Services for Children, Young People and Families
Parents and families are central to children’s lives and provide the most powerful influence and primary source of nurturing, support, connection, security, and assistance for children.
The support a family receives from their extended family and community is vital. We need to value parents and give them the support and resources they need to raise children.
This section of the website aims to link families into supports and services within the ACT to enhance and support parental capacity. It also provides people who work with children, links to useful research and best practice websites.
How will we know if we are heading in the right direction?
- Services are high quality, appropriate and accessible to children, young people and their families.
- Services actively seek and incorporate the suggestions and feedback of children and families.
- Community perception that services, programs and environments are child friendly.
- Services address the needs of children, families and communities who are disadvantaged or vulnerable.
Useful links to parenting services and resources:
- The Health Services Directory is an online tool linking healthcare service information for Canberrans and the people of surrounding regions. It provides a single online listing of health services and the ways to access those services via the Health Directorate's website.
- The ACT Child and Family Centres provide families with information, support and services to help support children’s optimal health, learning and development.
- Citizens Advice Bureau ACT is an ACT community organisation that provides Contact Online, an online database of over 3,500 local community services and organisations
- The OneLink is a service for children, young people and families who are looking for help with the tough stuff, but are not sure where to go. This gateway service provides links to all kinds of programs and services that can support people to have the best chance to stay on track in their lives. The Gateway is also for children, young people and families who might be (or are) involved in care and protection or community justice, and who would like support to work through what’s happening. It just takes one free phone call on 1800 647 831. The Gateway will work with you from there, to link you to the right sort of support, when you need it.
- ParentLink is an ACT resource designed to increase parents' confidence and skills by supporting and linking them with a network of information, ideas and community services. Through the ParentLink website, families can access parent guides, service directories and links to events, courses and activities.
- The Assistance website provides information on ACT and Commonwealth concession and assistance programs.
- Child Youth Protection Services are responsible for facilitating coordination across government for the care and protection of children and young people. Care and Protection services and an after hours service, provide a continuum of service delivery to children and young people considered ‘at risk’ of serious harm.
- Raising Children is an Australian parenting website that provides comprehensive, practical, expert child health and parenting information and activities covering newborns to teens.
- The mychild.gov.au website is the Australian Government's online child care portal. On this website you will find information on different types of child care and how to get assistance with the cost of child care. You can also search a database to find child care centres in your local area.
Useful contacts for people working with children
Below is a list of organisations that can assist professionals to keep up to date with local and national information, events and research on children and young people.
- Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is an independent statutory authority established by the Commonwealth Government to promote the identification and understanding of factors affecting family wellbeing in Australia.
- Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) is a national non-profit organisation working to ensure that Australia's children and young people thrive and their wellbeing is a national priority. ARACY builds collaborations with researchers, policy makers and practitioners from a broad range of disciplines to share knowledge and foster evidence-based solutions.
- Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) conducts research and focuses on supporting and strengthening community-based professionals and organisations in their work with families to bring about the best outcomes for children.
- Early Childhood Australia is a peak national, non-profit, non-government organisation that acts in the interests of young children aged from birth to eight years of age, and acts as a knowledge broker linking quality assured early childhood knowledge and information to those who need it.
- Social Policy Research Centre is an independent unit of the University of New South Wales that undertakes research into a wide range of social policy issues. The findings of this research are made available to specialist audiences and the general public through publications, seminars and conference presentations.
Useful links for young people
The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children is a new purpose-built facility located on the Canberra Hospital campus that brings together a number of health services that are relevant for children, young people and families.
Social Housing incorporates Public Housing, Community Housing and Affordable Housing, offering low cost housing for people on low and moderate incomes, and/or for groups whose housing needs are not adequately met in other forms of housing.
The Junction Youth Health Service provides free primary health care and support services for young people aged 12 to 25 years and their dependants, with a particular focus on young people who are homeless or otherwise at risk. Services include GPs, a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse, paediatric care, antenatal care, a smoking cessation clinic, counselling, youth worker support and outreach programs in schools and to individuals. The Junction supports young people in all aspects of their health and wellbeing and liaises with external health and community services to provide referral, support and advocacy.
youth coalition is the peak youth affairs body in the ACT and is responsible for representing the interests of people aged between 12 and 25 years of age, and those who work with them.
Youth InterACTis an ACT Government funded strategy that has a number of programs including Youth Advisory Council, Youth InterACT Grants, Youth InterACT Scholarships, Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Awards and Youth InterACT Conference.