An intervention to supporting the mental health of parents of children with a disability and staff wellbeing

An intervention to support the mental health of parents of children with disability and staff wellbeing

A National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) partnership with the University of Melbourne and Deakin University

The aim of the study is to evaluate a new program which is designed to meet the needs of families of children with disability. The program, based on qualitative research with Yooralla staff and parents, is focused on supporting the mental health of parents of children with disability and the wellbeing of staff who support them. 

The program is based within early childhood intervention services and focused on the Key Worker. The Key Worker (physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or psychologist) is the primary worker with the family and acts as a conduit between the family and other allied health team members and services. The Key Worker coaches and supports the family to implement strategies to support the development of their child. 

The program will be implemented by Yooralla to all Key Workers and Managers and evaluated by the academic team. This study uses a stepped wedge cluster randomized controlled trial to test the appropriateness, acceptability, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the program.

The intervention is based within the early childhood intervention service, which provides services to children aged up to 6 years of age, who vary in their severity of disability, residence and cultural background. There are six different sites of Children’s Services across Melbourne that are located within the community and multidisciplinary teams of allied health professionals work at each to support children and their families. Across the six sites, there are approximately 60 key workers, who support 600 families. Yooralla will be implementing the program across all 6 sites (using a staged process) and all Key Workers and Managers will be involved in the program.

Learn more about research at Yooralla.

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