Protecting our Customers and Staff

Challenge Community Services response to COVID-19

Updated: 7 October, 2020

As we continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients, carers, children, young people and employees remain our top priority. We are doing everything necessary to protect our customers and support staff in their roles.

We are closely monitoring information from Australian federal and state health authorities and taking appropriate actions based on this advice. We are also in close communication with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), and Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ).

What Challenge Community Services is doing

In line with evolving health guidelines, we have modified our work practices to help protect our staff and customers. Current measures include:

  • Increased hygiene standards for all staff and visitors to Challenge sites with extra precautions for Supported Independent Living homes
  • Reintroducing business-as-usual working arrangements and face-to-face contact with appropriate social distancing
  • Ensuring employees who have returned from overseas or COVID-19 hotspots strictly adhere to self-isolation practices
  • Conducting regular general health checks and supporting our clients to seek medical assistance if necessary.

What you can do

There is a lot you can do to help protect yourself and others in the community. This includes:

  • Reviewing daily schedules and adjusting activities where necessary in line with government health advice
  • Staying home and seeking medical advice if you’re not feeling well or have any of the following symptoms:
    • fever
    • coughing
    • sore throat
    • significant fatigue
    • shortness of breath
  • Washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds every hour, when preparing food, and after using the bathroom
  • Practising good personal hygiene by coughing or sneezing into your elbow, rather than your hands
  • Disposing of any used tissues immediately, ideally in a covered bin
  • Avoiding physical contact including shaking hands, hugging and kissing when greeting other people.

This may mean you are unable to attend your day program or other community events if you are feeling unwell. Although this may be disappointing, it’s important to follow these guidelines to protect others in the community.

We’re here to help

If you’re a Challenge Community Services customer and have any questions about our organisational response to COVID-19, please contact your support worker, case worker or another Challenge representative.

If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19, or are an NDIS customer, contact the NSW Department of Health hotline 1800 020 080 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

As a community, we can all work together to slow the spread of the virus. By following government health guidelines and supporting each other, we will get through this together.

With best wishes

Peter Maher OAM
Chief Executive Officer
Challenge Community Services

 

Staff resource: Caring for your wellbeing during COVID-19

The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and the people we support is our top priority.

Supporting you through COVID-19

We recognise that these are stressful times for our staff. In response, we have prepared this handout to provide you with valuable information and tips to care for your wellbeing during the COVID-19 situation.

Click here to download wellbeing handout

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

If you require additional support, we encourage you to utilise our EAP, which is a free and confidential service for Challenge Community Services staff members and their families.

Our EAP provider NewPsych is offering
face-to-face (with social distancing) and Telehealth consultations during this time.

Contact NewPsych to speak with an EAP counsellor.
P: 02 4926 5005
E: reception@newpsych.com.au

Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service

However COVID-19 is affecting your mental wellbeing, you can talk it through with a Beyond Blue counsellor. They’ll provide advice and support based on your specific needs.

P: 1800 512 348

www.coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au

 

 

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About Challenge Community Services

Over 60 years ago we were a small band of parents and friends seeking support services for our children with disability. Today, Challenge has grown to be one of the largest community support services in New South Wales. We provide support to over 2500 people from Albury to Lismore, Sydney, Dubbo, Tamworth and beyond. With over 900 staff, more than 90 of which have a disability, we strive to comply with and exceed all standards required under State and Federal Acts.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, Challenge Community Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this country, and their connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to them, their cultures and customs, and to Elders both past and present.
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