Child and Family Centres
Guide to Childrens Services
- What is this place?
- Can any ACT resident use the Child and Family Centres service or do you have to live in Belconnen, Gungahlin or Tuggeranong?
- Can I just drop in to chat with someone?
- Can I have my own worker who can help me for a while with some parenting and family issues?
- Is there a fee?
- What services do you provide?
- What parenting programs do you run?
- Can I just show up to any of the parenting programs?
- Do you run any playgroups?
- What is the Parents as Teachers home visiting program?
- What is the Growing Healthy Families project?
- What services are provided specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families?
- Are you a childcare centre?
- Where can I get information about childcare centres and other children’s services?
- How can I see a Maternal and Child Health (MACH) nurse?
- Can I make an appointment for my child to see the Maternal Child Health (MACH) nurse here?
- Do you have a self-weigh station?
- When are the speech and physiotherapy drop-in clinics?
A. ACT Child and Family Centres are for families with young children in Belconnen, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong. The Centres focus on providing services to families early in the lives of their children. The Centres are part of the Community Services Directorate. The Centres are staffed by professionals including social workers, psychologists, maternal and child health nurses and are designed to provide a range of support programs to assist parents and young children (pre-birth to eight years).
A. The Child and Family Centres primarily support children and families who live in the Belconnen, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong Communities. Parents are welcome to contact the Child and Family Centres for information about services in their local communities and support to access these services.
A. A professional staff member is available to speak with parents and service providers Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, either in person or by telephoning 6207 0120 (Gungahlin), 6207 8228 (Tuggeranong), or 6205 2904 (West Belconnen). This service is available without an appointment.
A: Yes. Once a child and family worker has met with you and discussed your situation, the information is taken to our team meeting to discuss the best option with other professionals at the centre. This may mean a worker would work with children and families on an individual basis, it could be a referral to a parenting program, or a referral to another service elsewhere that may be more appropriate.
All options are discussed with parents to ensure the right response is provided. If parents feel they would like ongoing support and assistance in their parenting role, a worker will be provided to support children and parents.
A. All services available from the Child and Family Centres are free to ACT residents by the ACT Government.
A. The Centres provide a range of services which include:
- Case management (ongoing support to parents with a dedicated child and family workers).
- Growing Healthy Families (community development program and parenting support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents)
- Drop-in parenting hub - intake information to parents, referral options
- Group parenting programs including Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), Lifestyle Triple P, new parents’ groups (ACT Health), Learn Giggle Grow, Paint and Play (facilitated outdoor playgroups)
- ParentLink parenting guides – information and tips for parents
- Maternal and Child Health nurses (ACT Health)
- Midwifery clinics (ACT Health)
- Speech pathology (Therapy ACT)
- Relationships Australia counselling service
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS - ACT Health)
- ACT Housing appointments
A. We run parenting programs from both Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen Centres. Some of these are:
Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) is an eight-session program which aims to improve the behavioural, emotional and developmental difficulties in children by enhancing the knowledge, skills and confidence of parents. The program run from both Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen Centres.
Bookings are required for all programs, except for Paint and Play, where you can just turn up on the day.
Paint and Play is a facilitated free outdoor playgroup operating during the school terms. Paint and Play has a range of age appropriate activities for children birth to five years and their parents and carers.(Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen Centres)
Learn, Giggle and Grow is a targeted program for parents of children under five years of age. The group is for parents interested in building a strong relationship with their children and provides developmentally appropriate and fun activities for children. The group is facilitated by workers and promotes coping skills, positive parenting advice to parents, models positive behaviours and connects parents to services and the community. (Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen Centres)
More Giggles is co-facilitated by Playgroups ACT and Gungahlin Child and Family Centre. It is designed for parents who have completed the Learn, Giggle and Grow program. (Gungahlin Centre)
Parents as Teachers is a home visiting program for children six months of age and under, with regular monthly visits until the child turns three years old. During these visits practical information and ideas are provided in helping parents understand their child’s development.
A. The Centres have been focusing on engagement and building relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people via the Growing Healthy Families program. This program aims to better service the needs of children and their families within the Belconnen, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong communities.
Growing Healthy Families uses a community development approach to engage, support and link families to existing services, including the Child and Family Centres. The Centres have developed a number of initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families that address their own identified needs.
For more information about this project, please contact Gungahlin (6207 0120), Tuggeranong (6207 8228), or West Belconnen (6205 2904) Child and Family Centres.
The Centres have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers who provide a drop-in service and parenting information to families involved in the Koori Preschool programs.
Additionally, all Centres deliver a range of programs specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families that are aimed at: improving social, developmental and educational outcomes for children and young people; building stronger relationships; strengthening community connectedness; promoting healthy living, and providing children and their families with the opportunities to participate in culturally appropriate activities.
A. No we are not. Child and Family Centres can assist parents with gaining information, support to help manage parenting hurdles, connect with other parents and families, including accessing parenting groups. Parents can access other specialist services through the centres to assist children and families.
Contact the Children’s Policy and Regulation Unit on 6207 1114 to discuss your needs about childcare services in the ACT.
See also ACT Childcare Services Standards and the Guide to Children’s Services in the ACT (2009).
The Australian Government’s www.mychild.gov.au website provides information on different types of childcare and how to access assistance with the cost of child-care. There is a database where you can search to locate and access a street view of childcare services in your local area. In many cases, you will also be able to find the service's vacancy and fee information. You will also find links to other useful websites about children's health and wellbeing, parenting and family support services on this website.
A. You can make an appointment to see a MACH nurse through the Community Health Intake line 6207 9977.
Services provided by MACH include:
- baby and child health, development and growth of your baby
- nutrition and infant and toddler feeding issues
- sleep and settling issues
- keeping children safe
- toddler behaviour issues
- adjustment to parenthood
- maternal anxiety and depression
- referrals to other health professionals and services
- immunisation (immunisation is not available at drop-in clinics)
A. No. All bookings for the Maternal Child Health Clinics must be made through the Community Health Intake line 6207 9977.
A. Yes we do. We have a dedicated room where parents can weigh their babies. Just drop into the Child and Family Centres and ask the receptionist to show you where the self-weight station is.
Therapy ACT provides services from each of the Child and Family Centres and drop-in clinics for speech pathology and physiotherapy.
Gungahlin Child and Family Centre drop-in clinics - Thursday, 9.30am to 12.30pm (speech pathology).
Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre drop-in clinics - Monday 9.30am to 1.00pm (speech pathology) and Thursdays 9.30am to 12.30pm (physiotherapy).
Please be mindful that these times may be subject to change. Timetables are also available from the Child and Family Centres reception. For further information contact Therapy ACT 13 34 27.