Local Allied Health services attend Little Learners playgroups at Westall

By playing the role of ‘The Glue’, Our Place has supported playgroup families to meet and chat with local allied health services. 

Being ‘The Glue’

A large part of an Our Place Community Facilitators role involves working closely with the community to understand the local needs and priorities, whilst also identifying what is working well and areas of improvement within the services system.

Working alongside local allied health services and the Little Learners playgroup facilitator at Westall, it became apparent that families were wanting to know more about the breadth of local services and supports available. Knowing that families are more likely to engage with services that they feel informed about, Our Place set to work on exploring the possibility for local allied health services to attend the playgroups at Westall.  

After consulting with the playgroup facilitator and a local allied health service provider, all agreed that having a Child Psychologist and Speech Therapist attend playgroup sessions would be beneficial. Deciding to have these services attend was determined due to both the facilitator and allied health service agreeing that these services were often the most needed by families. Our Place then worked with both the playgroup facilitator and allied health professionals to schedule visits to the playgroup.

Feedback from Families and Allied Health Services

These informal opportunities for practitioners and families to meet have been highly beneficial for all involved. Families have provided feedback stating that the chance to have an informal discussion with practitioners has helped extend their knowledge of these supports and understand what the support entails. It has also helped families identify supports suitable to their personal circumstances and has assisted them in understanding eligibility criteria, referral, and intake processes.

Families not requiring support at present provided feedback on how helpful it was to know that these services were available should they ever need them and that they would also inform their friends and family about these services.

The practitioners who attended mentioned that the opportunity to speak with families in this way was highly worthwhile and felt that this helped to begin building a rapport with new families within the community. The playgroup facilitator and practitioners also had the opportunity to develop a relationship that will assist with warm referrals from the playgroup to these services as required.

As opportunities and needs arise in future, Our Place will continue to facilitate these visits to playgroup and are currently in discussions around visits from additional allied health services in Term 3.

Aligning with the Our Place Approach

What we at Our Place refer to as ‘The Glue’ is made up of the people, partnerships, knowledge and infrastructure that are essential to make place based approaches successful. While The Glue is not an element itself, it is a critical factor in implementing the Our Place approach. This article is also an example of the Our Place Element of Wrap-around Health and Wellbeing Services in action, which focuses on ensuring families can easily access effective health and wellbeing services. To learn more about this Element and our other evidenced based elements Click Here.