Navigating the early years system can be challenging, and families often report feeling overwhelmed with knowing which services are right for their children and when. The tables provided below can be used by professionals, parents and carers to guide which services and supports will be most suitable for a child based on their age.
Print out the professionals version and stick it on your desk or in your office as a quick reference point. The table for families can be printed and shared with parents and carers for use on their fridge or any place it would be helpful for them.
Housing & Homelessness
Children and Homelessness Factsheet
A resource developed by the Statewide Children’s Resource Program.
Detour is an early intervention to homelessness case management program, working with young people aged 12-24 to explore housing options and or stabilise there housing situation. If you have any young people who are needing support please contact Ella [email protected]
General contact information: Call 1800 474 993 or [email protected]
A guide to engaging with children experiencing homelessness and family violence
Free online training is available from one to four hour modules covering a range of topics, including working with children.
Child Abuse & Neglect
The World Health Organisation defines child abuse and neglect as: All forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. Children can be subject to abuse in their living environment or in an organisational setting.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Australia is a signatory, establishes the rights of children to be safe from abuse in all forms. The Convention outlines the needs and rights of children in developed and developing countries to be cared for and protected by adults. Article 19 states that:
Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally. Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for and protected from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them. Download the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
resources on child abuse & neglect
- Australia Institute of Family Studies – What is child abuse and neglect?
- The World Health Organisation – Preventing child maltreatment: A guide to taking action and generating evidence
- The United Nations – Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Department of Social Services – Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – No one noticed, no one heard
- Developmental Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect: Implications for Intervention
- Implicit measures of child abuse and neglect: A systematic review
Resources on Grooming
- Department of Justice and Community Safety – Grooming offence
- Department of Justice – Strengthening child sexual abuse laws in NSW
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
- Department of Justice and Community Safety – Failure to protect: a new criminal offence to protect children sexual abuse
- Australian Institute of Family Studies – Child abuse prevention: What works?
Resources for Practitioners
- 1800RESPECT General resources about working with children who’ve experienced family violence
- Safe & Together Model This model provides a suite of tools and interventions in a perpetrator pattern based, child centred, survivor strengths approach to working with family violence.
- Working with families where an adult is violent (2014) A best interests case practice model and specialist practice resource. (DHHS)
- Good Practice – Working together to support children and young people experiencing family violence A good practice guide to service integration when working with children affected by violence. (DHHS)
- DHS Practice Guidelines: Women and children’s counselling and support programs (2008)
- Safe and Secure (2013) A trauma-informed practice guide for responding to children and young people affected by family violence. (Australian Childhood Foundation and Eastern Metropolitan Region Family Violence Partnership)
- Kids Central Toolkit A number of tools and resources are available to download for free under six principles: Keep Me Safe, I’m One of a Kind, My Family is Special, Make It Fun, Keep Me in the Loop and Who Else Matters? (Institute of Child Protection Studies)
- Y-Change Resources Berry Street’s Y-Change team of Lived Experience Consultants and the peak body for specialist family violence services, Safe + Equal, co-produced a resource guide to help practitioners better support children and young people who are experiencing family violence.
- Watch Early childhood education: Changing the lives of children affected by trauma This Webinair covers support for young children who have experienced trauma (refer to PowerPoint slides as well). See also programs and subsidies available.
- Watch Attachment Theory: How Childhood Affects Life
- Heart Felt A collection of children’s experiences and stories of abuse, recovery and hope
- Virtual School Victoria VSV exists to meet the educational needs of Victorian students whose circumstances prevent them from accessing mainstream schooling. In order to directly enrol with us, students must fall under one of the five enrolment categories: medical (physical), medical (social and emotional), travel, sports/performance, distance or young adults.
Young People who use Violence at Home
In this webinar, Dr Georgina Sutherland, lead researcher of the ANROWS-funded project “Building a framework to prevent and respond to young people with disability who use violence at home“. The aim of this project is to build a better understanding of individual, relationship, community context and sociocultural factors relevant for understanding young people with disability who use violence at home.
Mandatory Reporting is a legislative requirement for certain professions to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to appropriate government authorities. Each jurisdiction across Australia has Mandatory Reporting, however there is variation in who has to report and what types of abuse should be reported. Mandatory Reporting legislation includes family, community and organisational child abuse, and works alongside Reportable Conduct Schemes in relevant jurisdictions.
Information on the requirements across jurisdictions, can be found on the Australian Institute of Family Studies website
Reportable Conduct Schemes operate alongside breaches to organisational Codes of Conduct. Reportable Conduct Schemes seek to improve organisations responses to allegations of child abuse and neglect by their workers and volunteers. Reportable Conduct Schemes operate alongside of breaches to organisational Codes of Conduct. Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, and Victoria all have Reportable Conduct Schemes in place.
Reporting child abuse
Find details on the DHHS website about reporting of child abuse.
Failure to Disclose
Find information about the offence for failure to disclose child sexual abuse, which was introduced in 2014.
Research, Data & Publications
- Resources from the Integrated Responses to Vulnerable Children forum 2015 A summary and presentations from the NIFVS forum.
- Translating evidence from the Maternal Health Study to inform policy and practice A policy brief from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
- The effect of trauma on the brain development of children A practitioner resource released by the Child Family Community Australia.
- Canadian Department of Justice – Voice and Support: Programs for Children Experiencing Parental Separation and Divorce
- Government of South Australia – Children’s Voices
- Australian Human Rights Commission – National poll to give voice to Australian children
- Australian Childhood Foundation – Children’s Voices
- Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People – Participation and Voice
- Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People – Cultural safety for Aboriginal Children
- Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People – Safety of children with a disability
- Victorian Commissioner for Children and Young People – Safety of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – A brief guide to the Final Report: Disability
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – A brief guide to the Final Report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Resources for Clients
- Love Control DVD and Love Control Resource Notes An innovative short film and accompanying resource that increases young women’s awareness of the early warning signs of abusive and controlling relationships.
- What’s OK at Home (WOAH) A website for young people and their adult allies about family violence, why it happens, how to recognise it, and how to help others experiencing it.
- Choosing Positive Paths This resource offers mothers, other protective parents and/or carers information on how to respond to children affected by family violence at different ages and stages. (Berry Street Family Violence Services and Women’s Health West)
- Through My Eyes Booklet This Children’s Resource Program booklet provides children with helpful information and options for them to express their feelings and emotions.
- KinderTick The Kinder Tick helps Victorian families find a funded kindergarten program for their children. This is the same in both long day care and sessional or “standalone” kindergarten services. No matter where a child attends a kindergarten program, they’ll be learning through play with an early childhood teacher. Research shows that play-based learning is the best way to help young children learn, develop well and prepare to thrive at school. The KinderTick website provides information on Kindergarten programs in many different languages.