During the 2010 – 2011 year Centacare provided services to a total of 24,459 clients including:
- 6,148 Aged Care Clients
- 8,670 Natural Fertility Services (Family Life Education and Natural Family Planning Clients)
- 1,356 Pre-Marriage Education Clients
- 5,516 Family Relationship Services Clients
- 2,769 Community Services Programs Clients
Here you will find a snapshot of a number of achievements to our commitments under the Clients and Stakeholders strategic perspective for the 2010 – 2011 period.
Satisfied Clients and Caring Services
Broadening Our Income Base
Established Broader and Deeper Networks
"We endeavored to achieve satisfied clients and caring services by providing client services that reflected our values and developed respectful relationships with clients."
Funding for DV and the Child Witness Counselling Program
During the 2010 - 2011 financial year, the Department of Communities renewed funding for the Domestic Violence (DV) Service of Central Queensland and the Child Witness counselling program until 2013.
The Child Witness Counsellor is a vital role that works hand-in-hand with the DV Regional Service, providing much needed trauma counselling and support for children who have been witness to Domestic and Family Violence perpetrated within their family unit. By funding the Child Witness Counsellor position, the Department recognised the vicarious trauma that child witnesses to Domestic and Family Violence suffer and the long-term effects it has on their developmental growth.
Through a range of child-centred therapeutic responses, the Child Witness Counsellor worked with these children, enabling them to eventually make life-giving choices, decisions and plans for the future.
SAIL – Centacare’s Enablement Program
Concerns about the costs of providing community services and the shortage of staff led to the development of programs aimed to restore a client’s independence. Research overseas demonstrated that a large number of clients do not need ongoing care and/or support after participating in an enablement program. Keys of success found through the enablement program included a comprehensive assessment, appropriate goal setting, effective communication and information.
Centacare’s SAIL program is an example of an enablement program that met all of these success criteria. Both our staff and clients enjoy the SAIL program, however transitioning to this approach from service delivery was sometimes challenging as our staff often performed tasks for clients to save time if the client was slow in completing the task for themselves. Centacare worked with all of our Community Care staff in developing the awareness of the need to provide ongoing encouragement to clients and feedback to line managers on the client’s progress or lack thereof.
Smart Assistive Technology Project
Centacare Bundaberg received a one-off grant from the HACC Program - Smart Assistive Technology Project. The project allowed staff to trial a range of Smart Assistive Technologies with approximately 20 Bundaberg clients over a 12 month period. Data collected during the project was delivered to an external evaluator at the end of the project.
An Ageing Demographic - Doll Therapy and Physical Activity
As our demographic is an ageing one, Centacare staff are continually looked at ways to work with clients to maintain a level of independence - physically and intellectually.
Some of the practices explored during 2010-2011 have been Doll Therapy for clients with dementia; how to incorporate physical activity in daily routines; and social media use with our aged clients.
Doll Therapy is underpinned by the need to nurture and is most useful when clients are resistive to activities of daily living, screaming and swearing (vocalizing), and packing up belongings regularly. It is the practice of using dolls to provide a focus of attention, comfort and joy for people living with dementia. A doll might fulfil the need to nurture, give comfort and provide purpose. A doll may inspire memories of a past time when the person cared for small children and satisfy the need to give and receive comfort and also the ability to nurture in a safe way.
Doll Therapy is just one of the many approaches of which our aged care staff increased their awareness. Using new or innovative practises was essential for staff to be aware that the client’s brain is changing and some strategies that worked this week will not work next week and it is important to make adjustments as the person’s dementia increases.
Physical activity is recommended for older Australians with benefits including a lower incidence of high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, degenerative arthritis, diabetes, better mood and memory function and a better social network. Statistics stated that less than half of Australians aged 65 and older do sufficient physical activity to produce health benefits (classified as the accumulation of 150 minutes or more of moderate or more vigorous activity per week).
Given these statistics, our aged care staff promoted and supported physical activity among clients based on the physical activity recommendations for older Australians which included:
- doing some form of physical activity, no matter what their aged, weight, health problems or abilities;
- being active every day in as many ways as possible accumulating at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity;
- for those who were starting a new physical activity, starting at a level that was easily manageable and gradually building up the amount, type and frequency of activity; and
- for clients who enjoyed a lifetime of vigorous physical activity by continuing to participate at this level in a manner suited to their capability into later life.
Aged Clients and Social Media
Using social media with our aged clients was an area increasingly developed in 2010 – 2011. The biggest increase in internet use since 2005 was within the 70-75 year old age group with 45% currently online, and doing more while there. Social media websites such as Facebook, the most popular site, followed by YouTube and then Twitter were all within the range of our clients. As with any tool, the effectiveness of social media depended on the skill of the user and our Broadband for Seniors Internet program was a great one for clients keen to learn how to use the computer or social media websites.
Further details of the developments covered in this section can be found in the following references:
Doll Therapy. Winter 2010 Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) Newsletter.
You can contact the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) on 1800 699 799
Australasian Journal on Ageing Volume 29 Issue 2 June 2010
Aged Care InSite – Issue 62 Oct 2010
"We worked towards broadening our income base through expanded current service provision."
If Only Program – Breaking the Cycle of DV
Throughout the last three years feedback from the Mackay community indicated a growing need for a program aimed at men, identified as domestic violence offenders. The Mackay Police Domestic Violence Liaison Officer advised that in the first six months of 2010, Police responded to approximately 500 call outs in relation to Domestic and family Violence. Up until now there was nothing available to assist these men apart from a six-week anger management training program.
Centacare gathered data, met with stakeholders and obtained an approval from the Magistrate to mandate the delivery of the program “If Only” – a twelve-week intensive program designed to assist men in breaking the cycle of Domestic and Family Violence. The program was piloted by Centacare in Emerald from 2005 to 2008. It was facilitated by trained and experienced counselors with a commitment to assisting men to achieve healthy family relationships. The If Only program focused on the use of power and control in relationships, the effects this has on family members and strategies to create positive family relationships based on equality and respect.
Centacare obtained a small grant from the nib Foundation to assist funding the development and evaluation of the If Only program.
I CAN KIDS Expanded
The I CAN KIDS program was another valued service expanded to more target audiences. The I CAN KIDS program is aimed at developing self-confidence and emotional resilience in children aged six to eight using a combination of art, snack, music and story-telling therapy. In 2006 Xstrata Coal funded the I CAN KIDS program and counsellors across the Diocese received facilitator training in July of the same year. In May 2010, Centacare delivered the program to the Victoria Park School in Mackay, in a very successful manner. An outcome of this program was the development of a “Holiday Program” for July and September 2010. In response to the success of the I CAN KIDS program Centacare Mackay is developing a program with the Autism Spectrum Disorders Support Group.
"We established broader and deeper networks by increasing our involvement in networking opportunities at all levels to increase the recognition of Centacare among Government and industry leaders."
Engagement with other Organisation and Neworks – QWHN Inc and HomeStay Support
In 2010 - 2011, Centacare continued to take up opportunities for workers with desired expertise to engage with other organisations and networks in our region and beyond. Centacare was involved in a presentation on Respectful Relationships at the Queensland Women’s Health Network (QWHN Inc.) Forum held on three different islands (Thursday Island, Horn Island and Hammond Island) in the Torres Strait.
QWHN Inc. is a non–profit organisation formed in 1986 to provide a voice for Queensland women, who use health services, as well as those who work in health and related support services . The network is governed by a voluntary Management Committee, who reflect a broad cross-section of Queensland women, including Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander women and CALD women.
The HomeStay Support Program is a joint Centacare Rockhampton (Bundaberg) and Centacare Brisbane (Fraser Coast) initiative. It has been planned that the program will support people, who are at risk of homelessness, to maintain their tenancies through early intervention and support. Operating in the Fraser Coast region for the past three years, the HomeStay Support Program received new State Government funding, extending the program to Bundaberg, Childers and Gin Gin, taking the total funding to $688,408 per annum for the next three years. Co-location ventures with like services or services that assist with raising the profile of Centacare in each of our communities is a way forward as a means of reducing administration and levy costs.
Working with our Community
In response to the “summer of natural disasters”, Centacare has focused on delivery support to our staff, colleagues and members of our communities, through staff development initiatives on resilience and recovery. This included one hour training sessions across the community on “Building Resilience” by participating in a fun and interactive psychometric test on “Optimism”.