Child and Family Program – Sydney eastern & central suburbs

Programs for parents with a mental illness (parenting courses and programs)

Child and Family is a new integrated service for children and families with a range of complex issues. These may include mental health, parental neglect, abuse (or risk of), drug and alcohol, complex parenting issues, domestic violence, CALD/Indigenous, etc.

Child and Family works with voluntary clients in the short-medium term. Generally most clients will work with Child and Family for a period of 3 to 12 months, though in some cases this may be longer. Child and Family will accept cases with or without Community Services involvement, and families can directly refer.

Child and Family will accept referrals for matters involving a child 0-17 years, with priority for the 0-5 years. There will also be a strong focus on the needs of clients with pre and post natal issues. Child and Family will prioritise clients from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who may be at risk of, or who have become involved in, the child protection system.

Child and Family is predominately a home-based service. In departure from previous practice, Child and Family does not prepare court reports. Child and Family is not an assessment only service. Child and Family does not conduct assessments in terms of restoration viability however, can continue to support families where the court has ordered restoration.

Generally, Child and Family will not accept referrals where:

  • there is a less-complex single issue present (eg social isolation)
  • there is another more suitable services (eg Brighter Futures, KIF or FYL)
  • longer term psychotherapy support is required
  • the family is outside of area (geographical boundaries include all eastern and central suburbs).

Referrals for Child and Family can be sent to or by telephone on 02 8314 9494.

Once a referral is received, a Child and Family Practitioner will meet with the family within 14 days. The aim is to then conduct an initial assessment and case plan with the family within the next three weeks.

The benefits of referring to Child and Family:

  • client centred service with a strong child focus
  • large team of highly experienced specialist staff
  • single entry point to access a range of The Benevolent Society services
  • highly flexible service that is easy to access and responsive to need
  • home based focus for service (although, centrally located office is also available).

While Child and Family will offer clients, where appropriate, after hours support Child and Family is not a crisis or emergency service.

Download Free COPMI Resources

For use by families where a parent has a mental illness, their supporters, and services who work with them.