Families receive pre and post-natal support at the Seymour Family & Children’s Centre
The benefits to the Seymour community
At Our Place, we know that the health and wellbeing of children and their families are the foundation for children’s learning and academic achievement.
The addition of the antenatal clinic allows families to access services throughout their entire learning and health journey, from pregnancy to adulthood. These services are accessible in one easy, accessible, welcoming, and collaborative location. The antenatal clinic complements existing on site services such as Maternal Child Health (MCH), NDIS, playgroups, and monthly immunisation clinics.
Co-location of services also assists warm referrals to take place. Warm referrals are integral to the Our Place approach. Warmly referring families to services can assist families with developing a relationship and gaining familiarity with a service. An example of a warm referral that has occurred recently involves a mother who attended the antenatal clinic with a toddler, being referred to the on site playgroup. Another example of a warm referral that can often occur is expectant mothers being introduced to the MCH service and nurse, visiting the room where the service is delivered and asking any questions about accessing the service.
Our Place as the Glue
As part of the implementation phase of the Our Place approach, the Our Place Seymour team conducted extensive consultations with services and the community, and it became apparent that many practitioners in Seymour work within an outreach model. While it is a positive to have services offered via outreach to the Seymour community, this way of working can present some challenges for practitioners, such as maintaining and building relationships with other practitioners and services and remaining up to date with referral criteria.
Using this insight and recognising the importance of collaboration in ensuring families are well supported, a Service Advisory Group (SAG) specifically for practitioners working within Seymour was formed, with Our Place taking the lead in initiating and coordinating this.
Along with insights gathered from service consultations, consultations with families and community members also highlighted a general lack of knowledge and awareness about what services were available and how to access them. This insight has also been shared within the SAG, who continue to work collaboratively to overcome these barriers.
Connecting with the Kilmore Health Antenatal Clinic
Our Place in conjunction with Kilmore District Health (KDH) antenatal clinic discovered a recent decrease in the number of families accessing the service. This was found to be in part due to a gap in communicating referral and eligibility criteria to the community and local general practitioners.
Our Place and the KDH antenatal clinic discussed possible collaboration opportunities that could improve knowledge regarding referral criteria and work toward removing barriers, such as transportation, which will result in more families being able to birth their babies locally These discussions resulted in a new antenatal clinic being provided one day per week at Seymour Family & Children’s Centre. The clinic is now up and running, with the first antenatal patients seen in March 2022.
Aligning with the Our Place Approach
This is an example of the Our Place Element of Wrap-around Health and Wellbeing Services in action which is central to the Our Place approach. You can read more about this element HERE