Meet the team: Caroline
Hi. My name is Caroline and I am the Clinical Psychology Manager at Royal Far West. It’s National Psychology Week this week, so I’m really pleased I get to share some insights into what the Royal Far West psychology team do!
What does your role involve?
Firstly, it’s dealing with a growing complexity of the needs of children and families from rural and remote Australia. To help support these people, the team of 16 Psychologists I manage provide assessments and therapy to children from these communities. There’s an ever-increasing demand for Royal Far West’s services, and I feel very lucky to work with such a dedicated team of Psychologists who are all willing to go the extra mile to help children reach their potential.
The Clinical Psychology team has many different tasks at Royal Far West. We provide therapy over the internet to children in their schools or homes, known as Telecare for Kids and we go to rural and remote communities as part of our outreach programs. Additionally, we provide therapy to children with disabilities, and we assess children in our flagship program, the Paediatric Developmental Program (PDP).
The PDP offers a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment, diagnosis and review service for children from rural and remote NSW with complex developmental and behavioural issues. To access the service, children and their families travel to Manly, staying on-site for a week. When not in appointments, the children attend the on-site Royal Far West Department of Education School and participate in our Therapeutic Recreation Program after school.
How long have you been here? Have you seen any changes during this time?
Royal Far West is a dynamic and evolving workplace. I’ve been here for 18 months, and during this time the Psychology team has doubled in size. This has enabled us to provide services to hundreds more children. In addition, the team had embraced the role of providing outreach services to communities. This means we go to these communities rather than the people coming to Manly to access our services.
Also, in the last 12 months, members of the Psychology team have been to Fitzroy Crossing in the remote Kimberley region of WA, Tamworth, West Wyalong and Wagga Wagga. The team has seen the benefits of a link to local communities and the excitement of children actually seeing ‘the lady on the screen’, who of course is normally seen via a video link-up to their classroom!
What led you to work at RFW?
Formerly, I was working in private practice for 18 years. It has been a bit of a culture shock – a good one! I love the people here and the dedication to the vision of supporting children in rural and remote Australia. It’s so important for them to have equal access to the services that city children have available to them.
What’s the best thing about working with families from rural and remote Australia?
The wonderful families really appreciate what we do to support their children and their family unit. This really makes it a pleasure to come to work.
What do you think makes RFW unique?
The dedication of the staff. The people here really care for country people and go above and beyond to support them.
Psychology Week is an annual initiative of the Australian Psychological Society that aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help Australians lead healthier, happier and more meaningful lives.