Camp Quality has today welcomed the Labour Party’s commitment to provide much needed funding to better assist families who are dealing with the impacts of a cancer diagnosis on a child, should the Party be elected to Government later this year.
According to the latest statistics, over 10,000 families across Australia are having to come to grips with their child’s own cancer diagnosis every year.
In addition to these children, a further 60,000 kids are trying to understand what the diagnosis of their brother, sister, mum or dad means: to them, to their loved one and to their family.
According to Camp Quality CEO, Kylea Tink, many of these families will be faced with the very practical issue that they will have been required to relocate, or travel, to a metropolitan centre for treatment.
“Whilst the care delivered in these centres is excellent (with childhood cancer survival rates improving markedly in the past decade) the reality is, once they return home, understanding and finding the services they need can be very challenging,” said Ms Tink.
Today, following several conversations between the Shadow Federal Health Minister, Catherine King, and Camp Quality, the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten confirmed that, should the Labour Party be elected to Government, Camp Quality would be given $3.7 million over 3 years to enable us to expand our current Family Liaison Coordinator network.
“The potential funding commitment announced by the Labour Party today would enable Camp Quality to expand our already proven network of Family Liaison Coordinators into key regional and rural locations across Australia in the coming years and that would be great news for our kids and their families.”
Currently Camp Quality employs six Family Liaison Coordinators whose role it is to visit the major children’s hospitals around Australia every week, offer support to families, provide distraction at the bedside, and assist families in registering for additional services.
By expanding this network of professionals into communities outside the metropolitan basins, Camp Quality will effectively be able to extend the duration of support for families facing the daily ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis including the time following a family’s return home.
This will be achieved through the creation of nine new Family Liaison Coordinator positions which are likely to be based in communities such as: Wagga Wagga and Orange in NSW; Townsville in Qld; Bendigo and Warrnambool in Victoria; Port Lincoln in South Australia; Kalgoorlie in Western Australia; Hobart in Tasmania; and Darwin in the Northern Territory.
“The creation of these positions has the potential to significantly smooth the transition for families as they return home by providing them with easier access to someone they can trust to guide them in the right direction,” said Ms Tink.
“The idea to expand our network of Family Liaison Coordinators was inspired by anecdotal feedback from our families about how traumatic it can be to go from the reassuring and supportive environment often found in a children’s hospital to a home environment where services may simply not exist.”
“Time and again we heard that families simply didn’t really know where to begin to find the resources they may be able to tap into for additional support.”
“In this context we conceived the idea of expanding the network we already have established in the metropolitan centres to enable our city-based Family Liaison Coordinators to hand families onto their regional counterparts as they return home: ultimately giving families some continuity in contact and a friendly face and approach that they already know and trust.”
“On behalf of every family then who is trying to help their child navigate the daily ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis we would like to thank the Labour Party for recognising this as a priority area to be addressed and for their commitment,” said Ms Tink.