Parents of newborns and toddlers impacted by the current COVID restrictions can access a range of free virtual early childhood health services, thanks to a $348,000 grant to Karitane from the NSW Nationals in the state government.
NSW Nationals Minister for Women and Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the not-for-profit parenting support service has recorded its highest ever number of referrals in the last four weeks, many from parents struggling to cope with recent restrictions.
“It takes a village to raise a child, especially in those crucial first five years of life,” Mrs Taylor said.
“But the impact of COVID-19 has meant that many parents don’t have the in-person support of extended family, friends, and neighbours, which can undermine their confidence as parents – as well as their wellbeing.
“This grant will allow Karitane to expand its virtual services to affected parents, including home visits, residential stays, breastfeeding clinics, mental health consults, toddler behaviour programs, playgroups and daily parenting workshops.”
Karitane CEO Grainne O’Loughlin said many parents they have heard from recently are feeling anxious and desperate.
“The latest restrictions have left many parents feeling alone, isolated and out of their depth. By providing help, support, and social connection through our virtual services, we hope to provide some reassurance and hope,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“Our experience through many years of delivering virtual care has proven that virtual care can be just as impactful as face-to-face care.
“We encourage families across NSW to get in touch with us, we are ‘open’ and here to help you every step of the way.”
This latest grant is in addition to the recently announced joint Commonwealth and NSW Government COVID-19 mental health support package worth $17.35 million.
For information on Karitane’s services, please visit: https://www.karitane.com.au/