Resilient Kids launched to support Northern Rivers children and teens post-floods

A new program – Resilient Kids – has arrived to support the health and wellbeing of Northern Rivers young people aged eight to 18 years in the wake of the 2022 floods.
Resilient Kids, funded through a $10 million grant from the Australian Government through the National Emergency Management Agency, will support thousands of Northern Rivers youth and at least 75 schools.
Healthy North Coast co-designed the program with children, young people, schools, families, and service providers from across the Northern Rivers.
Resilient Kids will be delivered in three streams:

  • Stream 1: Education and skill building through school-based supports
  • Stream 2: Community resilience building delivered from local hubs, with outreach to smaller communities
  • Stream 3: First Nations children and young people initiatives.

The not-for-profit organisation Social Futures (in partnership with The Family Centre and Human Nature Therapy) will deliver Streams 1 and 2.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said the Resilient Kids program was a great initiative that aims to address an important aspect of disaster recovery.
“The Albanese Government is very pleased to support Healthy North Coast, which will benefit young people right across the Northern Rivers,” Minister Watt said.
“The 2022 floods were traumatic for the whole community and the recovery process can bring a lot of change for families, so looking after mental health is so important.
“This program has been developed by locals, for locals, to help families access long-term, positive programs that addresses the mental wellness challenges from disasters and build resilience.”

Healthy North Coast CEO, Monika Wheeler said to design Resilient Kids, Healthy North Coast looked at information collected in the Resilience Survey from 6,611 children and young people.
“The survey results told us that physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, personal safety and reducing risks, a sense of social identity and engagement with learning were all extremely important to young people,” Ms Wheeler said.
“We are delighted the Resilient Kids program is now commencing and I would like to acknowledge the funding received from the Australian Government’s National Emergency Management Agency.
“Our North Coast communities have been through many challenging experiences in recent years, and we will continue to support and fund a range of services that enable better mental health and wellbeing outcomes for our young people.”
Social Futures CEO, Tony Davies, said Social Futures has been part of the recovery from the beginning, and was well aware that many young people in the region were still doing it tough.”
“It is vital that the right care services are in place to support young people to build their resilience,” Mr Davies said.
“Even adults are struggling to navigate this new world and that’s why I’m so proud Social Futures is part of the Resilient Kids program. It will deliver much-needed supports to the children and teens of the Northern Rivers.
“No one will deny that the past few years have been extraordinary, and Social Futures is delighted to partner with Healthy North Coast, The Family Centre and Human Nature Therapy to ensure that Resilient Kids makes a real difference to the lives of young people in the Northern Rivers.”

More information about Resilient Kids
The Family Centre is delivering Stream 1 which focusses on school-based programs including disaster resilience and social and emotional wellbeing education, plus parent and carer support.
Six Wellbeing Hubs, led by Social Futures, around the Northern Rivers are delivering Stream 2, with outreach opportunities also available in smaller communities.
These hubs have been set up to provide services and activities including counselling services for children, young people and their families, peer-to-peer supports, group supports, and help will be provided to connect young people with other mental health and wellbeing services.
Funding will also be made available for small-scale place-based activities that build connection and wellbeing and respond to emerging needs across the region.
Collaboration with Northern Rivers Aboriginal Medical Services is also underway to prioritise the activities or services that are expected to be delivered through Stream 3.
Beacon Strategies has also been commissioned by Healthy North Coast to work with Resilient Kids providers to understand the impact of the program on participants, and to build upon emerging outcomes and achievements.
More information about the Resilient Kids program can be found at socialfutures.org.au/resilient-kids and at hnc.org.au/resilient-kids

Contact for media enquiries

Andy Roberts

Phone: 0448 000 486

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Our regional partners

  • Local Health District partners in our footprint: Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) & Northern New South Wales Local Health District (NNSWLHD)
  • Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS)
  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
  • Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
  • Rural Doctors Network (RDN)
  • Rural Clinical Schools & Regional Training Hubs
  • General Practitioners
  • Registrars and International Medical Graduates
  • North Coast Allied Health Association (NCAHA)
  • Local Councils
    Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA)
  • Universities including: Charles Sturt University (CSU), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Southern Cross University (SCU)

Aged Care Disaster Management Planning

Strategic Priority Area: One team

North Coast is identified as the region most likely to be impacted by climate change in Australia and also forecasted greatest growth in those 65+.

Healthy North Coast takes a lead role in ensuring the older population and the sector that supports them are prepared for, can respond to and recover from disasters and other emergencies.

We have led eight regional disaster management capacity building workshops, bringing together SES, community organisations and the aged care sector.

We have also developed disaster preparedness tip sheets for both residential and community aged care providers.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Strategic Priority Area: One team

In May 2022, the NSW Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2022. Effective from Tuesday, 28 November 2023, eligible people have the choice to access voluntary assisted dying. 

Healthy North Coast has developed a webpage for both health professionals and consumers, with links to available information and resources.

Living with Dementia resources

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

Healthy North Coast has worked with people living with dementia, their families and local service providers to develop an information booklet that will help them connect with local and national supports along their journey.

The booklet includes commonly asked questions for people to ask their GP and/or specialist.

The resource is available in digital and printed copies, with more than 5,000 distributed across the region. An e-version is available to clinicians via the Dementia and Cognitive Impairment HealthPathway.

Deteriorating Resident Triage Tool Pilot

Strategic Priority Area: One team

The Deteriorating Resident Response Tool (DRRT) has been developed to guide RN’s in Residential Aged Care homes (RACHs) to better understand, anticipate and make clinical decisions responding to the deteriorating health of residents.

The objective of the DRRT is to give RACH staff clear information to triage and provide appropriate care for a range of residents’ health conditions, and, in turn, prevent unnecessary presentations to ED.

The tool has been designed together with a specialist geriatrician, consulting with stakeholders such as Residential Aged Care Managers, NSW Ambulance, GPs, and experts from Mid and North Coast LHDs.

The pilot commences in March with four participating RACHs. Evaluation measures will include effectiveness in building RN confidence and reported reduction in unnecessary hospitalisations. Findings will inform a future planned, region-wide implementation.

North Coast Care Finders Program

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

The Care Finders program is a free region-wide service to support vulnerable older people who have no-one else to help them, to learn about, apply for and set up support services.

Care finders can help people understand what aged care services are available, set up an assessment, and find and choose services. They also help people with access to other supports in the community, both accessing services for the first time and changing or finding new services and supports.

On the North Coast, Healthy North Coast has commissioned four organisations to provide this important service: EACH, Carexcell, Lifetime Connect and Footprints.

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Psychological services in residential aged care homes

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Healthy North Coast commissions two service providers to deliver psychological therapies and supports for older people with, or at risk of developing, a mental illness and who are living in residential aged care homes (RACHs).

The aim of the program is to both provide direct support to residents and their families and carers, as well as upskill the RACH workforce to respond to the needs of residents presenting with mental health concerns.

Social prescribing (Healthy Me Healthy Community)

Strategic Priority Area: Securing a Healthier Future

Delivered by Feros Care, the Healthy Me, Healthy Community program aims to build individual and community connections to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing in Port Macquarie.

The program helps people to connect with community, activities, supports and services that address their broader social determinants of health, as an alternative or supplement to a clinical approach.

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Digital Health in Residential Aged Care

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Timely access to primary health care professionals, whether through face-to-face consultation or telehealth, is recognised as an issue for many Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs), that in some cases can lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations. RACHs require adequate telehealth facilities to support access to virtual consultations for their residents.

Project goals

  • Assist participating RACHs to have appropriate telehealth facilities and equipment to enable their residents to virtually consult when needed with their primary health care professionals, specialists and other clinicians. 
  • Provide training to participating RACH staff to support them to have the capabilities to assist their residents in accessing virtual consultation services.
  • Encourage increased use of My Health Record by RACHs, to improve the availability and secure transfer of resident’s health care information between RACHs, primary care and acute care settings.
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Greater Choice at Home Palliative Care Program

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Aims to provide people who have life limiting conditions the opportunity to exercise choice and receive high quality care at home, harnessing improved and better coordinated supports and services that meet their individual needs.

Program objectives:

  • Improve access to palliative care at home and support end-of-life care systems and services (in primary health care and community care)
  • To enable the right care at the right time and in the right place (to reduce unnecessary hospitalisation)
  • Generate and use data to support continuous improvement of services across sectors
  • Use available technologies to support flexible and responsive palliative care at home, including in the after-hours.

These objectives will contribute to achieving the following intended overarching outcomes of:

  • Improved capacity and responsiveness of services to meet local needs and priorities
  • Improved patient access to quality palliative care services in the home
  • Improved coordination of care for patients across health care providers and integration of palliative care services in their region.

Education & training funding elibility

Funding is open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.

Workforce Locum support and R&R funding criteria

  • Available to primary care services in disaster impacted communities within the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Available to support short-term workforce coverage, allowing clinicians to rest and recover.
  • Workforce-support funding in total is capped for each site, over a 12-month period:
    • $10k for GPs and/or
    • $5K for nursing and/or
    • $5k administration support and/or
    • $5K allied/pharmacy and other.
  • Funding is not to be used to fill gaps in staffing that have not been able to recruit to and not to replace existing staff.
  • Healthy North Coast will assess requirements and approve available funding directly with the service requesting support.
  • Priority will be given to sites that have immediate, short-term workforce support needs.
  • Requests will be reviewed and supported on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program funding administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) to be paid monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever comes first).
  • Practices will be required to complete a request for payment form monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever occurs first).

Wellbeing Flexible Funding Criteria & Eligibility

  • Open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Activity must be purposeful, with the aim of increasing the wellbeing of your team.
  • Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with funding allocated based on team size.*
  • Following approval by Healthy North Coast, funding will be administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) upon providing proof of expenses.
  • Funding cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol, or any other goods or services where the vendor cannot quote their Australian Business Number.
  • Planned activities must occur prior to 30th June 2024.
  • Funding will not be available for retrospective activities.
*Team Size
(Total staff and contractors)
Funding Available
Small (1-5)$500-$1500
Medium (6-20)$1500-$4000
Large (>20)$4000-$5000