Mother and child

Staff talk about Tweddle

Tweddle employs a therapeutic specialised team to support families.  In this interview we talk to team leader Anne-Maree about life at Tweddle and the rewards and challenges of helping families in distress.

 

Hi Anne-Maree.  What training did you do to get involved in this type of work?
I am a registered Nurse and registered midwife, and I have a Bachelor of Health Science.

What is your main area of responsibility within the organisation?
My responsibility within Tweddle is very much a supportive one, to ensure the residential unit functions effectively, with staff working together to provide a calm environment that ensures clients are feeling comfortable and supported.

What does a typical work day look like for you?
A typical day on the Tweddle unit is variable. On admission day it is full on, supporting staff to ensure all family admissions and health assessments are completed. This involves liaising with parents to assess their needs and goals while staying here at Tweddle. Also important is to discuss the option of allied health services with families,   Tweddle offer an onsite psychology and social work service for families.  An important part of admission day is Welcome Group, our orientation to the unit.
 
There remains a priority to offer support and guidance to vulnerable families and staff I am working with on non admission days. It’s important to address any concerns that may have evolved and to check in with families to chat about the progress so far.  It’s also essential to ensure clients know about education sessions for that day and that they are aware and ready for their allied health appointments.  We also make sure that staff are available at these times to supervise children as required.

Describe the types of situations where a family comes to you for assistance?
The situations where families come to Tweddle for assistance are variable.  It may be anxious and concerned parents with a 4 month old baby that is not sleeping, requiring support with feeding and settling their infant. Or it could be a stressed mum with 2yr old twins and a 3month old baby, requiring help and support as a result of isolation and depression. Added to this she may require dietary counselling, and toddler behaviour support.  Families can be facing multiple challenges including family violence, social and economic disadvantage, relationship problems, stress, anxiety and postnatal depression.  Our approach is to look at the overall health, wellbeing and welfare of everyone in the family and the family’s environment.   Our approach is holistic with  a tailored plan for every family based on their individual needs.

Tell us more about the things that you do to support families?
Tweddle supports families through the process of implementing positive changes for a family.  Offering emotional and physical support is paramount. We provide individual and group education in regards to a number of issues, which may include, self care, maintaining relationships, toddler behaviour, sleep settling, breast feeding and formula feeding, and dietary education .

What are the main benefits gained for families from the work that you do at Tweddle?
The main benefits include education for parents around parenting strategies, to feel confident and supported.  Further support may be arranged for home if necessary via an outside agency such as Enhanced Home visiting or Anglicare.  Other benefits include the opportunity for parents to access allied health support such as social work\family therapy and Psychology support and other community supports.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?
The most satisfying part of my role at Tweddle is observing the improvement of the parent’s demeanour, from admission day to about the 2nd or 3rd day of their stay, when they are smiling and their spirits are lifted, and they can ‘see light at the end of the tunnel’.

What is the most difficult part of your job?
The most difficult part of the job is when progress is slower than we’d hope for.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been told or discovered yourself about parenting, families or children?
It is true, that children learn by example, and are a product of the environment they live in.

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