Information and advice for parents

Information and advice is available to support parents and carers.

Anyone with a concern for a child or family wellbeing can make a referral to Child FIRST. Referrals can be made for vulnerable children, young people (0 to 17 years) and their families, including families with an unborn child.

You should contact Child Protection if you have reasonable grounds for believing a child has suffered or is suffering significant harm.

Information and advice

Having a baby in Victoria

Having a baby in Victoria  - Department of Health and Human Services - Better Health Channel. This website provides advice and information about services available to help parents prepare for having a baby in Victoria.

Department of Education and Training - Early Childhood

Department of Education and Training - Early Childhood - the Department and Education and Training’s Early Childhood website includes a number of resources on childhood learning, development, health and wellbeing.  At kindergarten children learn, develop skills, and play in a safe and happy environment.  Find out more about the benefits of kindergarten, how to know when your child is ready to start and to find a kindergarten in your area visit this website.

Additional Kindergarten programs include: Koorie Kids Shine, Early Start Kinder and Pre-Purchased Placement Program. Koorie Kids Shine is for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who turn 3 or 4 years old by 30 April can attend kindergarten for up to 15 hours per week for free.  The Pre-purchased Places helps families overcome barriers to participating in kindergarten.  Early Start Kindergarten provides free or low cost kindergarten to eligible three year old children.

Raising Children Network

Raising Children network - the Raising Children Network website features reliable, research-based material and resources that offer practical information and suggestions, step-by-step guides in areas such as child development, behaviour, health, nutrition, play and learning, communication, sleep and safety.

Early Parenting Centres

Early Parenting Centres provide specialist services for those requiring intensive parenting support in relation to infant health and wellbeing. Referrals to Early Parenting Centres are usually from maternal and child health services, maternity services, general practitioners, Child FIRST and Child Protection. The centres all offer specialist expertise in infant health and wellbeing. This includes a range of residential, day and community programs for families with children from birth to four years of age. They also offer a range of specialised support, counselling, and advice services aimed at parents who need additional support to care for their infant/toddler. Queen Elizabeth Centre website includes parenting advice videos.

Healthy Families Beyond Blue

The Healthy Families website is all about giving information, to support parents to support the young people in your life. Healthy Families also help with new parent mental health and wellbeing.

NDIS

National Disability Insurance Scheme - the National Disability Insurance Scheme(NDIS) provides support to Australians with a significant and permanent disability and their families and carers. NDIS also provides Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) support for children under 6 with developmental delay. 

Disability Services Victoria

Disability Services Victoria - Intake and Response Services TTY 1800 008 149.

  • National relay service 13 3677
  • Speech to speech relay service on 1300 555 727

Young Carers

Young Carers - this website provides information for Young Carers, under 25 years of age who are looking after a family member.  Young Carers is part of Carers Australia.

Carers Victoria

Carers Victoria - Carers Victoria website provides information, support services and groups, and links to resources including Everything Carers, Victorian Carer Card Program, CALD carers and Carer Kit.

Alcohol and Drug Treatment - DirectLine on 1800 866 236

Alcohol and Drug Treatment - for alcohol and drug treatment intake and referral contact DirectLine on 1800 866 236, provides 24-hour, 7-day counselling, information and referral.

Information and advice helplines

Maternal and Child Health Line 13 22 29

Qualified maternal and child health nurses provide information, support and advice to Victorian families with children from birth to school age (5 years old) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Nurse on Call 1300 606 024

This telephone service provides immediate, expert health advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Parent Line 13 22 89

This telephone counselling service is available to parents and carers of children aged from birth to 18 years throughout Victoria.  Parentline operates from 8am to 12midnight, 7 days a week, open every day of the year. Translation service available.

Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 686 686

The Breastfeeding Helpline is available 7 days a week.  It is staffed by trained volunteer counsellors who answer calls in their own homes.  Breastfeeding helpline is operated by Australian Breastfeeding Association.

Lifeline Telephone 13 11 14

Lifeline provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services.  Lifeline is open 24 hours every day of the year. Translation service is available.

  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
  • Mensline Australia 1300 78 99 78
  • Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Post and Antenatal Depression Association 1300 726 306

This support service provides information and support about antenatal and post-natal depression, call between 9:30am-4:40pm Monday to Friday.

Safe Steps 1800 015 188

Safe steps Family Violence Response Centre is Victoria’s statewide first response service for women, young people and children experiencing family violence. Safesteps phone line is open 24 hour, 7 days a week family violence response phone line.