April 16, 2020

How is the Australian Childhood Foundation responding to COVID-19?

A letter from our CEO, Dr Joe Tucci

Dear Colleagues,

We are all feeling the strain of the temporary change to our lives as a result of COVID-19. However, children and young people remain at the heart of everything we do. At this time, more than ever, we recognise that there are additional risks to them arising from the increased pressure, isolation, and disconnection of many of the families and carer households we support.

For this reason, all of us at the Foundation are committed to continuing to offer the full range of programs and services in a range of new ways across all the geographical locations we work in across the country.

We are adhering to Commonwealth, State and Territory Government directives. As a result, we have adapted our service delivery as needed in each jurisdiction by enacting a number of strategies, including:

We continue to provide a response to all inquiries about our programs made through our national call line on 1300 381 581 or by email support@childhood.org.au

Where appropriate and in line with government directives, our staff continue to provide our critical services and programs using appropriate technology.

Our Therapeutic Services staff continue to meet regularly with children, young people and their families using secure platforms that facilitate connection and therapeutic outcomes, with due regard to risk and confidentiality.

We continue to meet with all of the partner agency staff and relevant service stakeholders using online platforms as required. We also continue to offer reflective practice, organisational support, and consultancy in the formats that are most relevant to management and staff.

We have always delivered webinars and online training to professionals through our Professional Education Program, and we are scaling this up to include all of our courses and workshops being available online. We recognise the importance, particularly during this time, to continue to build knowledge and capacity across the professional workforce so that vulnerable children and families can be supported through trauma-informed practices.

Our Bringing Up Great Kids parenting programs are being quickly translated onto an online platform so we can support people to run online groups for parents that remain interactive and effective.

Our Safeguarding Children program continues to offer its support, advice, and expertise to organisations in their pursuit to ensure a protective culture for all children and young people in their care. We have a number of resources that focus on the safety of children and young people in the online environment. Additionally, we have also developed a number of great resources for parents and carers to use with children and young people during the COVID-19 crisis.

We have already and will continue to develop a range of resources for parents and carers to use with children to help explore the impact of COVD-19 on their world.

I know that we share a joint commitment to the well-being of children, young people and their families in the context of heightened uncertainty.

Our operations will continue to evolve if and when new restrictions come into place. We will keep you informed of any changes to our service delivery. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our staff if you have any concerns or questions. Our national contact number is 1300 381 581 or you can also email support@childhood.org.au

Please look after your health and safety and those of your family, clients and friends.

Joe Tucci, CEO