BUSHkids Annual Report 2020-2021

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

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