Children & Family Services

Each child develops and grows at their own pace. In some cases, children’s development can be slowed down or look different in one or more areas. Many factors can cause this, including pre-birth or birth events, genetics, a disability or developmental delay, or trauma. It is not always clear why these things happen. BHN’s child development specialists are here to help you understand your child’s current level of development, and discover strategies to support their development.

About Child, Youth and Family Services

Professionals with specialised training in certain areas of child development make up the BHN child health team. The team includes:

  • Occupational Therapists – assist in areas such as play, feeding and toileting skills, motor skills for everyday activities including kindergarten and school, and sensory regulation for attention and learning.
  • Speech Pathologists – assist with functional communication, feeding (in the case of swallowing problems), and social interaction
  • Psychologists – assist with emotional development, behavior management and understanding
  • Physiotherapists – assist with posture, structural alignment, movement and coordination related to walking, running, and general body movements
  • Paediatric Podiatry (available at Bentleigh East) – assist with flat feet, tip-toe walking, growing pains, curly toes, frequent trips or falls, sore feet, uneven shoe wear
  • Paediatric Dietitian (available at Bentleigh East, Cheltenham, and Parkdale) – fussy eating, allergies/intolerances, growth faltering, introducing solids, vegetarian/vegan families, nutritional deficiencies

Although each team member has a specific area of expertise, they all can help you determine the right place to start when it comes to supporting your child’s learning and development. Development in all areas of a child is interconnected, and the child health team primarily looks at the child’s health holistically in the context of their family. That’s why your first appointment can be made with any member of our child health team, who will guide you to the specifics of what may be of benefit to you and your child.

If your child is aged 0-7 and has a specific disability or significant developmental delay you may be eligible for funding and support through the NDIS. Please refer to our NDIS Child development services page for further information.

The focus is on your child’s development, but we know that working with you as their parent/family will make the most difference. BHN focuses on empowering you in setting the goals and determining the strategies that will work for your family. In addition to working with your child health team, you can also access other support services like Family Casework Counselling.

How much will it cost?

A means test is used to determine the cost of these services. 

Please phone 132 246 (132 BHN) to find out the cost for this service.  Lower-cost fees apply for Healthcare and Pension Card holders.

Private funds or your NDIS plan may also be used to access some of the services of the team.

How do I access Child, Youth and Family Services?

Families with children 0-12 years who cannot access services through other government funding sources can access these short- and medium-term services.

Child health services can be delivered at home, at your child’s kinder/child care or at the clinic. Together, we will determine what is right for your child according to the goals that have been set. Centers or communities usually provide family and group services.

Services are available 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

We will contact you within two business days if you submit the referral form below.

Child Health Team online referral form

  • Child's details

  • DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • First languageSecond languageThird language 
  • Referral Details

    Tick if you have an assessment and/or care plan and are happy for StarHealth to contact you to obtain a copy. Alternatively, you can attach them below
  • Pregnancy and birth history (if known)

  • (eg. special care nursery, oxygen, jaundice)
  • (eg. reflux, poor sleeping, difficulty feeding, poor weight gain)
  • Development milestones (if known)

  • months
  • months
  • months
  • months
  • months
  • months
  • months
  • months
  • Other services involved with family (current or previous)

    Please list details
  • Please include grade and level

Further Information

Intake & Referral can be reached at 132 246 (132 BHN).