ONCALL responds to children with disabilities under the age of 18 providing immediate support to families
ONCALL recently received a phone call from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) seeking support staff to care for Sarah*, a 14 year old girl with intellectual disability and epilepsy.
Sarah resided in a regional town within the family home. Due to ill health, the family was struggling to care for Sarah, who was at home on a full-time basis and unable to attend school due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sarah’s grandparents were actively involved in providing care and weekend respite for Sarah’s immediate family but unfortunately became too ill soon after, resulting in one grandparent requiring medical treatment in ICU.
Sarah’s journey with ONCALL
Immediately after receiving this call, ONCALL brought in a team of experienced and skilled disability support workers to work with Sarah, providing respite to the family for a period of four weeks in metropolitan Melbourne.
A Parenting Agreement was entered between Sarah’s parents and ONCALL with staff assisting DHHS to furnish and prepare a property made available especially for her.
After creating a safe and comfortable environment, arrangements were then made for ONCALL support workers to pick up Sarah and transport her to where she would call home for the next four weeks.
Staff welcomed Sarah and spent quality time with her, engaging in activities that suited her interests and felt comfortable doing. Staff also spoke with Sarah’s mother on a daily basis, keeping the family frequently updated and informed.
The following day departmental staff contacted ONCALL to thank us for the quick response to what was a critical situation for the family.
“On Saturday a colleague and myself dropped off a lot of set up goods. Staff were engaging with Sarah, she looked calm and happy. Her bedroom was set up beautifully. I spoke with Sarah’s mother on Friday and Saturday, to provide her with updates, she mentioned staff had been providing her with updates, which has made a very difficult time less stressful. Can you please pass our thanks onto staff, it was so lovely to see the relationship they had achieved with Sarah in a couple of days.”
Over the next few days, ONCALL, DHHS and NDIS worked together to formulate a plan to move Sarah back to her local area and be closer to her family.
With Sarah’s best interest at the centre of each of these discussions, an agreement was made to move Sarah into a property within close proximity to her family’s home, bringing her back to familiar surroundings and closer to her family. ONCALL implemented the move and Sarah remains settled in her new home, with stronger connectivity to her family.
*The Participant’s name has been changed to protect their privacy.