In response to our enduring concern that too many children are falling into the State’s Child Protection System, we recognise that greater attention is required to Strengthen Families in order to provide the safe and nurturing environments that children and young people need to thrive.
In accordance with our Strategic Horizons Plan priorities, Baptist Care SA will be establishing and growing a new family-focused portfolio of services over the next 3 years.
Over the last 12 months our Consulting Lead Practitioner, Paul Nixon (an internally recognised expert in Restorative Practice and Family Group Conferencing) has been working closely with our Service Development Manager, Rachel Kemish to develop and document innovative new Family Service Models for targeted and intensive intervention and support with high risk families that are based upon international evidence of ‘what tends to work’. The Executive Team are in proactive dialogue with the State’s Child and Family Services Directorate (recently established within DHS) about Baptist Care’s readiness to establish these service models.
In order to increase our focus to this work, we will be recruiting for a new Senior Manager, Family Pathways and aim to make this strategic appointment by early in 2020. This new role will work alongside our other skilled Senior Managers to place more stepping stones along the transition pathway so that we can make healthy choices, easier choices for the children, young people and families, including aboriginal people, who we are strategically focusing upon.
As we rocket toward the end of 2019, I am conscious of how much our teams have achieved for vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised people through our collective dedicated efforts.
The inspiring efforts of our skilled and dedicated staff was evident when I accompanied Kate McGarry (New Executive Leader – Service Pathways) [Insert Photo] and Chris Partington (Board Member) on recent visits to a number of our service delivery centres.
I sincerely thank staff for their willingness to share openly about both the good news and the inherent challenges of their daily work as they seeking to come alongside their various client groups. Great work team!
Kate McGarry and Chris Partington visit staff at the Salisbury Office which is a service centre for both Flexible Learning Options (See Linda, Carmel and Nerissa above).
Philip and Nicos from Family Mental Health Services.
Phil Berk, Acting Team Leader for our Family Mental Health Support Services team speaks about the challenges and opportunities he faces as her engages with parents and children that are struggling on a daily basis with challenging issues including mental illness poverty and disengagement from school for the children.
Manager of Flexible Learning Options (FLO), Nerissa Tiss, speaks enthusiastically about the ongoing impact and the future development of Baptist Care SA’s FLO Services.
Carmen Terrell, FLO Case Manager (FLO) based at the Salisbury Office shares a story about a former FLO client who was despairing and disengaged in her youth, but has been supported by FLO to move forward and is now working in the community sector.
Phil Bunyon (Senior Manager Community Pathways) greets Kate McGarry and Chris Partington (Board Member) at the entrance of Bowden Lodge.
David, a Support Worker at Bowden Lodge provides further insights into how the Bowden Lodge team respectfully engages with vulnerable people with high and complex needs who are referred by the State’s Exceptional Needs Unit
Fanaye Solomon, Team Leader of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men’s Accommodation Services at Bowden Lodge, reflects upon her 10 years of service with Baptist Care SA as she prepares to take the next step in her career of service to vulnerable people. We sincerely thank Fanaye for all that she has contributed to our work over the years and wish her well for the future.
It was great to chat with the Crossroads team over some well-prepared lunch. They told stories about how they are proactively working to facilitate transition pathways for young people. A heart-warming story was also shared about a young man who had returned to Crossroads recently after many years to say thanks for the life-changing support he had received. The team were deeply encouraged by this testimony to the value of their efforts to support young people as they courageously take steps to stablise their circumstances and plan their next steps whilst living in the home-like environment that is ‘Crossroads’.
We also visited the Inner South Specialist Youth Homelessness team and heard more great stories about the outreach support services they provide to homeless and vulnerable young people in the Southern Suburbs of Adelaide. Whilst we failed to take any photos of this team (sorry team!) they spoke enthusiastically about the strong linkage that has developed with Blackwood Hills Baptist Church which is connecting young clients with regular youth activities in the local community.
Along with a small group of Senior Staff, I am looking forward to meeting with our Limestone Coast staff when we attend a Regional Pathways Forum on 21 November. See you all soon!
Finally, I extend sincere thanks to each of you and you families as we look toward the Christmas and Summer Festive Seasons. Whilst there have been many challenges along the way, we have a great deal to celebrate and be thankful for as our collective efforts continue to open up transition pathways and fresh opportunities for the people that we have sought to serve this year.
I pray that you will be encouraged and deeply blessed by the Christmas miracle which, through the grace of God, offers us renewed hope for the year ahead.
Chief Executive Officer