IT'S a not-for-profit organisation that has a history with Central Queensland dating back to the 1930s and later this year, it will be offering extra services to the region's bush kids.
BUSHkids, which is part of the Royal Queensland Bush Children's Health Scheme, has been chose to deliver Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services to Rockhampton and Central Queensland under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
From November, BUSHkids will start providing ECEI services to children living around Rockhampton, Gladstone, Biloela, Emerald and the Central Highlands..
ECEI is designed to help children from 0-6 years who have a disability or developmental delay access the specialised support services that they need to achieve better long-term outcomes.
Over the next two months, BUSHkids will establish new service centres in Rockhampton and Gladstone specifically to provide NDIS ECEI services.
BUSHkids' chairman Dr Neil Bartels said this is a return to Rockhampton for the organisation which has provided free healthcare to outback kids for 60 years through residential homes in Yeppoon and Emu Park.
"It's fantastic that the organisation is returning to an area where it had such a strong presence and great community support for so long,” he said.
BUSHkids will work with children and their parents to improve the child's development, and where more intensive early intervention supports are required, BUSHkids staff will help the family develop an NDIS plan to access the funding needed on a more long-term basis.
BUSHkids was awarded the ECEI services contract for Bundaberg in March and started operating in July which led to the expansion to Gladstone and Rockhampton.
"We will be opening new ECEI service centres in Rockhampton and Gladstone over the next few months and will be recruiting a new team of around 25 full time staff just to provide NDIS early childhood early intervention services from these new centres,” BUSHkids CEO Carlton Meyn said.
The NDIS is being progressively rolled out across Queensland and will be available state-wide by June 30, 2019; however, federal and state governments have brought forward the start dates for NDIS in both Bundaberg and Rockhampton. Rockhampton clients are scheduled to start transitioning to NDIS in November.
BUSHkids was established in 1935 and the organisation established a children's home in Emu Park in 1938 where children aged five to 13 were brought from central west communities for six week stays during which they received respite from the rigours of outback life, were given nutritious food and could receive medical and dental services not available in the bush.
The home was relocated to Yeppoon in 1958 and it remained operational until 1995. A year later, the organisation opened its service centre in Emerald from where it still provides services to communities in Central Highlands.
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