The Baby BridgesTM idea was born several years ago. A Horizon Foundation staff member, Geraldine McKinnon was at a football match where she had a conversation with a parent of a young child with a disability. The parent explained how little information and assistance there was and that she really had no support in caring for her child. Geraldine considered this and started putting together a concept that would bridge the gap for parents of babies and young children with a disability.
Many years later in 2006 Baby BridgesTM was piloted. Horizon Foundation first delivered Baby Bridges after receiving a grant from Commonwealth Carers Respite Centre Brisbane South (FSG Australia) and then delivered the program in partnership with My Time (Playgroup Queensland).
After a successful pilot of Baby BridgesTM in the Redland Shire of Brisbane, Horizon Foundation were granted funding for development of a business plan to develop and expand Baby BridgesTM by using a Social Franchise Model. We then invited the State Minister for the Dep. of Communities to attend Baby BridgesTM and meet some of the participants. This was a great opportunity for the Minister to see first-hand the benefits of Baby BridgesTM to both the children and their parents. A short time after this visit Baby BridgesTM was granted funding to expand across Queensland from 2011-2013.
Baby Bridges has been launched in 3 stages. In 2011, 5 locations across Brisbane were opened. By August 2012 an additional 5 sites were opened in regional Queensland. The 3rd stage will see further expansion to ensure maximium coverage across the State.
The aim is to make Baby BridgesTM accessible to as many children and their parents in Queensland as possible.
Baby BridgesTM will also use technology to enable access for people in remote locations. This will be done via the use of existing technology such as video conferencing. All families will have access to our website where there will be resources and information available.