Working for a better future and outcomes for our children
Townsville Aboriginal & Islanders Health Services (TAIHS Family Wellbeing Service)
- 24 May 2018
“CONCEPT: Creating an early years child and family centred space”
The creation of a centre based space in Garbutt to support family wellbeing program delivery came about from several reasons;
- As a pilot site for the First 1000 days Australia our Family Wellbeing space we needed an environment that supported delivery of key messages of significant factors that enhance the optimum development in this period of preconception through to 2 years. These include; pristine pregnancies, nutrition, children's rights, family safety, impacts of stress on brain development and the role of parents as children first and most important teachers.
- A centre based space provides scope for Wellbeing Workers to support families when the home visiting model is difficult to implement activities during times where families may be experiencing vulnerabilities.
- Closer proximity to TAIHS wrap around services increases opportunities to work in a more coordinated approach with staff from Primary Health, Mums and Bubs, SEWBT, Youth and Accommodation services. Colocation has already increased capacity to provide supports right when children young people or family are seeking support. Staff can provide information, advice and referral to families across several domains; Child Wellbeing; Family Safety; Cultural Connections; Parenting; Material Wellbeing; Health.
So why a house?
Creating a space that didn't appear clinical or deficit focussed was paramount. A key focus was placed on creating a physical space that recognises culture as a protective factor in growing up kids. Key resources and activities are used by staff to support family to connect their children to culture and build a strong sense of identity.
Simulating a home environment lends opportunities for staff to role model everyday routine activities without it looking like a “parenting” program. Staff incorporate routine activities to enhance key messages around child development; supporting children to reach milestones through activities (talking, singing, reading and playing with children); activities that include planning and preparing meals, personal care routines for little kids e.g. nappy change, toilet training, getting ready for school, physical activity and adequate rest etc.
The house has capacity for a variety of activities to occur either indoor or outside including:
- 1:1 - Brief Interventions with walk in’s where workers provide; advice information and referral to relevant services; and case planning.
- Small groups - Family Group Meetings, Stakeholder meetings, story time, cooking group
- Group Work - Parent education sessions, Playgroups, Guest speakers, staff training
The physical layout of the house is focussed on creating a sense of welcoming families with young children. Resources are always arranged with a focus on opportunities’ to promote play and engaging with children, as this is a key facet of their learning and development.
Funding from Department of Education & Prime Minister and Cabinet include activities to promote successful transition to school and ongoing education and learning. Information and advice on early years services, kindergarten, transition to school (orientation and enrolment in prep) and regular attendance to ensure children have access ad opportunity to education.
Yamani = rainbow
Programs @ Yamani Meta
The weekly program of activities in the house is focussed on 5 key domains of nurturing care which underpin the criticality of the First 1000 Days of children’s learning and development.
Nutrition sessions are led by a dietician from Compleat Nutrition.
Early Learning includes a MOU with Red Cross who deliver a weekly their Giggle & Grow playgroup 10:00am - 11:30 am.
Safety & Security incorporates co delivery of Evidence Based Programs with Evolve therapeutic services including; Drum beat, Bringing up Great Kids, Love Bites, 1,2,3 Magic,
Health topics are delivered by a variety of health professionals including; Mum’s & Bubs, SEWBT, GP’s Health promotion and Deadly Choices teams.
The landline for the house is 07 4759 4039.
Staff are happy to come to the health service and accompany family to the space to talk about the services we offer. Families can self refer.
For referrals please use the link to our online referral which goes directly to our data base and ensures referrals are all located in a central space.
For further information, please contact TAIHS on (07) 4759 4000.