SUPPORT: Bushkids' Allys Johnson, Karla Edwards and Mel Wilkes are in Rockhampton to help kids across Central Queensland.
SUPPORT: Bushkids' Allys Johnson, Karla Edwards and Mel Wilkes are in Rockhampton to help kids across Central Queensland. Allan Reinikka ROK080118bushkids

New opportunities for CQ children as Bushkids office opens

CQ CHILDREN with disabilities are set to benefit from a new Bushkids team in Rockhampton.

They can now be given access to more support services after a new office opened on New Year's Day on Bolsover St.

Babies as young as zero to children aged six will benefit from the Bushkids program.

Their 10 Rockhampton staff offer early intervention for children with developmental delay or disability, which had not been consistently available across the region.

Susan Harrison, Bushkids' clinical services manager said the organisation had a contract to provide these services to families on behalf of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

She said the NDIS provides an opportunity for parents to discuss concerns about their child's development with a team member who would be able to provide them with advice.

These services extend from Rockhampton to Gladstone, Emerald and Biloela areas.

For children who need intensive support, the Bushkids team will work with the NDIS to establish a customised plan for those families.

Susan said the aim of the program was to give these children the best start in life so they could have a bright future by reaching their optimum development.

Evidence has shown by supporting children with developmental delay or disability as soon as possible, the children will have the ability to participate in society, socialise with other children, be prepared for their schooling and look for employment.

"If we can reach children earlier, childrens' needs would be lesser in the long term,” Susan said.

Susan said their communication skills would also be improved.

Helen Casey, manager for the NDIS early start team in the Rockhampton area said there were 14 Bushkids staff members across the region, which is made up of allied health, early intervention facilitators and administrators.

Their Rockhampton office has a number of child-friendly play areas.

"Part of the aim of the program is for children to function and learn best in a natural environment,” Helen said.

Staff also work with families in their homes as well as in child care centres and play groups.

The Early Intervention program enables Bushkids' team members to up-skill child care staff to support children appropriately.

Helen encouraged parents whose children are having developmental issues and would benefit from the program to contact their closest service centre and have a conversation with one of the Bushkids' team members.



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