful outcome, enabling the child to continue attending kindy and to receive the support services required. The team has provided group programs including PALS and Friends Resilience © and Fun Friends for children, and Bringing Up Great Kids and 1-2-3 Magic ® & Emotion Coaching for parents and early childhood educators. TeleHealth from our Centre has proved very effective, support provided by our psychologist remotely to Capella State School and to a child living on a remote station outside Tambo. All the team worked from home during the COVID-19 lockdown period but continued to deliver individual and group programs to families remotely, with teleHealth services provided to families in Emerald, Blackwater, Tieri and Barcaldine. https://bit.ly/398eskG https://bit.ly/2Knz91G

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