Wrap-around health and wellbeing services support families Bridgewood
Families and the Bridgewood community are benefiting from access to a range of health and wellbeing services under one roof.
Bridgewood Primary School and Child and Family Integrated Centre has been purpose-designed and built to accommodate the delivery of health and wellbeing services onsite. The services on offer are reflective of the current priorities and needs within the community.
Whereas a traditional approach to service delivery would provide health and wellbeing services across numerous different locations, the design of Bridgewood coupled with the Our Place approach enables these services to be at the same location.
For practitioners, having health and wellbeing services at Bridgewood provides more than just an opportunity to co-locate. It allows practitioners to better support families by becoming embedded within the site and working collaboratively with other onsite service providers, kindergarten educators and the primary school.
One example of collaboration involves a weekly visit arrangement between speech and occupational therapy practitioners and the kindergarten. Having both services onsite allows for either an occupational therapist or speech pathologist to attend the kindergarten weekly. The benefits of this are two-fold, for the educators and practitioners, but more importantly, this arrangement provides many benefits to families.
Regular kindergarten visits have allowed practitioners to have direct contact with families, kindergarten educators and school staff. This model enables and encourages a wrap-around service that ensures all professionals are working toward the same overall goal for a child. Practitioners are also able to provide advice and support to educators and this allows for early intervention and identification of service needs for children.
Practitioners, along with parental permission, can work with a child that has been referred to their service, during kindergarten hours. This arrangement is beneficial for families who find it challenging to attend appointments. This way of working also allows practitioners to directly observe a child within a social and educational setting, in which they are familiar with. This has contributed to practitioners gaining a better understanding of a child’s level of functioning and abilities.
Families who attend health and wellbeing services at Bridgewood are often seeking or requiring additional supports. Families can easily be introduced to and referred to other services in a personal and friendly way. Practitioners, teachers, and educators can introduce families to other service providers in person or show them where their future appointments will be, which helps ensure families feel welcomed and supported to access this support. This approach often results in a more successful uptake of services.
“Providing our services at Bridgewood allows families to arrange appointments at a time and location which is most convenient for them, which is likely to be at the school for drop off or pick up times. Being referred to allied health services to access additional support for a child can often be a daunting experience for families. Bridgewood provides a familiar and comfortable environment for these appointments.” – Practitioner
Wrap-around Health and Wellbeing Services is one of the five evidenced-based Elements that are central to the Our Place approach. The key features of this element are:
- Core health services delivered through the school platform, including maternal child health and allied health and family wellbeing
- Additional services provided reflecting priorities and needs of the community – delivered on the school site or through established partnerships to address service gaps.
- Families only telling their story once and being supported to access and receive services in a coordinated, efficient and effective way
- Warm referral protocols in place across the site