WentWest Child Development Care (CDC) Coordination Project Evaluation

Aim

To improve the health, growth and development of children through awareness of developmental concerns and service supports.

Benefits

Early identification of need and awareness of services to support patients and families and professionals.

Summary

Through short – term funding, a Child Development Care Co-ordinator position was trialled in Auburn Local Government Area. This position was to build awareness and capacity amongst parents, early education and local health workers, of the early identification of developmental delay and services and support available. Although numbers were small, involvement in the project was a positive experience for all.

Background

A local school in Auburn identified a large number of referrals to child development assessors and health care providers for developmental assessments.

The concerns faced by the school authorities included the complexity of health issues that arise from refugee populations. These issues included psychological trauma as well as speech and language and other developmental concerns. Typically, families had low health and English literacy and awareness of the health system.  A lack of awareness regarding health, referral and assessment pathways among schools and children’s service providers also existed.

The pilot ran for twelve months and had a capacity building focus aiming to:

  • improve the ability of service providers to respond effectively to the developmental needs of children
  • support families in accessing services to support children’s health and wellbeing.
  • support parents/carers to navigate their way through the health system to address development concerns.
  • improve the health, growth and development of children through the promotion community education.

An evaluation framework was developed in conjunction with the ACI Intellectual Disability Health Network and formed the basis for the evaluation methodology which included:

  • survey of General Practitioners (GPs) engaged with the CDC
  • survey of service providers engaged with CDC
  • interview/survey with parents of children referred for CDC support
  • referral, case action and case closure data collection completed for referred children (e.g. source of referral, family demographics, health checks up to date, diagnosis of disability)
  • process journal completed by CDC through project implementation.

Partnerships

ACI funded the project  evaluation, and the ACI Intellectual Disability Health Network worked with WentWest in the formative evaluation process.

Members of the Local Community Partnership also contributed to the development of the pilot.

Local service providers including GPs, early intervention teams and St John’s Primary School in Auburn.

Key Dates

Pilot Sites

Implementation Sites

This work was focused in the Auburn local government area of Western Sydney, NSW.

Evaluation

There is no evidence from the pilot data that the project resulted in improved early diagnosis of disability prior to three years of age. Cases referred to CDC appear to have been related to general developmental concerns mostly related to psycho-social circumstances rather than disability. For those engaged with the project however data indicates it was a positive experience. Two (of ten) children lacking current early childhood health checks were assessed and most of the nine families received referral to other community services.

Parent feedback was obtained for 66.7% (6) of referred children with positive results reported across the outcome and satisfaction measures.  Whilst these results are positive they should be considered with caution due to the small number of families involved.

The CDC project was positive for those engaged however there is insufficient data) to support the effectiveness of the model as a means of achieving early identification of children with disability and subsequent intervention. There was a reported increase in service providers’ knowledge of early intervention services and the importance of early intervention. The longer term effects of this project could be the focus of further research.

Related Initiatives

Further Details

Carolyn Quinn of C. Quinn Consultancy Pty Limited developed the evaluation framework for the pilot, analysed data provided by Child Development Care Coordination and wrote the evaluation report. (PDF 1.16MB)

Contact

Tracey Szanto
Manager, Intellectual Disability
tracey.szanto@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9464 4632

Chris Shipway
Director, Primary Care and Chronic Services
chris.shipway@health.nsw.gov.au
02 9464 4603

Page Top | Added: 10 July 2015 | Last modified: 16 July 2015

ACI
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Contact:
Tracey Szanto
Manager, Intellectual Disability
Email
02 9464 4632
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