Family support

We provide services to ease parenting challenges often experienced by low-income and vulnerable families.

Being a parent can be an exciting and rewarding experience, creating a safe and nurturing environment for your children can be a challenge. A range of parenting advice and support services are available to help parents in their important role. Family and parenting supports include:

  • Early parenting centres
  • Child FIRST and Family services
  • Cradle to kinder program.

These supports are provided by community-based organisations throughout Victoria and funded by the department.

For more information or to apply for a service contact the Child and family services information, referral and support team (Child FIRST) in your local area.

Early parenting services

Early parenting services aim to provide support to parents from pregnancy to when their child is 4 years old.  A range of specialist support, counselling, education and advice services are provided.

Child FIRST and family services

Child FIRST and family services aim to promote the safety, stability and development of vulnerable children, young people and their families, from birth to 17 years of age, by providing case work service and linking families with relevant support services.

A referral to Child FIRST can be made where there is concern for the wellbeing of a child, young person (0 to 17 years, including an unborn child) or their family. Our provider website has more information on making a referral to Child FIRST.

Child FIRST (Child and family information, referral and support teams) are the entry point into family services or other support services for vulnerable children and families. Child FIRST teams are located in 22 sites across Victoria.

The Family services program (including Child FIRST) is available throughout the state and is delivered by a range of services in your local area.

Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program

The Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program is an intensive ante and post-natal support service. The program is for young pregnant women under 25 years of age.