Supporting children’s families (referral pathways)

Who What Age focus Contact details and further information

Child FIRST ensures that vulnerable children, young people and their families are linked effectively into relevant services and may be the best way of connecting children, young people and their families to the services they need.

Factors which affect a child's safety, stability or development are:

  • significant parenting problems that may be affecting the child's development
  • serious family conflict, including family breakdown
  • families under pressure due to a family member's physical or mental illness, substance abuse, disability or bereavement
  • young, isolated and/or unsupported families
  • significant social or economic disadvantage that may adversely impact on a child's care or development.
Require Parent Permission
All ages

Wyndham 1300 775 160,-youth-and-families/family-and-parenting-support/how-to-make-a-referral-to-child-first


A step by step guide to making a report to Child Protection or Child FIRST
Child Protection

Meeting the needs of children and making sure they are safe in the family is a shared responsibility between individuals, the family, the community and the government. When adults caring for children do not follow through with their responsibilities, are abusive or exploit their positions of power, then it is the child protection system that becomes responsible for taking action.

The Victorian Child Protection Service is specifically targeted to those children and young people at risk of harm or where families are unable or unwilling to protect them.

The main functions of child protection are to:

  • investigate matters where it is alleged that a child is at risk of harm
  • refer children and families to services that assist in providing the ongoing safety and wellbeing of children
  • take matters before the Children's Court if the child's safety cannot be ensured within the family
  • supervise children on legal orders granted by the Children's Court
  • provide and fund accommodation services, specialist support services, and adoption and permanent care to children and adolescents in need

Mandatory reporting of child abuse

Some professionals such as doctors, nurses, police and school teachers are legally obliged to report suspected child abuse. In addition, any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child needs protection can make a report to the Victorian Child Protection Service. It is the Child Protection worker’s job to assess and, where necessary, further investigate if a child or young person is at risk of harm.
All ages

Child Protection (Business Hours)
1300 664 977 – Northern and western suburban LGA’s

Child Protection After Hours Service
Tel: 13 12 78

Victorian Police – 000

A step by step guide to making a report to Child Protection or Child FIRST Child Protection After Hours Service
Tel: 13 12 78 Child Protection After Hours Service
Tel: 13 12 78
Early childhood intervention services (ECIS)

What are early childhood intervention services?

Early Childhood Intervention Services support children with a disability or developmental delay from birth to school entry, and their families.

A child-and-family-centred approach based on a partnership between parents and professionals is at the core of Early Childhood Intervention Services.

The overall aim of these services is to provide parents and families with the knowledge, skills and support to meet the changing needs of their child and to optimize the child’s development and ability to be part of family and community life.

Who provides early childhood intervention services in the western region?

  • Noah’s Ark Early Childhood Intervention Service
  • Yooralla West
  • Specialist Children’s Services.

Require Parent Permission

0-5 years

(before school)

How do you refer to ECIS?

Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) have a centralised intake and referral system for all ECIS services in the Western Region.

Currently you cannot refer directly to a particular service, once a referral is received by the central intake they will contact the family to determine their needs and the family will then go on a waiting list for services.

An ECIS referral form is available through the MCH Service, PSFO service or an early childhood service your child may attend.

Early childhood intervention services contact details

Ph: 9275 7500
Allied Health Services An allied health practitioner is a tertiary trained professional who
works with others in the health-care team to support a person's medical care.
Examples include physiotherapists, speech pathologists, podiatrists,
dietitians, and social workers.
All ages

IPC Health
117-129 Warringa Crescent
Hoppers Crossing,
(03) 8734 1400

Wyndham Vale Super Clinic
510 Ballan Road, Wyndham
Vale (03) 9216 7777

The IPC Health Team (CHT) provides Speech Pathology, Developmental Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Audiology services. CHT services are located at Sunshine, Hobsons Bay and Wyndham campuses.

The IPC Health Team (CHT) provides Speech Pathology, Developmental Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Audiology services. CHT services are located at Sunshine, Hobsons Bay and Wyndham campuses.

For more information on Children & Family services - 

Western Health – Children’s Allied Health Services (CAHS)

The Children's Allied Health Service (CAHS) can be found in the private consulting suites across the road from Sunshine Hospital at 147 Furlong Road, St Albans.

Children can be referred to Outpatient Allied Health Clinics for specific single discipline services including:

  • Speech Pathology
  • Physiotherapy (Neuro)
  • Physiotherapy (Ortho) Occupational Therapy (primary school age)
  • Dietetics
  • Neuropsychology
  • Audiology

A Multidisciplinary Screening Assessment where there are developmental concerns, or

An Autism Assessment if Autism Spectrum Disorder is a concern.

Please note: where there are concerns about an Autism Spectrum Disorder, these MUST be discussed with the family prior to making a referral.

A multidisciplinary assessment is an assessment that is completed by one person in the team meeting with you, as the child's parent and asking questions about all of the different areas of your child's development.

There is no cost for our services.

Central Intake Coordinator, Children's Allied Health Services,
Sunshine Hospital,

Phone: 8345 1430
Preschool Field Officer Service

Preschool Field Officer Service

 The Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program contributes to the provision of a quality early childhood program that is able to meet the diverse needs of all children. 

The PSFO is designed to provide support and professional services.  It aims to build the capacity of early childhood educators to provide for the inclusion and participation of children with additional needs.  This includes local government-funded kindergartens, kindergarten programs within a long day care service, cluster managed kindergartens, community-based kindergartens, childcare centres, playgroups, 3 year old kindergarten or family day care.

The Preschool Field Officer program (PSFO) provides one unit of care, up to 11 hours, to eligible children. 

The PSFO program is funded by both the Department of Education (DET) and Wyndham City Council, who manage and deliver the service with no additional cost to families.

Who is the target group for the PSFO service?

  • 4 year old children with additional needs attending a government funded kindergarten program. This also includes children in receipt of Early Start Kindergarten funding who are attending a three-year old kindergarten program delivered by a degree qualified early childhood educator.
  • 3 year old children with additional needs attending an early childhood program in Wyndham, such as a 3 year old kindergarten, childcare centre, playgroup or family day care. To be eligible, children must be turning 3 years of age before 30 April 2018. Please Note:  As from January 2017, the PSFO Service in Wyndham will be providing service throughout the year to 3 year old children.

Please note - Children who have a diagnosed disability and are already supported by an early intervention service are not eligible for the service.  The educator should seek inclusion support from the early intervention service provider, not the PSFO.

Who are Children with Additional Needs?

The PSFO program defines children with additional needs as children in a funded kindergarten program presenting with developmental concerns.  Developmental concerns may be associated with any area of a child’s development, such as; 

  • challenging behaviours
  • speech, language or communication delays
  • social and emotional difficulties
  • a diagnosed disability


What does capacity building of early childhood educators mean?

The PSFO capacity building approach recognises and respects the expertise and ongoing role of the early childhood educator in supporting children’s learning and development by supporting early childhood educators to:

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to confidently implement practices and provide programs that are responsive to the individual abilities, interests and needs of children with additional needs in an inclusive early childhood environment
  • See themselves as having both the responsibility and capability to plan for all children in the early childhood program and that it is not only experts with specialist skills who can provide support for the learning and development of children with additional needs
  • Respond to parents’ concerns regarding their child’s development.

 Support may include:

  • Information, resources, program strategies, coaching, modelling of specific skills
  • Identification of referral pathways
  • Contributing to recognising the child’s capabilities as well as their learning and development needs.

Do PSFOs work with families?

PSFOs work within the context of the early childhood program.  The PSFO does not directly deliver intervention to a child within the early childhood setting, but acts as a consultant and coach to the early childhood educator.

This approach may involve direct contact with the child and family in the early childhood setting, however, this work is done in collaboration with and through the early childhood educator in a manner that respects the educator’s ongoing relationship with the child and family as opposed to the short term nature of the PSFO engagement with the child and family.

With parent/carer consent the PSFO can directly observe a child in the early childhood environment and contribute to the educator’s assessment of the child’s capabilities as well as their learning and development needs.  This information assists educators and families to make informed decisions regarding referral pathways for specialised assessment or support services.  PSFOs also assist the educator to identify and link families to a range of supports available and assist the educator’s program planning for the child in the early childhood setting.

Where an early childhood educator seeks the PSFO service in relation to a child, the early childhood educator is required to obtain informed consent from parents/guardians/carers for PSFO involvement with their child, prior to requesting PSFO assistance.

Can parents contact the PSFO program?

Parents of children who attend an early childhood service who have concerns regarding their child’s development are encouraged to discuss these with their child’s early childhood educator in the first instance.  Where a parent directly contacts the PSFO program, the PSFO will liaise with the relevant early childhood educator to progress the referral.

 3-4 Years Old


How to refer to the PSFO Service

Complete and return the Referral Form by post or email to:

PSFO Administration

Wyndham City Council

45 Princes Hwy (PO Box 197)

WERRIBEE  Vic  3030



Please contact the Wyndham City PSFO Service on 9742 8199 if you have any questions.


More information can be found here:


PSFO Factsheet:


PSFO Guide:

FMC Mediation and Counselling support services:

Free Financial Counselling

Free Financial Capability

Partially-funded Family Dispute Resolution

Partially-funded Child Counselling