We’re here to support you during COVID-19

August 2020

As an essential service, BCYF continues to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to support children, young people and families in our community.

COVID-19 is having a significant impact across our community and we know our clients need our support more than ever.

We continue to provide vital services during this time of uncertainty, and the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients, staff and community remains our top priority. We have adjusted the way we deliver our services and put strategies in place to minimise risk in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. BCYF will continue to closely monitor the latest public health advice from both the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments about COVID-19.

Across our wide range of services, these changes include:

Minimising face-to-face contact
Our staff are conducting most of our consultations remotely, with face-to-face consultations conducted when necessary to best meet client needs. Where face-to-face services are provided, we’re adhering to social distancing measures and strict personal hygiene protocols.

Utilising technology
Our staff are using phone, video, and internet technology to connect with clients to continue delivering services remotely during COVID-19.

Wearing masks
All Victorians are currently required to wear a mask, so anyone entering our sites also needs to wear a mask, unless they have a lawful excuse or exception for not wearing a face covering. BCYF staff either working on site and/or undertaking face-to-face consultations will be wearing a mask at all times.

In accordance with government advice, our Kindergartens and Early Learning Centre staff won’t wear masks when directly teaching or caring for children.

Cleaning and hygiene protocols
Across our sites that remain open we have implemented cleaning and hygiene protocols in accordance with the Department of Health.

Although the way we deliver our services will look different, our commitment to delivering the highest quality service and support remains the same.

How to contact us during this time
While our offices are currently closed to the public, we’re still here to help and you can contact us by phone from 9am – 5pm from Monday to Friday on 5226 8900 if you have any questions. You can also email us at info@bcyf.org.au. Please also see below the full overview of how to access our support services during COVID-19.

You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram for further updates.

How to access our services during COVID-19
Our priority is to ensure our clients, staff and the communities in which we operate are safe. That’s why in line with the Government’s most recent advice, we have made some changes to how we deliver our range of services.

  • headspace Geelong: How we’re operating during COVID-19

    Our headspace Geelong team continues to operate to support young people across the Greater Geelong region who are going through a tough time. In response to COVID-19 many of headspace Geelong’s services are being delivered remotely via phone or video technology.

    If you would like to make an appointment please call 5222 6690. For the latest service updates and mental health tips during COVID-19 you can follow headspace Geelong on Facebook or Instagram.

  • Youth Services: How we’re operating during COVID-19

    Our Youth Services team continues to operate to support young people in areas including mental health, homelessness and family reconciliation during COVID-19.

    Many of our youth support services are now being delivered remotely via phone or video technology. In situations where face to face support is required, social distancing and hygiene protocols have been put in place to protect the safety of our staff and client.

    To access support from our Youth Services team they can be contacted via our Free Call number 1800 825 955 from any public phone box. You can also connect with them by email youthfs@bcyf.org.au.

     

  • Mental Health Alcohol & Other Drugs Services: How we’re operating during COVID-19

    Our Mental Health Alcohol & Other Drugs Services continues to operate to support our clients during COVID-19.

    During this time we are conducting counselling and therapeutical support appointments remotely via phone and video technology.

    To access support from our BCYF Alcohol & Other Drugs team call 1300 022 293 for a confidential conversation or email aodintake@bcyf.org.au.

    There are also some other supports available:

  • Refugee and Asylum Seeker Counselling: How we’re operating during COVID-19

    Our Torture and Trauma counselling services continues to operate to support our clients during COVID-19.

    During this time we are conducting counselling support appointments remotely via phone and video technology.

    To contact your support worker please call BCYF on 5222 6900 and you will be transferred to the Torture and Trauma team.

  • Foster Care: How we’re operating during COVID-19

    Our Out of Home Care team continues to operate to ensure support children in foster care and our foster carers are well supported during COVID-19.

    The need for more foster carers to provide safe and loving homes for vulnerable children in our community is more important than ever. Our foster care information sessions are now being delivered remotely video technology.

    To find out more about becoming a foster carer or for any other questions please call 5226 8900 or email fostercare@bcyf.org.au.

  • Family & Community Services: How we’re operating during COVID-19

    Our Family & Community Services team continues to operate to support families with parenting, mental health, drug and alcohol issues, family violence and housing support during COVID-19.

    Our family services programs are now being delivered remotely via phone or video technology. This includes our Parent & Family Groups.

    To access support from our Family Services team call BCYF on 5226 8900.

    Alternatively you can contact The Orange Door in Barwon by calling 1800 312 820 or email  barwon@orangedoor.vic.gov.au. The Orange Door may send your referral to a number of Family Services agencies in Geelong so if you would like BCYF to provide this support to you it is important to communicate this when speaking to the Orange Door. The Orange Door are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays).

    The Orange Door services include:

    • Women, children and young people’s family violence services
    • Child and family services
    • Aboriginal services
    • Men’s family violence services

  • Kindergartens and Early Learning Centre: How we’re operating during COVID-19

    In line with the latest advice from the Victorian Government, our Kindergartens and Early Learning Centre remain open under Stage 3 restrictions.

    To help keep everyone safe and healthy, BCYF is taking extra precautions at all of our Kindergartens to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:

    • More frequent cleaning and disinfection
    • New procedures when dropping off and collecting children
    • Practising good hand hygiene with children and educators regularly washing their hands with soap and water
    • Encouraging cough hygiene by reminding children to cough or sneeze into their elbow.

    In line with the State’s Chief Health Officer recommendations, we ask all Kindergarten parents and carers to:

    • Please keep children at home if they are unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, and loss of sense of smell or taste, even if symptoms are mild.
    • Please keep children at home if anyone in their household is waiting for COVID-19 test results.

    Getting tested is recommended to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

     

  • Early Years Services: How we’re supporting people during COVID-19

    Our Early Years Services team continues to operate to provide family focused services for children during COVID-19.

    Our Early Years services including our Early Childhood Early Intervention (NDIA) supports are now being delivered remotely via phone or video technology.

    • To access support from our Early Years team call BCYF on 5226 8900.
    • For Early Childhood Early Intervention information or support, please call us on 1300 012 293 and together we can work out how best to help you.

How can I help?

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe, regularly wash your hands, keep at least 1.5 metres from other people, and stay home if you feel unwell. If you have any symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, breathing difficulties or wheezing or any other signs of respiratory infection, however mild, seek advice and get tested.

Where can I get further information about COVID-19?

The Australian Government National Coronavirus Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.

The Victorian Government Coronavirus hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 675 398.

Australia Government ‘COVIDSafe’ App

10 ways to reduce your risk of Coronavirus poster – DHHS (PDF)
Wash your hands regularly poster (PDF)
Novel coronavirus confirmed case – What you need to know V1.3 (Word)
Novel coronavirus suspected case – What you need to know V1.3 (Word)
Novel coronavirus close contact – What you need to know V1.3 (Word)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information on Social Distancing
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Isolation Guidance