The primary purpose of Child FIRST is to ensure that children, young people and their families who are experiencing difficulties are linked effectively into relevant services.

If you have concerns for the wellbeing of a child and there are no immediate risks requiring protection, please telephone Child FIRST on 5152 0013.

If your concerns are about physical or sexual abuse, or if there are risks that indicate the child is in need of protection, please telephone Child Protection on 1300 655 795.

The Child FIRST program at Gippsland Lakes Complete Health is a centralised entry point for children, families and professionals to access information about the support services available to families in the East Gippsland area.

The Child FIRST program specifically aims to help families who need assistance with the care and wellbeing of their children to access the services they need.

For families requiring more comprehensive support, our practitioners will listen to your story, provide information and give support to navigate and link to appropriate services to respond to the families identified needs.

Child FIRST can link you to specialist services such as:

• Intensive family support services
• Mental health support for children and adults
• AOD Counselling
• Family violence support services
• Family relationship counselling
• Financial counselling
• Gambler’s Help
• Legal advice
• Early childhood education including child care, preschool and play groups

Referrals are suggested with the goal of improving parent/carer capacity to better understand a child’s needs and build strong family relationships. The focus of all Child FIRST work is to improve safety and stability for children and ensure they have access to environments that support their development and wellbeing.

Child FIRST takes referrals for families with children/young people aged between 0-18 years of age including pre-birth who reside in East Gippsland.

Child FIRST embraces that the term ’family’ has many different meanings and incorporates varied and alternative living arrangements. We do not define family; we support your family as defined by you.