A moment from Frances Belle Parker’s animation

Northern NSW Local Health District has joined forces with a local Aboriginal artist to boost awareness of health and wellbeing services available to children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW.

More than 17,000 children and young people aged 0-18 years have benefited from the Out-of-Home-Care (OOHC) program in the last 10 years, which is jointly managed by NSW Health and the Department of Communities and Justice.

The District’s OOHC Co-ordinator, Nicole Ashby, said she hopes the next ten years sees increased access to health and wellbeing services by those in care across the state.

Still capture from Frances Belle Parker’s animation

Health challenges

Ms Ashby said, ‘Being in out-of-home care isn’t always easy and staying on top of your health can be difficult. We want young people to know they don’t have to do it on their own.

‘Our job is to help them connect with health care services – such as a doctor or a counsellor, dentist and optometrist – to improve their health and wellbeing. We don’t want any child or young person to fall through the gaps,’ she said.

‘These two short animations have been created to explain the process and benefits of accessing these services to children, young people, birth parents, carers and caseworkers. They will be made available to all NSW Local Health Districts,’ said Ms Ashby.

The artist behind the animations is Northern NSW Yaegl artist, Frances Belle Parker.

Artist Francis Belle Parker

Culture at the core of health

‘We want children and young people to know that their culture is a core part of their health and wellbeing, and that it is front of mind when we plan their health assessments,’ said Nicole Ashby.

‘We also want children, young people, their carers and case workers to be equally invested in the health and wellbeing of anyone in out-of-home care in NSW.

‘It’s about working together to improve the short and long-term health of our
children and young people,’ she said.

The videos for the Out of Home Care Health Pathway program are here.

The first one can also be viewed below: