Our response to COVID-19
Barnardos Australia has been committed to delivering our essential services to vulnerable children and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporting children and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
Over the past two years, families in crisis have turned to us for support in unprecedented numbers.
Many people have lost their jobs, resources are often scarce, and without access to the right community support, the threat of domestic violence and mental health issues continue to increase. Social isolation has also placed many families under financial and emotional stress, pushing them to breaking point.
And in these circumstances, sadly it is the children who suffer most.
We have risen to the challenge and have remained committed to keeping children safe from abuse and neglect by strengthening families more than ever during these uncertain times.
Our frontline workers have shown incredible dedication and resilience by developing innovative strategies to address the increased calls for help from struggling families in our community. All the while we have been implementing COVIDSafe procedures, in accordance with Government directives, to keep our vital services running while minimising the risk to our clients, families and employees.
How we are continuing to support those most vulnerable
Delivering food parcels and home-made frozen meals to those in our family support programs who are isolated in their homes and unable to access or afford the basics.
Deliveries also give our workers the opportunity to check-in with children and families who are at-risk.
Essential deliveries and support for carers of children with chronic disabilities and special needs.
Special food deliveries and support for older kinship carers (e.g. grandparents) who themselves are vulnerable to the virus.
Staying in touch
Regularly checking in on our children and families and providing face-to-face support for high-risk clients where it is assessed as safe to do so.
Supporting our foster carers via telephone and video with clear guidance, information and practical support, especially in terms of online learning and how to speak to traumatised children about COVID-19 without increasing their anxiety.
Our youth workers are staying in touch with young people isolated at home to ensure they don't develop ‘cabin fever’ or feel alone.
Virtual support when needed
Virtual home visiting - regularly checking in on our families via video conferencing or telephone and giving practical and emotional support to
at-risk families in isolation.
Virtual Playgroups - playgroup employees have been contacting parents via facetime if in isolation and supporting them with their parent-child interaction, along with delivering preschooler activity packs to keep children engaged with learning.
Virtual Mentoring - mentors are in touch with their young people via phone and text if required as this is a critical time for vulnerable young people and they will need support from their mentors.