Improving child wellbeing in Barcaldine

Organisation:

Griffith University

Amount:

$40,860

Project:

Improving child wellbeing in Barcaldine

Year of grant:

2021

Supporting schools, Outback Futures and the community to improve child wellbeing in Barcaldine, this pilot program is a collaboration between Griffith University, Outback Futures and all six primary schools in the Central Queensland town.

Over the last few years there has been an escalating demand for services in rural, regional, and remote areas of Queensland to support prevention and early intervention in young children’s social and emotional wellbeing. And when we know how kids are tracking with their wellbeing, we’re in a much better position to support them and help them reach their potential.

Driven from this need of prevention and early intervention, Griffith University and Outback Futures formed a partnership to collaborate on better understanding and contributing to child wellbeing. The aim is to inform community-led initiatives to improve outcomes for outback children. With Griffith University’s RealWell centre bringing the tools to help a community identify the areas of greatest need for their children, the Outback Futures’ team can then better target service delivery and be able to measure the impact of their programs and adapt as required.

This pilot program is being run in the rural community of Barcaldine and is a collaboration between Griffith University, Outback Futures and all six primary schools in the Central Queensland town who have committed to the program.  This pilot has the potential to provide benefits to individual children identified using Griffith University’s fun, interactive tool called Rumble’s Quest, Outback Futures clinicians can provide the appropriate support and the schools gather collective data and better understand and identify student social and emotional needs.

Dr Jacqueline Homel from Griffith University said “Thanks to funding from The John Villiers Trust we’re excited to partner with Outback Futures to capture the wellbeing of kids in our outback communities. The information that has started to be gathered from our six schools in Barcaldine is valuable in highlighting strengths that already exist while also helping us work together with schools, parents and communities to target vulnerable areas.”

Griffith University will build on their evidence base and understand the practicalities of extending such tools to regional communities.  Outback Futures will be able to strengthen their evaluation capabilities and enable them to focus their service needs and will support the community to collectively build on their understanding of needs across this cohort of children and provide a catalyst to community planning.

“Social and emotional intervention and support in rural settings is not only difficult to obtain but also to track. This opportunity will enable our school to gather detailed and specific data that will inform targeted responses not only from our students but the broader regional response to mental health and wellbeing throughout the Barcaldine region.”

Nicole Landers, Principal of Barcaldine Prep-12 State School.