Mrs Joanne Allen-keeling1, Mr Andrew Resetti1
1Children’s Health Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
The Yarrabilba Family and Community Place (YFCP) is a purpose-built integrated community facility on the grounds of Yarrabilba State School. This innovative cross-agency initiative which opened in October 2018, is led by an allied health project team at CHQ HHS and focuses on the provision of inclusive and flexible health, education and social services in a safe and supportive environment that encourages community connectedness and improves outcomes for children, families and the broader community.
The hub utilises soft entry approaches to engage with the community and deliver a range of support services. The Yarrabilba Family and Community place is an exciting and innovative initiative that showcases shared service delivery to improve outcomes for children and their families. Supporting parents before conception, during pregnancy and in the early years of a child’s life has significant positive impacts on health and wellbeing. The literature reflects that early disadvantage can have lifelong effects – the first years of a child’s life provide the foundations for health and wellbeing. Children who have a poor start in life are more likely to develop problems with health, development, learning and behaviours, and these problems can have a cumulative effect over their lives. Many of the risk factors impacting on the long-term health outcomes of the child are family lifestyle risk factors (e.g. domestic violence, socio-economic disadvantage, smoking during pregnancy).
The Yarrabilba community sits within a region of increased risk but many of these risk factors are modifiable and preventable. Cross sector collaboration and an early investment in prevention is required to ensure that this emerging community does not progress down a path of disadvantage. The collaboration allows stakeholders to work together to address complex issues not easily addressed by working alone.
Joanne Allen-Keeling is a Consultant Social Worker currently sitting in an Operations Management role with over 20 years’ experience in multiple health, child safety and community environments. Since graduating with an honours degree in Social Work, and more recently an Executive MBA, Joanne has an extensive background in clinical, operational and strategic service management in government and non-government services. She has a strong client-centred approach to her work, which is driven by principles built on humanity, compassion, integrity, empathy, respect. Joanne currently has a leadership role within Children’s Health Queensland and has been involved in a range of consumer engagement and quality improvement activities to develop client- centred, community focused approaches to service development and delivery. Joanne is passionate about improving the journey of people with complex needs by addressing social determinants that lead to inequities.
Andrew Resetti is a Senior Nutritionist with Children’s Health Queensland with a background in exercise science, nutrition and dietetics and health promotion. Over the last 17 years Andrew has had the opportunity to work across a range of practice areas from adult weight management, research, public health nutrition, remote retail stores, community nutrition, Pascifika health and most recently as a project officer establishing a family and community hub in a greenfield community. Andrew is passionate about supporting children and their families to have a great start in life. He uses an ecological model to guide his work taking a family centred approach.