In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500


Helpful information for parents

Stepping up for parents to help their families thrive.

A Step Up for Our Kids

A Step Up for Our Kids is the out of home care strategy in the ACT. It guides the work of Child and Youth Protection Services when working with families whose children might be at risk of coming in to care and those who are in care.

Under A Step Up for Our Kids the priority is for children and young people to stay with or return to their families. If children can’t stay at home, they live with other members of their family or with foster carers. A Step Up for Our Kids aims for all children to grow up strong, safe and connected.

Out of Home Care

What happens when a family member is in care?

Children's artworkWherever possible Child and Youth Protection Services will work closely with parents and families to try to get them the support they need to stay together. Sometimes this isn’t possible, and children and young people need to come into care for a short period whilst their parents get the help they need. Child and Youth Protection Services will try to get the child or young person home as quickly as possible wherever it is safe to do so. If the child or young person can’t stay with their parents either for a short or long time they live with either a family member or someone who is important to the child or young person (kinship carer), foster carers or in a residential house. The decision for a child or young person to reside with someone other than their parents is made by the ACT Childrens Court.

Parents can always talk to Child and Youth Protection Services about who they think should care for their children and why. Child and Youth Protection Services consider all possible carers and make a decision based on the child or young person’s best interests.

When children and young people are in care, Child and Youth Protection Services works in partnership with lots of different agencies so families have the support they need. The priority is to try and keep families together and if children and young people must come into care that they come home to their parents as soon as possible. It is important that everyone works together. In the long term, if the child or young person can’t stay at home, Child and Youth Protection Services will try to have them placed in a more permanent home.

Useful resources

Working together for kids

The ‘Working together for kids’ series is a practical, easy to read set of guides to help families understand what happens when they are involved with Child and Youth Protection Services.

The guides answer a lot of questions, with each one focused on a different aspect of the child protection process. They aim to give parents and families straightforward, relevant and helpful information specific to their needs at the time they need it.

The guides include:

The guides were created in partnership with the Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Support Service. This service provides independent advocacy, information, support and advice to families involved with Child and Youth Protection Services. It aims to empower families to effectively, and in an informed way, participate in the child protection process.

For hardcopies of the Working together for kids guides speak to:

  • a Child and Youth Protection Services case manager on 02 6207 1069 or 02 6207 1466
  • the Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Support Service on 02 6234 7600 or email birthfamily@redcross.org.au
Supports and services

Child and Youth Protection Services

To speak to my case worker: 6207 1069 (North team), 6207 1466 (South team)

To make a Child Concern Report: 1300 556 729

ACT Together

P: 6110 2200

Australian Red Cross Birth Family Advocacy Support Service

P: 6234 7600 | E: birthfamily@redcross.org.au

Legal Aid ACT

P: 6243 3411 or 1300 654 314 E: legalaid@legalaidact.org.au

Public Advocate ACT

P: 6205 2222

OneLink

P: 1800 176 468 | info@online.org.au

Child and Family Centres

  • West Belconnen: 6205 2904
  • Gungahlin: 6207 0120
  • Tuggeranong: 6207 8228

Feedback and complaints

P: 6207 5294 | E: ocyfs@act.gov.au

Please ask for a copy of the ‘Working together for kids’ guide, Feedback and raising concerns.

Dictionary and publications

Head to our Dictionary to understand what different words mean in relation to child protection and family support matters.

You can also find various resources on our Publications page.