BUSHkids Annual Report 2020-2021


CONNECTIONS 2020–2021 BUSHkids values the ongoing support and collegial partnerships provided by a diverse range of organisations and all levels of government. Rotary Club of Warwick Sunrise MASTHEAD DE S IGN CREATI VE A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1

TOPICS 2020-21 Chair’s 30 years’ service _______________________________ 4 CEO 10-year reflection_ ______________________________ 5 Valé, Gloria_____________________________________ 6 Leadership / Charter_ ___________________________ 6 Collaborations__________________________________ 7 Safety of children_ ______________________________ 7 Service streams and funders_ ____________________ 8 Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services_ _ 8 WQPHN Cunnamulla partnership__________________ 9 Children and Parenting Support Services __________ 9 BUSHkids eKindy Pods_ ________________________ 10 Spotlight on an eKindy facilitator__________________ 11 Children’s Allied Health Services__________________ 11 Human Services Quality Framework Standards ____ 12 ICT and social media ___________________________ 22 WHS summary_________________________________ 22 Gratitude _____________________________________ 24 Looking forward: 2022 and beyond ______________ 24 BUSHKIDS TELEHEALTH New TeleBUSHkids Centre_ _____________________ 12 Teleservices _ _________________________________ 13 Maintaining a high standard of training____________ 13 tele-Circle of Safety across regions ______________ 13 Virtual outreach via community connections _ _____ 14 EarlyStart teams’ teleHealth-based reset _ ________ 14 ECEI / EARLYSTART EarlyStart team pilot program _ __________________ 15 Introducing some of the EarlyStart team __________ 15 Our best practice Early Childhood Intervention _ ___ 16 Filling the gap_ ________________________________ 16 Launching the team_ ___________________________ 16 The journey of a family__________________________ 16 Good news stories_ ____________________________ 17 Working as a ‘virtual team’_ _____________________ 17 NDIA Independent Assessment Pilot_ ____________ 18 Our journey in numbers_________________________ 18 Where to next? ________________________________ 18 CASE STUDIES #1____________________________________________ 10 #2 _ __________________________________________ 13 #3 _ __________________________________________ 14 FRIENDS OF BUSHKIDS Chair Judy Peters______________________________ 18 Emerald - Allied Health Assistant ________________ 19 Leslie Wilson Outback Centre ___________________ 19 New outdoor area for Dalby _____________________ 20 Bundaberg - Face Program _ ____________________ 20 Lego social skills program _ _____________________ 21 Reds visit Bundaberg _ _________________________ 21 Warwick_ _____________________________________ 21 Notice of Meeting 2021 The 85th Annual General Meeting of the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme – BUSHkids – will be held on Friday 3 December 2021 at 6.00pm at 16 Morley Street, Toowong Q 4066. Business Confirmation of Minutes of the 84th Annual General Meeting held on 27th November 2020; Receive and adopt the 85th Annual Report for the 12 month period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021; Presentation of Annual Financial Report for the 12 month period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021; Nomination and election of Chair and Council members; Appoint Auditors for the ensuing year; Transact any special business for which due notice has been given. By order of the Council. Dr N J Bartels oam Chair ESSENTIALS 2020-2021 CONNECTIONS Inside front cover DIRECTORY Inside back cover COUNCIL Council members 2 Chair’s report 3 STATISTICS Clients and sessions 23 ECEI / EarlyStart ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks 25 Estates, legacies and trusts Donate, bequest or sponsor FINANCIALS Treasurer’s Report 26 Statements of > Profit or Loss 28 > Financial Position 29 > Changes in Equity 30 > Cash Flows 31 Notes 32 Council Declaration 42 Auditor’s Report 43 OUR PATRON The Governor of Queensland Her Excellency Dr Jeanette Young psm *Client names have been changed throughout this document for privacy reasons A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 1

2021 meeting attendance 1 19 Feb 2 8 Apr 3 13 May 4 24 Jun 5 19 Aug 6 16 Sep 7 4 Nov AGM* 3 Dec Dr Neil Bartels oam (Chair) A medical practitioner with a keen interest in children’s health issues, Neil holds a Master’s degree in Law with a great interest in the equity of access to health services for more remote or disadvantaged children, particularly those with behavioural, learning or social disadvantage. He provides valuable medical and legal experience and intense support in the direction of the organisation, and was recognised in the Australia Day 2018 honours for his lengthy service. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Apol Int* Gloria Ryan (Deputy Chair to March 2021) Gloria was legally trained and a very enthusiastic contributor to all aspects of our contracting matters and supporting BUSHkids with legal advice, as well as comprehensively advising on our Policies and Procedures. Through the changes to the organisation’s branding she assisted greatly with the registration of the BUSHkids trademark. Elected as Deputy Chair in December 2014, Gloria served diligently in this role until her passing in April 2021. Yes Apol Carolyn Searle (Deputy Chair from June 2021) Having grown up in Regional Queensland, Carolyn understands the importance of an organisation like BUSHkids for children and families in regional and remote areas. Carolyn worked in accounting and law before founding a Queensland-based recruitment agency. It is through her experience in these fields that she is able to provide diversified advice for our organisation. Carolyn has been a passionate advocate for BUSHkids telehealth and was elected as Deputy Chair in June. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Int* Allison McLean (Honorary Treasurer) Allison brings her vast accounting knowledge with many years in the areas of business advice, accounting and taxation to support the BUSHkids finance team. Growing up on a farm which was worked by generations of her family she feels an affinity with families in rural and remote areas. Allison was originally involved with the Redcliffe Centre through community groups, organising games nights, activities, and outings for children brought in for treatment. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Int* Julian Martin After growing up in the Bush, Julian has a high regard for what BUSHkids is contributing to the children of rural and regional Queensland. He has had more than 25 years of experience in the information systems industry and a background of providing business-enabling solutions to organisations. Julian supports us greatly in all areas of our ICT needs and has been a valued adviser for the transformation of our ICT systems across the organisation. Apol Yes Apol Yes Yes Yes Yes Int* Gail Huggins A Council member since 2012, with a degree in Speech Pathology from The University of Queensland, Gail has a wealth of experience gained from roles in government and non-government health and education organisations around Australia, including as Queensland Health’s Gold Coast Director of Speech Pathology, Paediatric Services before her retirement. Still committed to the profession and cognisant of current research guiding paediatric practice and service delivery models, Gail’s expert clinical knowledge provides invaluable advice to BUSHkids’ service provision. Yes Apol Yes Yes Yes Apol Yes Int* Judy Peters Judy’s background in local government, business and community sectors adds to her regional and rural knowledge. As a Friend of BUSHkids she embraces the ethos of understanding, quality support and service to all families and knows first-hand the impact that BUSHkids services have. Providing community connectiveness is an important part of the BUSHkids story and Judy is an advocate for access to quality services so that circumstance or distance should not be a disadvantage. Yes Yes Yes Yes Apol Yes Yes Int* Deborah Theodoros Deborah is a Speech Pathologist with 45 years of clinical and research experience. She grew up in Mackay before completing her Bachelor’s degree and PhD at The University of Queensland. Deborah was Head of Speech Pathology for 11 years at UQ and is now an Emeritus Professor at the University. She has previously chaired the Board of Speech Pathology Australia and brings a wealth of experience in the Allied Health sector. Deborah has a special interest in new models of service delivery. Yes Yes Yes Apol Yes Yes Yes Int* *Note: December AGM scheduled after the production deadline for this report; attendance notes are declared intentions based on prior advice received from Council members. BUSHkids Council A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 2

In retrospect Dr Neil J Bartels oam MBBS LL.M Grad.Cert.Leg.Med. FACRRM BUSHkids’ 86th year in 2021 – and the second year of learning to live and work in our new ‘COVID-normal’ world – has much to celebrate in the lives of our client families and our incredible staff providing our services: we have increasingly focused on improving the life-paths of children with disabilities and developmental delays and, overall, our services have substantially increased in their quantity, quality and reach, despite the changes and inconveniences incurred in managing the coronavirus. It has also been a sad year, as the gaping hole in the BUSHkids Council meeting attendance table on the facing page attests, with the passing of Deputy Chair Gloria Ryan in April. She served well above and beyond anyone’s reasonable expectations of a volunteer member in her many years on Council, once committed to a task pursuing it to the end to her own very high standards. We therefore have even greater reason to be grateful for not only Carolyn Searle’s eight-year-long commitment to BUSHkids Council but also for her dedication to step forward as Gloria’s able successor. It is rare indeed to be blessed with the friendship, ethical wisdom, life experience and shrewd balance of the aesthetic and the practical of an individual; even as we mourn we realise that BUSHkids has been doubly blessed in these respects. My Council colleagues have, equally, redoubled their efforts this year in the redistribution and ongoing management of their oversight portfolios. The herculean efforts of Honorary Treasurer Allison McLean have navigated BUSHkids through the worst of COVID’s financial fallout, Julian Martin has been instrumental in guiding our enhanced ICT cyber-security measures to complement the expansion of our teleHealth services and Judy Peters’ voice reminds us we are never too far from our rural roots. Gail Huggins and Deb Theodoros provide a potent blend of clinical and tertiary education experience and connections which, between them, has literally ‘supercharged’ our frontline service delivery across Queensland. To all, my very great thanks—not least for ‘walking the talk’ with the growth in our virtual meetings underpinning our appreciation for the day-to-day work of our teams. On which note, we are acutely mindful of our duty of care to our clients and our staff—most especially, the vulnerable demographics which we serve— as we negotiate our way forward through evolving vaccine mandates and other new COVID ‘normalities’. We are equally conscious of and committed to respectfully dealing with people whose historical claims are currently being processed through the National Redress Scheme. The sometimes bittersweet passing of time also brings, inevitably, other major landmarks. We thank our former Patron andGovernor, theHonourablePaul de Jersey ac and Mrs Kaye de Jersey for their keen interest in BUSHkids and our work during their time in office—not least for their valedictory visit to our Emerald Centre and its official renaming in honour of our founder—and, as this report closed for print, we have been delighted to host our new Governor and Patron, Dr Jeanette Young psm, on a visit to our Rockhampton Centre. This has been a landmark 2021 for other reasons, too: it is my 30th year volunteering for BUSHkids, and the 10th year we have had the pleasure of the company, energy and extraordinary operational growth adduced by the remarkable dedication of our inspirational CEO Carlton Meyn: thank-you. BUSHkids Council Chair A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 3

Neil completed the organisational transformation which his father Reg had started in the 1980s. He was instrumental in guiding the organisation through its de-institutionalisation restructuring in the 1990s, as it fundamentally changed its service provision model, moving away from supporting children in residential homes on the coast in favour of providing holistic services to families through service centres with multidisciplinary teams of therapists based in the rural communities where the children in need lived. Over the last 10 years as BUSHkids’ Chairman Neil has contributed to BUSHkids’ governance during a period of rapid growth which has seen it expand from a small nonprofit organisation providing services for fewer than 700 children a year from six locations, to a sophisticated organisation that today supports more than 7,000 children from more than 30 locations across Queensland. During this time, BUSHkids has further evolved a comprehensive range of services, expanded into complementary areas such as eKindy provision and Early Childhood Early Intervention as a Partner in the Community of the NDIS, and pioneered cutting-edge technology such as teleHealth. BUSHkids is now widely regarded as a leader in rural and regional children’s developmental health, not only in Queensland but around Australia. Neil has dedicated much of his personal time to making BUSHkids what it is today and deservedly received an OAM on Australia Day 2018 for his service to medicine in rural and regional areas. Neil runs a busy medical practice on the Gold Coast where he lives with his wife Annette and where they have raised their five children, but still devotes much of his free time to BUSHkids. “When I was a medical student, my father would come home from Bush Children’s Council meetings and we would talk. He taught me about the organisation, its aims, changes and challenges. That, I believe, is what gave me focus in my endeavour to give back to rural and remote communities.” Neil has first-hand personal and professional experience of the health needs of rural Queensland, having worked for five years in the small Central Highlands town of Dysart. “Asamedical practitioner I sawformyself theneedsandchallenges facing families and children in the bush. There is still a great need for accessible and affordable health and education services in rural and remote parts of Queensland. When I returned to live in the city I felt it was my obligation to give something back to the community.” Dr Neil J Bartels oam 30 years’ service As a Council member, Deputy Chair and Chair, Dr Neil Bartels has dedicated 30 years to supporting the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children and families in rural, remote and regional Queensland, continuing a distinguished family legacy stretching back to 1966. Neil’s father Reg – who was also a recipient of an OAM – was actively involved with the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme (RQBCHS) for more than 25 years and was Chairman from 1973 to 1991. In 1992, Reg was also named as Queensland’s ‘Father of the Year’ with a beaming Neil in the middle background of this proud family’s historic photo. Neil joined the organisation’s Council in October 1991 and became the Deputy Chair in 1999 before being elected as Council Chair in 2007. A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 4

17% 48% 10-year reflection As I reflect on my 10 years of service with a trusted Queensland institution supporting children, families and communities for 86 years I am proud to present our 2020-2021 BUSHkids Annual Report. BUSHkids has a long, proud history of serving Queensland communities to ensure children achieve their potential. Whilst the way we deliver services has changed, the original vision and purpose of the organisation remains true. During the past 10 years, BUSHkids has grown from a small not-for-profit organisation providing services for 670 children per year, to an organisation that supported more than 7,286 children this year. Our workforce has grown by 614% from 28 to almost 200 staff over this decade. BUSHkids services are delivered from a sound evidence base and through implementation of contemporary best practices ensuring children achieve their potential. BUSHkids’ service delivery model has gone through several transformative changes. This commenced with work in 2012 to articulate a clinical Model of Care for the organisation. This provided the basis for later developments as we moved from a clinical intervention approach towards proportionate universalism and implementation of universal and targeted services alongside our clinical intervention services. Capacity building for local communities and families now strongly underpins our approach. Success as an organisation has required transformation of our infrastructure, information technology, business support and finance systems to ensure these are fit for purpose in an increasingly large and complex organisation. With the operationalisation of our 2021–2026 Strategic Plan, a clear path has been set for BUSHkids growth and development over the next five years. This growth will strongly align with our core values – being child-focused and family-centred, collaborative, and accountable. Our vision has been reconfirmed as ensuring all Queensland children reach their potential regardless of where they live. We celebrate our achievements and recognise the challenges this year has yielded, as we have worked hard to make a positive impact upon the lives of children, families and communities across regional, rural and remote Queensland. As we enter our second year of operating during a pandemic, we have maintained and grown services for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders. Chief Executive Officer 7,286 children SESSIONS 12,801 SESSIONS A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 5

Leadership To support our current leaders and grow new leaders from within BUSHkids, we have worked closely with our leadership and management consultants, Trevor-Roberts, to develop a bespoke organisational leadership program. This is multi-level and comprised of a combination of online modules on our learning management system, as well as individual and group coaching and action learning. Valé, Gloria Gloria Ryan joined as a BUSHkids Council member in June 2009 and was elected as Deputy Chair in 2014. She served BUSHkids in this role until April 2021, when we were all saddened by her passing. A very private person who quietly contributed to BUSHkids in a big way, she was legally trained, and enthusiastically contributed to all aspects of our contracting matters, supporting BUSHkids with legal input and comprehensively advising on the Scheme’s Policies and Procedures. Through the changes to the organisation’s branding in 2010–2011 Gloria provided essential advice and assisted greatly with the registration of the BUSHkids trademark. In its unique graphic style, instantly recognised around Queensland, this remains the most publicly visible legacy of Gloria’s many professional contributions voluntarily given to support our organisation over more than a decade of service. She was without a doubt a very dignified and highly respected Council member and friend to all at BUSHkids. Our condolences and thoughts go out to her family and friends. The growth in the organisation has required a focus on leadership at BUSHkids to ensure that we maintain our BUSHkids culture and values as the organisation grows and becomes more complex. We have launched our BUSHkids Leadership Charter which clearly articulates expectations of our leaders at BUSHkids and positions our vision and values as core to inspiring, motivating and empowering our teams. As the organisation has grown, the role of CEO will be supported by the implementation of a small executive team. The first role developed as part of this is that of Director of Clinical Services and Strategy and our Head of Clinical Services, Susan Harrison, has been appointed to this position. Susan will be accountable for the effectiveness and safety of clinical practice, hold strategic responsibility for BUSHkids’ clinical and community services and will lead on service innovation and development. C E O c o n t i n u e d OUR LEADERSHIP PURPOSE • To inspire, motivate and empower our teams to be the driving force to deliver on the BUSHkids vision and values. OUR V I S I ON OUR V A L U E S • WE A R E OUR P UR P O S E All Queensland children reach their potential regardless of where they live. Child-focused and family-centered Collaborative Accountable To support children’s health, developmental, educational and social and emotional wellbeing through equitable and accessible health services. LEADERSHIP CHARTER } are accountable for our actions and outcomes. } are open to new ideas and perspectives. } are fair, supportive and encouraging to our teams. } will give and receive feedback. } recognise good work and acknowledge the right behaviours. } promptly address performance and behavioural issues. } create and support an environment of development. } build a culture of high performance. } create a culture that ensures evidenced-based contemporary practice. } identify and share best practice. } foster a safe, healthy and engaged workplace. } are agile and adaptable to the changing needs of our team members, organisation, industry and clients. } take a consultative approach in communities to expand our local knowledge and contacts. } keep the needs of the people we serve at the centre of everything we do. } consistently communicate the vision and strategy. } ensure our work is aligned to our strategic plan. } build and nurture stronger partnerships within and outside our organisation, leveraging our reputation and history. u LEAD OURSELVES AND OUR PEOPLE u MANAGE AND IMPROVE SERVICES u SET DIRECTION AS LEADERS, WE 3325RBK 2021.v1 A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 6

BUSHkids continues to actively develop policies, procedures and checklists to ensure the safety of children. BUSHkids actively promotes child safety and wellbeing in every aspect of its services and has taken positive action by joining the National Redress Scheme and by developing an organisational culture consistent with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. Complex challenges facing the organisation include responding to historical claims under the National Redress Scheme and Personal Injury Proceedings Act. BUSHkids is committed to meeting our obligations. Meeting the cost of claims will reduce the resources we have available to deliver services and we will work with government and funders to attempt to ensure that services can be maintained for vulnerable children and families across regional, rural and remote Queensland. BUSHkids is a key contributing member of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP). TQKP is a cross-sector coalition comprised of tertiary, not-for-profit, government, and philanthropic bodies committed to making a difference through ‘systems work’ that takes ‘science to service’. TQKP aims to catalyse change by bringing people and knowledge together for the benefit of all children and young people across Queensland. Collaborations In line with our core values, collaboration has remained a key focus in how we operate across the state. Safety of children The safety of the children we support is always our highest priority and the organisation does not tolerate abuse of any kind. childsafe.humanrights.gov.au/national-principles Building on our earlier research collaboration with The University of Queensland (UQ), BUSHkids’ leadership team joined with key members of UQ’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences for a workshop to explore synergies and opportunities to partner and collaborate at the St Lucia campus. From this, four working parties have been developed to support collaborative projects. These four key areas are: research, telepractice, student placements and workforce development. BUSHkids has also worked with Central Queensland University (CQU) during the past year, strengthening our ties with the regional institution. Our senior clinical staff provided feedback on the development of the CQU online students’ microcredential “The First 1000 days – Stronger Foundations.” We have also contributed to the Speech Pathology Course at CQU through membership of the course reference committee, presentations to students and provision of student placements. BUSHkids is a member of the Every Child Campaign Steering Committee. Every Child is a national advocacy movement that aims to elevate the conversation about the wellbeing of children and young people as a nation-building priority. A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 7

Service streams and funders BUSHkids provides services from more than 30 locations across Queensland and we are grateful for the support of federal and state governments in providing funding to help enable our vital work. In addition to funding received, BUSHkids self-funds programs and relies on our donors and fundraising contributions to support service delivery. CAHS Children’s Allied Health Services are delivered in Bundaberg < Dalby < Emerald < Mt Isa < Warwick < CPSS Children and Parenting Support Services are delivered in Agnes Water < Inglewood < Kingaroy < Stanthorpe < NDIS / ECEI BUSHkids is a Partner in the Community with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and delivers Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services in Bundaberg < Emerald < Gladstone < Gympie < Hervey Bay < Kingaroy < Rockhampton < Sunshine Coast < eKindy ekindy pods are provided by BUSHkids across a range of rural and remote locations. Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services As a Partner in the Community, BUSHkids supports children and families through short term early intervention, community engagement, community capacity-building and planning. Our ECEI teams have received a 29% increase in referrals, with many children receiving short term support from our Allied Health staff or transitioning into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as participants. In November 2020 the NDIA released two public consultation papers that introduced the ‘ECEI Implementation Reset’ project: • ‘Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential’ • ‘Report on ECEI Implementation Reset’ The ECEI reset aims to deliver improvements to the Early Intervention sector by aligning recommendations and proposed changes with current best practice approaches in this space. BUSHkids submitted a response to these recommendations which largely align with BUSHkids’ core values and practice approach. BUSHkids has used the ECEI reset recommendations to consider a flexible and creative approach to improving our service, while keeping quality outcomes for families central. One of the biggest transitions we made was to implement our transdisciplinary EarlyStart team in January 2021 as an interim step in moving our practice toward the recommendations in the ECEI reset. Early in 2021, BUSHkids participated in the ECEI Independent Assessment trial. This involved utilising the skills and time of the newly-formed EarlyStart team. Throughout the process, BUSHkids recorded and compiled comprehensive feedback to the agency. This year, BUSHkids Early Intervention Facilitators completed 3,000 plans for young children, built families’ capacity to support their children’s development, and monitored and supported the implementation of these plans. BUSHkids continues to work in close partnership with the NDIA to contribute to the success of the scheme and to improve supports for young children. C E O c o n t i n u e d BUSHkids continues to feed back to NDIS how the thin markets in many regional areas are impacting the utilisation of NDIS plans and we continue to help families look at all options for accessing services, including the families accessing telehealth services from service providers if there are no or limited services in their regions. A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 8

WQPHN Cunnamulla partnership Children and Parenting Support Services Key components include playgroups, evidence-based early intervention programs to support development, and parenting interventions across the spectrum from universal to individual parenting support. BUSHkids works with a family-centric focus with a key emphasis on developing both individual and community strengths. This year, BUSHkids has received funding from the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN) to work with the Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health (CACH) to support children and families in Cunnamulla. The aim of this program is to build upon the good work CACH is doing in the local community and strengthen support for children and families. BUSHkids worked with CACH to plan a ‘Community Pit-stop’ for kids under eight to launch our partnership but, due to COVID-19 constraints and risks to the remote community, this event has been postponed until 2022. Instead, a ‘soft launch’ is underway with our clinicians working with CACH, kindergarten and schools to support children transitioning to Prep in 2022. BUSHkids CPSS team is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide support to parents and children up to the age of 13 with a focus on early intervention to support child development. The services provided are in line with the ‘proportional universalism’ model of service delivery including universal health promotion and development activities, as well as targeted group work and individual family supports for parents and for children. This year, as we returned to face-to-face services, it was with relief that the staff were able to once more make connections with the children and their families in person. Although teleHealth services proved to have many unexpected advantages and new skills were developed, the Children and Parenting Facilitators still missed the human contact when running groups and working with families and were very happy to return to meeting in person again. Due to COVID-19 there was still some reluctance by families to attend groups, and numbers were lower than pre-pandemic, especially when we initially resumed with the ‘new normal’ mode of operation. However, the team has managed to successfully continue to provide services to the communities and support vulnerable families, and we are now seeing an increase in families returning to the groups we offer. wqphn.com.au /hellocach With the border town of Stanthorpe particularly vulnerable to closures and movement restrictions, this really impacted on our service delivery. A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 9

BUSHkids eKindy Pods BUSHkids has facilitated 24 eKindy Pods in 20 locations in 2021, from Mount Garnet in the north to Yelarbon in the south, Prairie and Anakie in the west to Kenilworth in the east, with funding received from the Department of Education. BUSHkids will continue to provide eKindy Pods in 2022 with plans to employ our own early childhood teacher to lead this program. BUSHkids continues to foster positive working relationships with the Department of Education, eKindy/Distant Education, Regional Education, and the local schools, to provide quality play-based services to these regional/remote communities. Our BUSHkids facilitators are core members of their small community, often wearing a variety of ‘hats’ ranging from Teacher Aides and administration staff to cleaners and P&C members. BUSHkids ensures that the care and education provided to the children is fun and safe by ensuring that all facilitators follow the BUSHkids Policies and Procedures as well as the contractual regulations of standalone care. Children attending BUSHkids eKindy Pods receive a high-quality, fun and very educational experience. Principals from the schools where our Pods are located often comment on the noticeable difference in children who attend the Pods, stating that their transition into Prep is smooth and successful, providing a great foundation for future learning. For the majority of children enrolled in a BUSHkids eKindy Pod, it is their first time attending a formalised learning program. Many of our families live on large rural properties, so having incidental playdates or attending their local childcare is not always possible. By attending BUSHkids eKindy Pods, the children are learning life skills such as making new friends, trying new challenging tasks, following different routines and problem-solving without the help of Mum/Dad or big brother! C E O c o n t i n u e d “On starting Kindy, Emmet* was very cautious about attempting the moving discs in the playground. Through constant reassurance and guidance Emmet was able to attempt stepping between the moving discs in the playground whilst holding my hand. As the Kindy days went by Emmet kept practising and was able to step from disc to disc without any assistance. Once Emmet knew he couldmake his way across to the platformon the big playground it gave him the confidence to attempt the bridge on the little playground. Emmet is still working on crossing the bridge with confidence by himself.” “The eKindy Pod at Forrest Beach State School supports the early learning of our children which provides a great foundation for all future learning throughout their schooling. We can really notice the smoother transitions for children who have come from a BUSHkids eKindy Pod. The eKindy Pods are a valuable resource in our small community, and BUSHkids eKindy Facilitator Tracy Madden is a valued member of our school and the community.” Sarah-Jane Noonan • Principal, Forrest Beach State School CASE STUDY #1 A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 10

CAHS Children’s Allied Health Services continue to be a core BUSHkids role in regional, rural and remote communities. Our Mt Isa and Emerald operations receive partial funding from the Department of Education and are heavily subsidised by BUSHkids. Our Bundaberg, Dalby and Warwick services receive funding from Queensland Health and are subsidised by BUSHkids. BUSHkids CAHS teams have continued to provide the traditional Allied Health services of speech pathology, occupational therapy, psychology, social work and family health support across their local regions. Allied Health services for children continue to be in high demand and managing waitlists has been a priority for all disciplines. A refocus on evidence-based practice, proportionate universality, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary practice, outcome measures and good data collection will be the focus of the next 12 months of service provision in Allied Health. In 2021 a key focus of CAHS service provision has been to provide services to vulnerable children and families who have not been accessing BUSHkids services, with each team setting a specific goal for their region. Many teams had a focus of increasing the access to the services by First Nations families and adapting programs to ensure that culturally appropriate services are provided by BUSHkids. Mt Isa’s speech pathologist and occupational therapist have been providing yarning sessions to a local Aboriginal playgroup in conjunction with Ngukathai, and has been complimented by the visiting social worker providing 1-2-3 Magic® Parenting Program. Dalby joined with Goolburi to provide the 1-2-3 Magic® & Emotion Coaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parenting Program utilising their new outdoor play area. Warwick has linked with local Aboriginal wellbeing organisation Goolburri offering family gathering sessions where the Family Health Support Worker provided parenting support and education. These linkages have facilitated the provision of parent education in helping them teach children to emotionally regulate, with shared story time strategies from Read and Grow and the Abecedarian approach, as well as preparing children for school using our own A Steady Start to School yarning program. The Family and Child Education (FACE) Program and outreach services also form part of helping vulnerable children, and families to have access to BUSHkids free Allied Health services and parenting support. Children without a diagnosis in the older age group from seven to 12 have limited availability of free services that provide Allied Health services in the community apart from BUSHkids. The ability to access diagnostic supports such as Allied Health assessments is also very limited for these children outside the private practice area. BUSHkids has been meeting this gap with multidisciplinary services and reports for paediatricians to help diagnoses so children can access school support or the NDIS. Spotlight on an eKindy facilitator ArohaWarburton fromPrairie loves her job as the eKindy facilitator, saying that it was such a great decision for she and her husband to take a big leap of faith and do something completely different. Aroha had always worked in corporate jobs and was with Qantas for 20 years. Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, Aroha saw the need to change roles. After her husband completed his Masters of Education and successfully landed a teaching position at Prairie State School and Cameron Downs State School, the pair packed up and moved out to Prairie. Aroha said the school principal Maggie Glynn was very supportive of her applying for the position, and now she loves her new role and the fun that the children bring. Aroha also does cleaning for the school a few hours a week and sometimes helps out with the garden. Aroha said that she would love to plant some veggies with the eKindy kids in the future. Helping families understand that Early Childhood Early Intervention services are available for children under six via NDIS Partners has taken a significant time in areas where BUSHkids does not hold the ECEI contract. Helping families navigate and understand the system has been important to ensure children are accessing the most appropriate Allied Health service provision pathway. A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 11

Human Services Quality Framework Standards A requirement of Queensland Health funding is that BUSHkids has an accreditation process, and this is assessed by the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) Standards. The assessment assists BUSHkids with ongoing quality assurance processes to ensure best practice human service provision. The HSQS Maintenance Assessment was completed on 12 and 13 July 2021 with audits for Toowong, Bundaberg, and Dalby. The Assessor identified that BUSHkids continues to meet the intent of the assessed Standards and this result demonstrates BUSHkids’ commitment to achieving the requirements of the Standards and maintaining certification. BUSHkids teleHealth New teleBUSHkids Centre Years of planning are coming to fruition with the development of our teleBUSHkids Centre at Toowong. The Queensland Government announced its support for BUSHkids to build a dedicated telehealth centre by providing a generous grant from the Community Infrastructure Investment Partnership (CIIP) program. Award of the grant was announced in September by the Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, the Honourable Stephen Miles MP. BUSHkids is one of 12 not-for-profit organisations to receive funding through the CIIP program which is designed to help COVID-19 recovery throughout Queensland. BUSHkids will receive $481,090 toward the creation of a dedicated teleHealth centre at BUSHkids office site in Toowong. The BUSHkids Brisbane team is based out of re-purposed Queenslander-style homes. One of these is to be turned into a state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility to increase capacity to deliver tele support from Brisbane. The grant enables us to start work on the project while we raise the remaining funds needed to build and equip the centre. The Centre is expected to be operational in 2022. We are excited to see construction of the teleBUSHkids Centre commence! C E O c o n t i n u e d teleBUSHkids Centre The teleBUSHkids Centre is a joint initiative of BUSHkids and the Queensland Government Watch /BUSHkidsqld Speech Pathology Australia Conference Results of BUSHkids’ research collaboration were shared by researcher Dr Jess Campbell and BUSHkids Director of Clinical Services and Strategy Susan Harrison at the 2021 National Speech Pathology Australia Conference. This research identified the effectiveness of the speech pathology service delivered via telehealth and identified practice changes. Telehealth acted as a catalyst for improvements in family-centred practice. A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 12

Teleservices BUSHkids maintains our commitment to a strong regional and rural presence for our locally-based teams, supplemented by our teleHealth services. COVID-driven experience in 2020–21 has demonstrated that teleHealth suits many BUSHkids clients, for reasons such as geographical isolation and limited local access to support, as well as family reasons such as childcare, travel time, competing family schedules, and individual child needs and preferences. Considering all these reasons, it is no surprise that BUSHkids’ teleHealth service provision has maintained its growth trajectory. After a turbulent and challenging year adapting services to accommodate coronavirus restrictions, BUSHkids’ teleHealth has reverted to business as usual. Clients and staff were happy to see the return of face-to-face appointments, but have also reaped the benefits of continued service delivery via telephone and teleHealth during times of intermittent social restrictions. TeleHealth now accounts for a significant proportion – around 30 per cent – of BUSHkids services and is often delivered in tandem with face-to-face appointments. BUSHkids is proud to offer families the flexibility of both options and continues to demonstrate that teleHealth is as effective and engaging as attending in person. tele-Circle of Security across regions Circle of Security (COS) is a BUSHkids- endorsed program which adapts well to teleHealth modality. The program provides parents and carers the skills they need to provide emotional support to children, enabling them to build their child’s resilience and help to prepare them for school. Linda and Julie, Family Health Support Workers from Warwick and Dalby, both deliver COS via teleHealth. The benefit of online delivery is that clients from all over Queensland can join, even parents of the same community can link in and be local support for each other when attending in person is difficult. Julie has worked with two such mothers, one from Dalby, the other from Moonie (two hours southwest of Dalby) so having both Mums attend in person would have been tricky to coordinate. Similarly for Linda, who provided COS to a family which lived 30 minutes outside Warwick but did not have a car to drive into town to meet in person. Maintaining a high standard of training With a workforce trained and highly skilled at working with and engaging clients and stakeholders online, much of this year’s focus has been on special project work in line with BUSHkids’ commitment to continuous improvement. One such project is the development of a bespoke Learning Management System where BUSHkids’ inhouse-developed teleHealth training modules have been integrated to an online format. BUSHkids has partnered with Trevor-Roberts to undertake this project. The training modules cover topics including the evidence base behind teleHealth, the technology, using best practice in teleHealth and group programs. The modules are in the final stages of development, ready to be deployed by the end of 2021. Gillian is an Occupational Therapist based in Maroochydore who has worked with a family in Hervey Bay to help a little boy with activities of daily living for more harmonious family time. Ethan* is a four-year-old boy who was referred to BUSHkids for concerns with his fine motor skills, emotional regulation and toileting. His mother Alice* has specific worries about Ethan being able to use cutlery properly as she would often need to feed him. The family was initially unsure about how well the sessions would work via Zoom but were happy to give it a try. Gillian worked with Ethan and his Mum on building hand strength doing activities such as craft and playing with playdough. The family was also sent thick-handled cutlery and other resources to support the goals set for Ethan. Each session Gillian would finish by saying goodbye to all of Ethan’s favourite toys and, despite never meeting face-to-face, the family reported being very appreciative of Gillian’s support. Ethan is now able to feed himself using his new cutlery, making mealtimes at home much more stress-free and enjoyable for everyone. CASE STUDY #2 A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 13

Virtual outreach via community connections The Allied Health team in Dalby works closely with Save the Children in Tara, which is about an hour’s drive west of Dalby. A permanent teleHealth hub has been set up at the Save the Children centre using a BUSHkids teleHealth kit iPad, so families who cannot travel or do not have the technology can link up with their BUSHkids worker. Kaylea, from Save the Children, says “the iPads are easy to set up, especially with the meeting code handy! Clients [sometimes] rely on me to join the meeting for them, as they’re not too confident [with technology], but this is an easy process. The iPads are convenient to use and definitely beneficial to provide virtual support to families.” EarlyStart team’s teleHealth-based reset With BUSHkids’ NDIS teams based all over Queensland, the January 2021 reset meant that our integrated EarlyStart Allied Health Team went from working based on their physical location to being part of a remote team to centralise all resources and support children and families across all regions. Cara is a Speech Pathology graduate who undertook clinical placement at BUSHkids and was subsequently successful in securing a position in the EarlyStart team. Brisbane-based Cara works remotely via teleHealth with her team and clients and is very creative in how she does so. Her mantra is that if she isn’t having fun, then the child isn’t either! Here is an example of one of the clients that Cara has worked with this year. Bailey* is a bright, happy two-year-old with limited expressive and receptive communication skills when his family contacted BUSHkids. Cara and his family are working on building Bailey’s ability to string words together into meaningful sentences, follow simple instructions, and engage in interactive social play—all through teleHealth, which the family was keen to try. With this medium, Bailey is able to play and interact with his mum in the familiar environment of his own home, while Cara provides strategies for the family to use in everyday life. Bailey has responded extremely positively to the interactive elements of teleHealth—his ‘explosion’ in two-word phrases came through observing and commenting on Cara’s “magical” green screen teleHealth backdrop where his favourite cartoon characters respond to his commands such as “Bluey, jump!” Bailey’s family is verydedicated to implementing the strategies and techniques learned through teleHealth at home and at daycare, where his educators have been very proactive in supporting the family. Bailey has just turned three and is now making numerous two- and three-word phrases to communicate his needs, comment on the world around him, and interact during play, and his parents are very encouraged by his progress. CASE STUDY #3 BUSH k i d s t e l e H e a l t h c o n t i n u e d Bluey © Copyright Joe Brumm / Ludo Studio A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 14

EarlyStart Team pilot program Introducing some of the EarlyStart team C E O c o n t i n u e d Following an extensive consultation process, the NDIA identified recommendations to reset the implementation of Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services. Some of the recommendations include: • Enhancing Short Term Early Intervention (STEI), which is the early support that is offered whether or not a child is eligible for an NDIS plan; • Implementing a distinct ECEI implementation model, differentiated from the general Scheme, which enables young children to receive the right level and mix of support for the right period of time, through a family centred approach aligned with best practice; • Planning and implementation to be more clearly based on best practice supports; • Further assistance to help young children and families to successfully transition from needing NDIS supports and start the next stage of their life. In anticipation of these changes being adopted, BUSHkids implemented an interim approach to transitioning our service towards the planned reset by instigating a new team as part of our ECEI service. In January 2021, The EarlyStart team was rolled out as a virtual team of Allied Health professionals across the BUSHkids NDIS ECEI service regions. The goal of the EarlyStart team was to ensure that children with identified delays in their development could access high-quality short term early intervention (STEI) in a timely way regardless of where they lived. We wanted to deliver services using a best practice early intervention model and promote this model across our local communities. The EarlyStart team comprises a team leader/physiotherapist, project officer, six speech pathologists, two occupational therapists, two social workers and a consulting psychologist. These team members are located across four BUSHkids ECEI regional centres, with additional teleHealth services being provided from the BUSHkids Brisbane office. Dustie • project officer • Maroochydore “I was really excited to see the EarlyStart team roll out. I wanted to be a part of creating innovative processes and supporting the team to make big changes in the lives of little people. Data nerd alert : the exciting thing for me to see is how service delivery has changed for our families through data collection!” Gillian • occupational therapist • Maroochydore “I enjoy seeing how proud and excited children become as they develop more independence in their daily life and reach their goals. I am particularly interested in making sessions as fun as possible by incorporating play and the child’s own special interests.” Linzi • speech pathologist • Rockhampton “I love working with children and families to achieve goals that are important to them and delivering sessions in a flexible, family-centred way. I am passionate about early language development and speech sound disorders and helping parents to develop skills that allow them to be the therapist at home with their children.” A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 15

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