How We Can Help

BUSHkids currently provides a range of free services for children and their families through five major regional service centres―in Bundaberg, Dalby, Emerald, Mount Isa, and Warwick―each staffed by a multidisciplinary team comprising Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Family Health Support Workers.

We also support rural communities from our four smaller satellite sites―in Agnes Water, Inglewood, Kingaroy and Stanthorpe―staffed by Early Intervention Facilitators.

In addition BUSHkids has been chosen as the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) partner in the community for the delivery of NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services for the Bundaberg area, Rockhampton and Central Queensland.

Children’s Allied Health Services

Our allied health teams help children from birth to the age of 13 (variable) who are at risk of poor health, educational and social outcomes, achieve their full potential.

They provide expert advice and education for families, and individual and group therapy for children to overcome issues such as communication difficulties, behavioural problems and anxiety. All BUSHkids services are provided free of charge.

We currently have allied health teams in Bundaberg, Dalby, Emerald, Mount Isa and Warwick, made up of Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologists and Family Health Support Workers. Our teams provide support to the local community and outreach to the surrounding area.

Children and Parenting Support Services

Our children and parenting support services specifically provide support to families to help the development of young children from birth to the age of 5 and prepare them for starting school.

Our Early Intervention Facilitators work closely with your family, and provide support, parenting education and information to help your child’s development. They can call in the services of BUSHkids’ specialist therapists when needed and will link you with other parenting and children’s services which can provide help in other ways.

Children and Parenting Support Services are provided through our major service centres and our four smaller satellite sites―in Inglewood, Agnes Water (Miriam Vale), Kingaroy (Nanango) and Stanthorpe.

NDIS Early Start Team

BUSHkids provides Early Childhood Early Intervention service (ECEI) to help children from birth to the age of 6 with a disability or developmental delay access the supports and services they need to achieve better long-term outcomes.

Developmental delay is when a child is slower to develop physical, emotional, social or communication skills than other children of that age.

The ECEI program is fully funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)—the federal agency responsible for delivering the NDIS—so like all BUSHkids services it’s free of charge. BUSHkids will work with you and your child to improve their development and help them reach their full potential. Where more intensive early intervention supports are required, the BUSHkids’ team will help you develop an NDIS plan to access the funding your child needs on a more long-term basis. BUSHkids currently provides ECEI services in Bundaberg, and will start providing ECEI services in Rockhampton, Gladstone, Emerald and Biloela in December 2017.

Learning and Development

BUSHkids’ learning and development team works to build your capacity as parents and that of early educators in your community, so they can better support your children’s development.

It does this by providing a range of education and training programs such as the 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Program, Triple P, the Read and Grow (emergent literacy program) and the BUSHkids developed A Steady Start to School program.

BUSHkids provides these programs free of charge in your community and works with early educators and kindergartens to train and mentor their staff in how the programs can best be used to help your child’s development.

In addition, our learning and development team work alongside educators and universities to develop new child and parenting learning programs.

 

Please note, at any given time there may be position vacancies at any one of our regional centres.  Please contact your nearest centre to discuss available services.

EIFs

Our Early Intervention Facilitators provide information, support and education to families of young children to help their child’s development.

BUSHkids’ Early Intervention Facilitators can help families by:

  • providing family support
  • providing parenting education and information
  • developing the skills young children need when starting school
  • linking families to other parenting and children’s services which can help them
  • supporting carers in the child care sector

 

BUSHkids adopts a family-centred approach when supporting families. One of our Early Intervention Facilitators will meet with you to find out what support your child needs, the behaviours you want to change, and the skills you want to improve.

Following the assessment, the Early Intervention Facilitator will develop a plan to help you and your family achieve your goals.

The needs of each family are different, so the Early Intervention Facilitator will develop a plan specifically to help you; this may involve a combination of individual support, group sessions and community-based programs provided by BUSHkids.

FHSWs

BUSHkids’ family health support workers provide free of charge family-centred support programs for children and families living in regional, rural and remote areas of Queensland who can’t access services locally because of availability or affordability.

BUSHkids’ family health support programs for children

Our family health support workers run a variety of evidence-based programs for children of different age groups in kindies, schools and communities which build their resilience and emotional skills, help prevent anxiety and depression, and promote good mental health throughout their life.

The FHSW social skills programs also help younger children prepare for starting school by helping develop the basic skills they need to relate to other children, communicate, and build friendships.

Each program incorporates physiological, cognitive and behavioural strategies to assist children build their mental strength in areas such as self-esteem, self-concept, confidence, coping skills, social skills, self-regulation, resilience, school readiness, and to prevent mental health issues such as OCD, anxiety, stress and depression.

BUSHkids’ family health support programs for parents and carers

Our FHSWs also provide evidence-based parenting programs such as Triple P, 1-2-3 Magic, and Circle of Security. These can help families by:

  • improving children’s behaviour
  • increasing parental/carer confidence
  • helping improve parenting style, including promoting consistency and reducing over-reaction
  • reducing parental anger
  • reducing conflict between partners over parenting
  • improving relationships between parents/carers and children
  • connecting them to other families and;
  • reducing social isolation.

Parenting interventions can be provided in group settings or in the family home, whichever is more appropriate.

BUSHkids’ FHSWs can also help to link parents/carers to other local services that can help them, and provide information and education sessions for the whole community to build capacity.

SOC

BUSHkids’ social workers provide support to children, families and our communities in a wide variety of ways. Their aim is always to help your child, you and your family have a better life together.

They will work with you to find out how you are coping with the challenges everyone faces in family life, reinforcing what you are doing well and providing support where you need a little extra help to make your family life better. This could be by showing you skills and techniques to help you and your children overcome difficulties you face at home such as concerning behaviour, by helping prepare your kids for starting school or coping with the challenges of life as they grow up, or by helping you to help your child’s development. In all cases the social worker will be working with you to find ways that will support you and your family.

BUSHkids’ social workers provide support directly with you and by working with other members of the BUSHkids’ team such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists and psychologists, who can provide specialist support where they can see it is needed. Where you need more specific help in areas BUSHkids doesn’t cover, they will also help you connect with other services and organisations that can provide the support  you and your family may be looking for.

Our social workers also work to strengthen our local communities by providing education and training to key members of the community such as kindy and prep school teachers.

OTs

BUSHkids’ Occupational Therapists help children complete the basic physical tasks they need to do during their day.

Children take part in many different activities in the course of a day and these can be broken down into play and leisure, school and self-care.  For example:

  • Play and Leisure: climbing on playground equipment, riding a tricycle/bike, using toys appropriately, being creative and using their imagination.
  • School: colouring, drawing, writing, cutting, gluing and organising their belongings.
  • Self-care: tying shoelaces, dressing, using a knife and fork, toileting and personal hygiene.

 

Each activity includes different skills a child needs to be able to do to take part in the activity.

BUSHkids’ OTs work closely with children and their families, other members of the BUSHkids team and educators to optimise skills and support children so they can take part in these basic activities.

Occupational Therapists consider all aspects affecting a child’s effective participation including their environment, family/significant others, and the child’s unique strengths and motivations.

Some examples of the services our OTs provide to support children and their families include:

  • Education sessions for parents/caregivers that promote children’s skills development and support their participation in activities.
  • Screening and assessment of children’s skills to determine the impact they have on a child’s ability to effectively take part in activities during their day.
  • Group and individual interventions focusing on skills development and meaningful participation in activities.
  • Community capacity building and education sessions that support children to thrive and develop the skills they need in their natural settings.

SLPs

BUSHkids’ speech pathologists help children communicate successfully in their daily lives. They work closely with children, families and educators to support the development of a child’s speech, fluency and language skills.

The children our speech pathologists support can have very different communication problems. Some have difficulty forming the sounds used in spoken English, making them hard to be understood. Some may not understand what others are saying to them and fail to follow instructions. Some may not be able to talk fluently without stuttering, while others may not be able to express what they want, or may struggle to communicate appropriately with others.

At BUSHkids, our focus is on early intervention. Communication problems can have a detrimental impact on a child’s social and/or educational outcomes as they grow older, while the sense of frustration caused by not being able to communicate at home, during play, and at kindy and school can lead to behavioural problems.

Children learn to communicate through the interactions they have with people in their daily lives and establishing positive relationships with others is critical to helping children communicate better. Therefore, as well as working directly with children to improve their speech, we also work to strengthen the skills of people who communicate with them on a regular basis as this helps nurture the child’s speech and language development.

The BUSHkids’ teams provide a range of services to help children who have difficulty communicating, including:

  • communication training for parents/carers and educators
  • programs for children to develop their speech, language, fluency, and phonological (sound) awareness skills
  • individual or group therapy sessions for children and their parents/carers to work on achieving specific communication goals together.

PSYCHs

Our psychologists support families with children experiencing significant social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. They conduct assessments, establish what may be causing the child’s problems and provide individually-tailored psychological interventions—ways to improve the child’s behavior and emotional state—to help both the child and their family.

When appropriate, BUSHkids’ psychologists may also conduct cognitive assessments to identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses around their ability to learn.

Our psychologists work with other BUSHkids’ team members, local educators and health professionals such as paediatricians to establish a coordinated approach to improve the child’s behavior and emotional state, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

Being able to manage feelings, cope with the day-to-day stresses of life and the increased pressure of major life events—such as starting school—is an important life skill we all must learn.

When children lack this skill, they often compensate by acting out (attention seeking) and misbehaving. They may avoid or deny they have a problem or start relying on others to help control and conceal their emotions. This can lead to significant problems at home or at school.

BUSHkids’ psychologists also work with children who have completed a group program for emotional resilience but are still struggling to deal with their emotions. Working one-on-one with the child typically involves helping children recognise and accept feelings, express their feelings appropriately, build a positive outlook, deal with negative feelings and cope with stressful life events by developing coping skills such as problem solving, positive thinking and relaxation.

Parents and carers are also able to take part in individual sessions so that they can understand their child’s behaviour and can help reinforce the techniques for coping the child has learned in their therapy sessions.

While all children experience anxiety at times in their life, some children may develop extreme anxiety that is so distressing and debilitating that it restricts what they can do on a day-to-day basis. This can include separation anxiety, phobias, panic attacks and selective mutism. BUSHkids’ psychologists can provide children with strategies to help overcome their fears, and improve their overall emotional wellbeing which will help them cope with mental health difficulties in later life.

BUSHkids psychologists also run clinical group programs. These include group sessions for children to develop social skills, specialist parenting programs such as the ADHD parent psycho-education program, and education sessions for schools, kindergartens and childcare facilities which help prepare children to cope with major life events such as starting school.

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