The official launch of a new Child and Family Health service for Aboriginal children will take place on Thursday 18 September at Bathurst Health Service.
The Building Strong Foundations for Aboriginal Children Families and Communities (BSF) Program is funded by NSW Health and is a free, culturally safe and appropriate Child and family health service for Aboriginal children from birth to school-entry age and their families.
The BSF Team is based at Bathurst Community Health and consists of an Aboriginal Health Worker, Child and Family Health Nurses, and a Social Worker.
Aboriginal Health Worker Brenda Shennan said any Aboriginal child from birth to school age who resides within the Bathurst catchment area is eligible to be referred to the service.
“The referrals can come from mums, dads, aunties, uncles, grandparents, carers or other services and agencies, such as maternity services, the Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service (AMIHS), childcare centres, preschools and GPs - with parent/carer consent,” Brenda said.
The BSF program works with parents, carers, and most significantly, the local community, to support the health, growth and development of Aboriginal children 0 to five years of age so they are able to fully engage in life and learning.
“The service aims to support families in providing a nurturing environment for their child, so that the child develops good physical, social and emotional health,” Brenda said.
“Services can be provided in the home, at the local community health centre or clinic, or in a place where parents, carers and children feel safe and comfortable”.
BSF services include:
• Health checks and immunisations
• Information on infant feeding and nutrition
• Referral and support to access other services
• Health promotion and community development activities
Celebrations at the launch will include the endorsement of the Wiradjuri naming of BSF and the unveiling of official BSF artwork, selected from entries chosen in a recent art competition. Winners of the BSF art competition will be presented with prizes at the launch and all entries will be on display in the main foyer and throughout Bathurst Hospital. The community event coincides with the Bathurst NAIDOC celebrations commencing at 12 noon in the Bathurst hospital foyer.
“The launch and establishment of BSF reflects the Health District’s commitment to Closing the Gap for Aboriginal health in western NSW,” Brenda said.
For further information please contact Liz Shaw Nurse Manager Child and Family Health at Bathurst Health Service on 6330 5677.
Media Opportunity: Media are invited to cover the launch of this new service on Thursday 18 September at 12 noon at Bathurst Hospital main foyer (along with NAIDOC celebrations)
Media Contact: Vanessa Delaney, Media Manager: 0417 511 738