Support for families, carers and children
The challenges of bringing up children in the 21st century are very different to the challenges your parents faced or their parents before them. However, there is a wealth of information available to help Australian families and carers.
beyondblue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression in Australia and to reduce the associated stigma.
It is a bipartisan initiative of the Federal, State and Territory Governments.
beyondblue works with health services, schools, workplaces, universities, media and community organisations, as well as people living with depression, to bring together their expertise around depression.
For more information, please visit the beyondblue website.
Child Support Services for Separated Parents
The Department of Human Services can assist separated parents with information, payments and support. This includes providing separated parents with information about the child support choices available. The Department of Humans Services can help by:
- working out a child support assessment for you and the other parent to ensure the child support payments take into account both parents' circumstances, and
- informing you about support products and services which may help you and your family during and after separation.
For more information, please visit the Department of Human Services website.
Early Days provides workshops for mothers and fathers, and other family carers, of children aged six years and under who are on the Autism Spectrum. The workshops provide information about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and about the early intervention services that are available to help.
Early Days workshops also support fathers and mothers, and other family carers, to develop the skills they need to support their child's development every day.
For more information, please visit the Autism Australia website Early Days page.
Family Relationships Online
Family Relationships Online provides all families (whether together or separated) with access to information about family relationships, ranging from building better relationships to dispute resolution.
It also allows families to find out about services that can assist them to manage relationship issues, including agreeing on appropriate arrangements for children after parents separate.
For more information, please visit the Family Relationships Online website.
Helping Children with Autism
The Helping Children with Autism package helps address the need for support and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
The initiatives include support for parents, families, carers and children from diverse cultural, linguistic and Indigenous backgrounds and those living in rural and remote areas.
The Helping Children with Autism package includes:
- Autism advisors
- funding for early intervention services
- PlayConnect Playgroups
- Early Days family workshops
- an ASD website
Children with ASD-like symptoms can also access PlayConnect Playgroups.
For more information, please visit the Helping Children with Autism website.
Home Interaction Program (HIPPY)
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based parenting and early childhood enrichment program, targeting preschool children and their families. The program allows parents to be their children's first teacher and fosters their involvement in school and community life, to maximise the chances of a successful, early school experience. For some parents, it also offers a supported pathway to employment and local community leadership.
For more information, please visit the HIPPY website.
Inclusion Support Programme
The Inclusion Support Programme (ISP) commenced on 1 July 2016, replacing the Inclusion and Professional Support Program (IPSP) which ended on 30 June 2016.
The ISP provides support to mainstream early childhood and child care (ECCC) services to build their capacity and capability to include children with additional needs alongside their typically developing peers.
Services eligible for support through the ISP are approved services (those that have been assessed as satisfying the eligibility rules under the Family Assistance Law and have been approved to administer Australian Government child care fee assistance on behalf of families), including Long Day Care, Outside School Hours Care including Vacation Care and Family Day Care and Occasional Care. Budget Based Funded (BBF) and mobile services are also eligible.
If parents and carers are interested whether their child’s ECCC service is eligible for support through the program they should encourage the service to contact their jurisdiction’s ISP provider. A list of all ISP providers, as well as further information about the program, can be found on the Department of Education and Training’s Website.
Priority of Access Guidelines
The Priority of Access Guidelines exist to ensure there is a fair child care system. These guidelines only apply to Child Care Benefit approved child care.
There may be situations where there are no vacancies at a child care service you wish to use. Some child care services have waiting lists to help determine the next placement.
The system ensures that, where there are vacancies or a waiting list for child care services, places are allocated to families with the greatest need for child care.
Every Child Care Benefit approved child care service has to abide by the guidelines and tell you about them when you enrol your child into care.
For more information, please visit the Department of Education and Training website.
Kids Helpline is a 24-hour counselling service for young people aged 5-25 years. Counselling is offered by phone, email and over the web.
Counsellors respond to more than 6,000 calls each week about issues ranging from relationship breakdowns and bullying, to sexual abuse, homelessness, suicidal thoughts, and drug and alcohol use.
The service aims to empower young people by assisting them to:
- develop options
- identify and understand the consequences of a particular course of action
- facilitate more productive relationships with family and friends, and
- provide information on local support services.
Kids Helpline counsellors are fully qualified professionals who undergo additional accredited training at Kids Helpline.
For more information please visit the Kids Helpline website.
To access the Kids Helpline please phone 1800 55 1800.
MyTime groups provide facilitated peer support for mums, dads, grandparents and anyone caring for children with disability, developmental delay or a chronic medical condition. Socialise and share ideas and information with others who understand the rewards and intensity of caring for a child with special needs.
For more information, please visit the MyTime website.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby provides a range of services that can help Australians in their parenthood journey, from practical advice and resources, to help finding support services including:
- A video call service with a maternal child health nurse
- Help finding local health services
- A-Z general advice on the parenting journey
- Pregnancy, Birth and Baby helpline for confidential advice
- Due date calculator
For more information, please visit Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.