BUSHkids Annual Report 2019-20

ANNUAL REPORT 2019–2020 TOPIC SECTION 51 LOCATIONS GLADSTONE • GYMPIE Gladstone / Emerald • ECEI For the Gladstone and Emerald ECEI teams 2020-2021 has been both a rewarding and challenging year on a number of fronts. To date we have supported a total of 1,009 children and families across the Central Highlands, Banana and Gladstone LGAs to either access the NDIS or link in with mainstream community services. One of the main goals for the team has been to improve the experience for families as well as the timeliness of services for children. As the community continues to learn about the services that BUSHkids is able to offer we have seen an increase in children and families enquiring about initial supports. Regional towns continue to face adversity in accessing quality and consistent Allied Health services. Four of our communities –Calliope, Gladstone, Tannum Sands and Emerald–have been identified as ‘Connect 4 Children’ sites and it has been rewarding to develop partnerships with schools, kindies and other government and community services to create innovative solutions to increase the development of children and parents, in spite of the prudent, necessary impediments of the pandemic. Gympie • PHN partnership Early in 2020 BUSHkids partnered with Projects Gympie Community Place in a healthy play project to provide playgroups in the community. As well as providing much-needed playgroup places, the healthy play project provides families with the opportunity to meet our Allied Health staff and have a SP or OT consultation. This offers a ‘soft entry’ approach to providing supports, allowing us to target disadvantaged families in the Gympie region who may not be comfortable directly approaching services for help. Unfortunately, only two sessions could be conducted before the COVID-19 restrictions came into force; however, both were well attended and proved highly successful in getting parents with concerns for their children to engage with BUSHkids. More than 40 SP and OT sessions were conducted as a result of the healthy play project, although due to the impending restrictions these were held by ZOOM or telephone. Multiple families were referred for SP or OT follow-up or to consult with their GP to gain a referral to a pediatrician. Despite the difficulties caused by COVID-19 the project was a great success in reaching families who otherwisemay havemissed out on much needed support. We are hoping to partner with PGCP to run more healthy play play groups in the near future. Gympie • ECEI – see Maroochydore https://bit.ly/393rRue https://bit.ly/3lSWhD3

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