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Community Recovery Services

Supporting children, families and schools in communities affected by natural disasters.

When loss, change or disasters happen, children can be impacted in different ways, and it is important they are provided with the right support. The Community Recovery team – consisting of social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists – works alongside preschools and primary schools to provide this support.

How we support:

The program provides support for children aged 0-12yrs, and the adults around these children, to improve resilience and wellbeing and decrease the likelihood of long-term adverse impacts. Each community has unique needs. For this reason, the program offers a menu of options, allowing the participating school/preschool/community to select the services that best meet their needs.

These options include, but are not limited to, those detailed below. 

Children’s groups in primary schools and preschools

Offering and outcomes:

  • Delivered by health clinicians, the groups can help children who have experienced grief and loss – this could be following a disaster or other life changes.
  • The team is trained in disaster support children’s programs (Stormbirds and Birdie’s Tree resources) as well as Seasons for Growth.
  • An evaluation of the Program in 2021 has shown that 89% of children agreed they learnt “good ways to cope with [my] feelings”.

Educator support

Offering and outcomes:

  • With access to a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, psychologist or social worker, a variety of support can be offered to educators. This can include topics such as: Supporting the School following Community Trauma, Supporting regulation for students in the classroom and Educator Wellbeing & Selfcare.
  • Educators participating in the program report increased confidence to identify and respond to signs of psychological distress in children.

Parent and carer support

Offering and outcomes:

  • Group and/or individual sessions, focusing on covering both parental wellbeing and how parents can support their child.
  • Parenting support is based on the Tuning in to Kids® Program, and gives parents the option of joining an online group. Download our Tuning  in to Kids® Brochure to find out more.
  • 100% of parents noted they left the sessions with a better understanding of the importance of their own wellbeing to help support their child.

Telehealth therapy

Offering and outcomes:

  • For those children who might need extra support, the program can provide Telehealth therapy based on the area of need – speech pathology, psychology or occupational therapy.
  • Our clinicians are skilled in identifying the needs of children and what therapy could best assist them.
  • Parents have said the therapy has provided their child with strategies to cope with change and difficult life events such as bushfires.

Recent In-Community Visits

Community led recovery

Winner of the ‘Suncorp Resilient Australia’ and ‘National Community Awards’ for our Bushfire Recovery Program in 2021. Three-time Australian Charity Award ‘Outstanding Achievement Winner’, most recently in 2022 for our Bushfire Recovery Program.

Program development involved close consultation with local communities, including parents and carers, schools and preschools, councils, government and non-government organisations, health and social service professionals, Aboriginal services and leaders, and community volunteers. It is based on world best-practice community trauma recovery principles, adapted and refined to suit very specific local needs.

Bushfire Recovery Program Evaluation Findings

Summary of Bushfire Recovery Program Evaluation Findings

Find out more

If you are a local service provider interested in finding out more about our Community Recovery Services and how we can work in collaboration with local services, we would love to hear from you.

Please fill in the form and one of our team will be in contact.

Community Recovery Services Enquiry

Form that appears on the Community Recovery Services page on the Royal Far West website

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Funded by the Australian and NSW Governments

 

Royal Far West’s Community Recovery Services are funded through joint Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery arrangements. Funding currently includes grants from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, the BlackSummer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program and the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, under the Mental Health Support for Flood Affected Australians Program. Although funding for this Program has been provided by both the Australian and NSW Governments, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views of either government.