BUSHkids Annual Report 2020-2021

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

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