During 2018-19, Mental Health Support for Country Kids was our fastest-growing service area, with the extended devastating drought increasing both demand for support, and the complexity of cases presenting to us. We currently have more than 200 children waiting to access our services, and we expect the fire situation across eastern Australia to create even higher demand for mental health assistance over the next few months.
One of the ways we are addressing this need is by partnering with the Department of Education to provide virtual school counselling services into remote areas that have chronic workforce shortages. This service will provide isolated teachers with support and capacity building from a team of RFW clinical psychologists and children most in need of help, access to one of our experienced psychologists on a weekly basis, without having to leave school.
In addition, one of our new partners has provided us with the funding to improve our Paediatric Developmental Program – for children with complex needs, optimising assessment and identifying efficiencies to enable us to support more children more effectively and efficiently.
Our Healthy Kids Bus Stop has never been busier – travelling country NSW providing a free developmental screening for 3-5 year old’s so that their parents can have the opportunity to address any challenges they may have before starting school, giving them the best possible chance to be ready to learn.