Noah’s Ark Annual Report 2020

23 Nov 2020

Noah's Ark Annual Report 2020

Our highlights

Like most organisations'' annual reports for the 2020 financial year, the clear standout has been how Noah's Ark has managed service delivery and the workforce during such a challenging year. We have captured some key themes within the year below. 

Communicating with families

Throughout the bushfires and the pandemic, communications with staff and families has significantly increased. Traditional channels for communications have been used, however the most popular with families has been using the website and social media platforms. Our analytics tell us that this is the most effective and direct way to communicate with many families – it also enables language translation systems.

Both families and staff heard directly from the CEO, Team Leaders and Key Workers on a daily to weekly basis.

Information shared included:

  • Bushfire and COVID-19 breaking news and tips 
  • Health and Wellbeing advice and where to get help 
  • NDIS and Government updates 
  • Research and submissions 
  • Free online programs and activities 
  • Staff videos on “What’s most important about the work Noah’s Ark does?” 
  • Good news stories and articles about our families 
  • Participation in local events and expos pre-COVID 
  • Celebration of important cultural, disability and advocacy days 
  • Support of Indigenous initiatives such as NAIDOC and Reconciliation week, and our video created with Communities for Children Bendigo - Connecting with Culture.

Changing how we work —Telehealth 

This year saw unprecedented challenges affecting how we work. Perhaps the most dramatic change required by the pandemic was the change to Telehealth. Our staff responded quickly to the pandemic and successfully transitioned to Telehealth services from March for many families. 

Key Workers showed great resilience by adapting to new technology and working with families’ needs on what works best for them. We continued to support children and families to reach their goals throughout the year in difficult circumstances. 

New Telehealth resources were created for Key Workers: 

  • The Everyday Learning and Therapy Tool Kit – Virtual Visits, Recommencing Home and Community Visits 
  • Telehealth tip sheets to support working in this virtual environment 
  • Seminars about the best platforms to use in Telehealth
  • Keynote presentation by Dathan Rush 
  • Weekly Professional Learning News resources and seminars. 

Professional development, training, and resources

Our online professional development resources have continued to grow. Some of our most popular courses such as Best Practice in Early Intervention became available in live webinar formats. All our Inclusion seminars are also available in this new online platform in a live facilitated session to support educators in providing quality inclusive environments. 

New graduates have a tailored induction program that based on probation reviews has been working well. 

Areas we have focused on include:

  • Discipline specific mentoring 
  • Practice coaching school-aged children and their families
  • Assessments 
  • Group programs.

Sustaining wellbeing

COVID-19 and Government restrictions, including the closure of childcare and schools and other support services have put significant pressure on staff and families. We have supported employees with flexible working hours and encouraged staff to use leave entitlements. 

Families were kept updated on news affecting them by ensuring COVID and NDIS updates were shared in a timely manner. We shared activity ideas for families to keep busy with arts and craft and virtual events and videos. 

We shared activity ideas for families to keep busy with arts and craft and virtual events and videos. We also shared health and wellbeing advice from the industry and links to mental health support, for those who may feel isolated and have children struggling with lockdown.

The new Wellbeing program for employees has included:

  • Participation in International Women’s Day, RU OK Day, and other events 
  • Recognition of Service awards
  • Mental and physical health tips and suggested reading on the Business Library and in the RU OK Day SharePoint drive and EAP communications and announcements 
  • Weekly Yoga sessions
  • Saying thank you – a small gift to all employees showing appreciation 
  • Facebook page for employees to connect—Working Together Remotely.

Improving systems

Our website was refreshed at the beginning of the new year with a dedicated Parents & Carers section, and later featured a new page to help parents get started at Noah’s Ark. Families can now watch a video introducing one of our Team Leaders, learn about Telehealth, how we work and our services, and find all the important information they need in one central place. 

A new online registration form made it easier for families to register with us and provided an alternative to phone enquiries, making Customer Care more efficient at capturing leads during busy periods. 

  • Introducing new innovations 
  • Updated website and features 
  • Rolling out Chromebooks 
  • Video conferencing and other platforms including Jam board 
  • IT security 
  • Administration.

Download the full 2020 Annual Report (PDF 3MB)

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