undefined - Supporting Australian Children and Families - illustration 730fd2e5-11bd-4010-a5b7-be6d2b560e3f

Supporting Australian Children and Families

Karitane - Supporting Australian Children and Families - illustration 37515712-272f-4a4c-9051-d041b75b3aeb

13 July 2022

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8 min read

Virtual Health

Children and families benefit from flexible, accessible services that provide them with options and meet their needs. Families needing access to important support services around Australia continue to be supported by the findings and outcomes of the NGO Telepractice Venture (the Venture).

Since the Venture’s launch in 2020, families are being offered greater choice for how services are delivered. This has resulted in greater engagement in services, increased partner-inclusive involvement, in particular men’s behaviour change programs.

Organisations also report benefiting from increased staff skills and flexibility regarding how services can be delivered to meet the needs of families. Through the continuation of telepractice in hybrid models of service delivery, where both in-person and telepractice may be used flexibly, these benefits to both families and organisations can be sustained.

With new funding in 2022, the Venture is focused on building the capacity of organisations to embed telepractice as a sustainable, tailored, service delivery option in hybrid models of care – that is, moving telepractice beyond a Pandemic emergency response to a strategic, planned, designed and viable option for families.

An additional focus for the Venture is to embed resources developed in the first year of the project in small- to medium-sized organisations, including a focus on the use of telepractice among First Nation’s people and organisations.

Funded by DCJ and a group of leading non-government organisations, and led by Karitane and the Parenting Research Centre, this successful joint venture’s 2nd year will leverage lessons learned and consolidate good practice to embed telepractice into the future.

For resources developed in phase one of the Project see: www.parentingrc.org.au/telepractice_hub/

“Through shared collaboration and a unique funding model, we have provided much needed support to rural, regional and First Nations communities. Karitane was pleased to bring our expertise in virtual care to help the sector embed hybrid models of service delivery to provide choice for families and organisations.” Grainne O’Loughlin, Karitane CEO.

“Our recent research suggests that parents find telepractice a convenient, cost-effective approach to getting support for raising their children. Parents told us that they want to have choices in how they access services, and a hybrid model provides them with those options. The Parenting Research Centre is excited to be working in partnership with Karitane and alongside this group of NGOs in driving the expansion of hybrid models of service delivery to meet families’ needs.” Annette Michaux, Parenting Research Centre, Director Policy and Practice.

“Tailored supports which recognise the diverse needs of children, their families and carers are an important aspect of Lifestart’s work. We are proud to be collaborating with Karitane, the Parenting Research Centre, and other stakeholders to offer quality hybrid models of service delivery into the future. Online supports have been integral to our suite of services for many years and our ongoing family and carer feedback tells us that hybrid models, including telepractice, remain their preferred option.” Suzanne Becker, Lifestart Co-operative Ltd, CEO.

“Key Assets Australia has found the use of telepractice invaluable over the last few years, particular during periods of lockdown and with families in quarantine as well as with rural and remote communities. We look forward to further developing our skills in working in this way and learning from the other organisations involved, including Karitane and the Parenting Research Centre.” Dianne Jackson, Key Assets Australia, CEO.

"In these changing times, this is a really important initiative that will improve access to services for families and children who need support, particularly those in remote and rural areas." Steve Kinmond, ACWA, CEO

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