New Out of Home Care Clinic

We have helped create a more welcoming and calming space for children at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) Out of Home Care (OOHC) Clinic with $10,000 in funding.

Franca Foti, OOHC Clinical Coordinator, and Dr Jane Rosser, Paediatrician, led this initiative and shared their thoughts on the project:

“The OOHC Clinic at the WCH provides health assessments and reviews for children and young people under the Guardianship of the Chief Executive Officer of the Department for Child Protection (DCP). It is based in Child Protection Services within the WCH.

It is well documented that children and young people under Guardianship have higher medical, developmental, educational and psychiatric needs than other children, due to the nature of their prior experiences (abuse and neglect) or lack of access to preventative health services.

The OOHC Clinic aims to provide a comprehensive, child-friendly, trauma-informed service with a focus on improving the overall health and wellbeing of young people under Guardianship by identifying and responding to their physical, developmental, psychological and mental health needs.”

Before the purchase of new resources for the OOHC Clinic.

After the purchase of new resources for the OOHC Clinic.

“In October 2021, the OOHC Clinic moved from the Outpatient Department of the WCH to Child Protection Services. It was determined that this space would better meet the needs of the vulnerable children and young people attending the clinic and potentially provide a quieter and sensory calming space.

The WCH Foundation grant has allowed the clinic to purchase much-needed furniture, toys, books, iPads, and a range of sensory aids to enhance the consumer’s experience of what could otherwise be an anxiety-provoking and often difficult assessment.

The clinic has also been able to purchase age-appropriate gifts to place in ‘gift bags’ which are given out to the young consumers who attend the clinic for the first time. These gifts are an acknowledgement of the incredible bravery and resilience shown by many of the young people who attend the clinic, particularly when discussing traumatic past experiences.”

Franca Foti and Dr Jane Rosser with some of the clinic’s new sensory aids.

“A sensory calming room has also been furnished with the grant money. This is a space that can be used by young consumers who may find the usual waiting room space overwhelming or who may need some time away from a difficult discussion.

In addition to this, two iPads have been purchased to be used for distraction when young consumers visit the clinic. It’s acknowledged that some of the discussions during the assessments are difficult for young people to hear and continue to participate in. With the use of noise-cancelling headphones, the iPads provide a welcome distraction in the clinic room whilst allowing the young person to be physically present and in the company of a trusted adult (their carer).

The clinic has also been able to purchase sensory toys and aids for use at our monthly outreach at Wonggangga Turtpandi Aboriginal Primary Health Care Service in Port Adelaide. The funds have provided much-needed resources to allow this clinic to operate functionally and be culturally responsive in an off-site location.

We are truly grateful for the grant funds which have allowed us to create a service which better responds to the physical and emotional needs of our vulnerable consumer group.”

The new, welcoming space for the OOHC Clinic and a collection of toys and sensory aids purchased.

This initiative was made possible with support from Event Hospitality and Entertainment.

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