CARING THROUGH COVID-19
When sudden COVID-19 travel and biosecurity restrictions came into effect, many people found themselves negotiating a new set of challenges.
Expecting mothers from remote communities were required to quarantine in hotel rooms both before and after giving birth . Some community members visiting critically ill family members in hospital were left homeless as hostel accommodation became restricted.
The Child & Family Wellbeing Service worked to support vulnerable families find accommodation, make it through isolation with a newborn baby and navigate their way home safely.
As expectant mothers faced a month of isolation around delivery of their child, including several weeks in a hotel with a new born, the Child Nutrition team has been a friendly and consistent presence. They support women facing this challenging situation through phone check-ins, visits (with social distancing) and nutritious meals.
Women and children with hospital appointments also have to isolate to get back to their home communities, the Nutrition team is easing isolation stress with visits, tjanpi weaving materials, shopping support and advocacy to expedite travel.
The CFWS kitchen, usually busy with new mums cooking and learning more about nutrition, is used to cook up large batches of meals for families who are caught in difficult circumstances.
Although unable to travel to remote communities to visit regular clients, the Nutrition team works with community clinics and DCP to maintain regular contact with clients through teleconferencing and mobile phones to address growth faltering .
They have partnered with local Child Care centres sending families activity packs filled with recipes, food, seeds and games.