‘Over a four month time period in 2007, the Hunter Institute of Mental Health (HIMH) completed the Early Childhood and Parenting Support Services Scoping Study for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). This study provided an overview of the mental health and parenting support services and programs that were available in Australia at that time, to support families with children from birth to 18 years with an early intervention and mental health prevention and promotion focus.
In August 2008, beyondblue convened a meeting with early childhood experts and invited HIMH to present the information and findings from the scoping study. At this meeting it was recognised by all stakeholders that the service system continues to change and that new initiatives and services have been developed or ceased since the completion of the scoping study report. It was recommended that an update of the information be completed to support the work being progressed more generally in the early childhood arena.
As a result, HIMH was contracted by DoHA to update specific areas of interest from the original report. The purpose of this report therefore, is to present a current service system map for each state (as per September 2009 for some services and January 2010 for other services – see methodology section for notes on these timeframes); and an overview of the current methods of service system information dissemination across sectors.’ (Except from Introduction)