This pilot project will provide each of the 24 Child FIRST catchments with a Senior Early Childhood Development Worker (SECDW) who will focus on two key objectives:


Systemic improvement for vulnerable children (0-5 years) through developing and enhancing partnerships between Child FIRST/Family Services and universal and secondary early years' services. This will include undertaking scoping to identify and prioritise local barriers and challenges, developing strategic responses to address the identified barriers, providing targeted professional education sessions to early years services and strengthening referral pathways.


Service enhancements for vulnerable children (0-5 years) through developing and facilitating targeted capacity building activities to enhance family services and early years' practitioner skills in assessing, planning and responding to early childhood developmental needs. This will include providing professional education sessions to Child FIRST/family services staff, provision of specific case consultancy on early childhood.






ForWhen is a new and free parent mental health service designed to help expectant parents and parents of young babies access critical mental health support. ForWhen is a service delivered in partnership with the nation’s EPCs, early parenting, health and family services across Australia.

The service provides new and expecting parents—mums, dads, and guardians—with a caring, supportive mental health navigation service, to guide families throughout the perinatal journey, from conception, up until the child is 12 months old. It is a national support line that connects parents to the right service, helping parents make sense of what parents are feeling and providing guidance and support at the right time.


The ForWhen Victorian ‘navigators’  are located at QEC.  All states are supported by local organisations. They can be contacted at for online chat and email. For immediate support, the free helpline can be contacted on 1300 24 23 22 (between 9.00am-4.30pm Mon-Fri) and in an emergency, always call triple zero (000).


ForWhen is brought to you by a collective of partners, including KaritaneTresillian Family Care CentresTweddle Child and Family Health ServiceQECMercy Health Australia, O’Connell Family Centre, Ngala, Child & Family Health Service SA Health, Ellen Barron Family Centre,  Figtree Private Hospital, Tasmania Child & Family Health Service, Catholic Care NT,  Parenting Research Centre, and UNSW.