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Over the recent weeks, there have been two critical incidents in NSW, with heavy media coverage of both incidents. This may be impacting on your service’s children, families and communities.

The Big Situations resource includes links to free and practical resources to support educators to respond to situations such as this. When educators feel prepared to respond to big situations, they are more able to remain inclusive of all children and continue to deliver a quality program. We encourage you to access our Critical Incidents page here or please contact your Inclusion Professional if you would like support.

Innovation facilitates inclusion in Out of School Hours Care

1 November 2020

Romp and Stomp is an Out of School Hours Care service located in the country town of Goulburn. The process of identifying the barriers to inclusion through developing a Strategic Inclusion Plan helped the educators to see how Innovative Solutions Support could improve their skills.

Twenty-six children enrolled at this service have a diagnosed disability. Together the educators and the Inclusion Professional engaged in conversations where the educators identified they needed to be better equipped to make sure all children were included in the program. Their first Innovative Solutions Support project supported the educators
to build their knowledge and skills around including children with high, complex, and challenging needs. The project involved an Educational Consultant, with a Master of Special Education and a degree n psychology, observing educators’ practices, modelling strategies and completing a number of workshops with the educators. The project went
over a six-month period.

After the success of the first project, the service implemented a second project where all the educators gained experience in PEG feeding* thus ensuring that any child requiring PEG feeding would easily be included in the program.

Project outcomes

All the educators are now able to identify behavioural concerns and understand what the circumstances could be that cause the behaviours. By implementing the project, the educators have been able to embed inclusive practices in their service. Educators are now able to support each other, offer feedback to one another and have meaningful reflective conversations. Educators have learnt valuable skills around mentoring each other, aiming to retain their new skills into the future.

Pat Levien, service Director, said this about the experience:

...fantastic has increased staff morale and confidence... The educators have gained so much from the experience and they now feel they are equipped to support all children’s inclusion. The Educational Consultant was excellent and made educators feel at ease. For our small service, this funding stream offers an invaluable opportunity for our educators.

Pat Levien Director of Romp and Stomp is an Out of School Hours Care, Goulburn

Pat hopes that their story will encourage other services to apply for Innovative Solutions Support.

*PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, a procedure in which a flexible feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. PEG allows nutrition, fluids and/or medications to be put directly into the stomach, bypassing the mouth and oesophagus.

The Australian Government funded NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency is managed by KU Children’s Services, in partnership with Include Me and Gowrie NSW.