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A pilot program providing post-natal care to mothers in the community who are impacted by drug addiction, domestic violence, homelessness and mental illness, has been given funding to continue for a further twelve months.
Mater’s CHAMP1 at Home Program run by the Mater at Home care team and supported by the Brisbane South Primary Health Network is an extension of the CHAMP Clinic within the Mater Mothers' Hospitals which provides antenatal support to at risk women during their pregnancy.
The team provide a continuum of care to the mothers and their babies once they are discharged from hospital to ensure appropriate housing, medical and social support is in place for the new family for the first six months after birth.
CHAMP at Home Care Coordinator Kara Williams has been working with the program since its pilot in April.
“We have identified a need for these services in the community and we have a current group of 33 mothers who need our support,” Kara said.
“The team are referred to these women through the CHAMP midwives and we visit them in their homes, along with the CHAMP midwives at the three week post-natal check and then on an ongoing basis to see how we can provide support and ensure the women are well connected in their community.”
CHAMP at Home Care Coordinator Aini Ahmed said the program was not clinically based but focused on providing social support to ensure the ongoing health of the mother and child.
“We understand the importance of social support networks and try to include the whole family in our planning. We also try to engage the mother in her community, for example a local mothers group, baby’s day at a library or playgroup,” she said.
“The team does build an excellent rapport with the mothers and they welcome our visits, but we also need to ensure they will have support once our services end.”
Local charity The Ivory Project has provided additional help by providing care packages for new mums with clothing, toiletries and nappies. They have also helped source larger items like prams, formula and highchairs.
One mother Jessica* was supported by the CHAMP at Home Program with her first baby for a range of socio-economic issues she had experienced during her pregnancy.
The team were introduced to Jessica at a postnatal home visit, and were able to support her on a fortnightly basis. They connected her with a GP for ongoing health advice, Child Health Clinic for weekly baby health checks, and other community supports such as the Salvation Army and Foodbank.
Jessica was supported to re-engage with her family to ensure a social support system was put in place and Intensive Family Support and relationship counselling has been offered to her and her partner.
Today Jessica and her family are doing much better and have more stability in their lives. They are grateful for the services provided to help them through an extremely difficult period.
*Names have been changed for client confidentiality.
1 CHAMP - Continuity of care by Health professionals attending Alcohol and drug problems and meeting Mothers’ needs for Positive family outcomes.
To find out more about this Service contact the CHAMP Coordinator:
Telephone: 07 3163 2417
07 3163 8111
07 3163 6142
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