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Parent and Child Support Program

The bestchance Parent and Child Support program plays a preventative and early intervention role by providing professional family assessment, personalised in-home support and assisted playgroup programs for parents with pre-school aged children residing in the City of Monash.

The program supports the needs of families with additional needs, including those isolated from extended family or community support, multiple birth and single parent families.

The aim of the program is to reduce social isolation and the stresses associated with parenting young children by providing opportunities for parents to become more socially active and to develop support networks within the community.

Families are referred to the program by their Maternal and Child Health Care centre or other health professional group.

Links+

The Links+ Program is Available to families with pre-kindergarten and kindergarten age children (primarily from postcodes 3166-3167-3168-3147-3148-3149-3150). The focus of the group is a child’s language, expressive & receptive communication and social skills development. As well as transition to Kindergarten (3 years old or 4 year old) skills.

“All features of the Link+ met the different needs of our family equally. The facilitators were wonderful. Their concern for our welfare is probably the greatest thing we got from the program. Just knowing that people care can ease our minds. The volunteers and visiting specialist too helped us greatly. They provided much needed interaction and knowledge. Our son is now communicating and his attention span extended.” – Links+ Participant

Why Links+ 
• Deliver strategies from an Allied Health perspective (Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist and Physiotherapist) to meet the needs of the family.
• Provide a play based educational playgroup for children.
• The session provides a parent educational component which provides ways to enhance and support child development.
• Transition to kindergarten readiness skills.

Facilitators:
• Educational Advisor
• Accredited Counsellor
• Allied Health Specialists: Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy and Psychology, whom are part of the Early Childhood Intervention and Cheshire School programs within bestchance.

Group Session: Involves a structured 15-20 minutes, age appropriate language program, using: music, dancing, sight cards, matching and sorting activities. Requiring the accompanying adult to prompt the child to participate.

Second Session:
• Afternoon tea
• Semi-structured play based experiences
• Allied Health available for consultations
• Counsellor available

Please bring:
•A hat and sunscreen in warmer weather.
• A healthy snack (peanut free) and drink for your child.
Tea and coffee available for adults.

When: Thursday 1-3pm
Where: Playroom 9 at Bestchance, 583 Ferntree Gully road, Glen Waverley.
Runs during school term only

Links (Supported Playgroup)

The Links Program is Available to families with babies and preschool aged children (primarily from postcodes 3166-3167-3168-3148-3147- 3149-3150). The focus is to provide a link between home and the community. To support caregivers who are isolated, adjusting to the demands of parenting and are wanting to meet new people.

“ My children love the playgroup, especially the outdoor play area. I have been going to the playgroup now for over a year and it was the best thing that ever happened for me. I’m not judged by other mums, Natalie & all of the volunteers are wonderful, caring and supportive. Natalie and the volunteers provide caring and supportive advice and encouragement to myself and are great with the kids.” – Links Participant

The playgroup involves:
• Semi-structured play based experiences
• Music and movement session
• Facilitated by an Educational Advisor and Family Support Worker
• Supported by mature aged female volunteers
• Counselling available

Why Links?
• Delivers a play based educational playgroup for your child.
• Provides opportunities to discuss developmental queries and enhance your child’s development.
• It is delivered in a nurturing and relaxed environment.
• Gives structure and routine to your week.
• Opportunity to meet new people.
• Supports social connections and builds relationships
• Learn about other services that could be relevant to you.

Please bring:
• A hat and sunscreen in warmer weather.
• A healthy snack (peanut free) and drink for your child.
Tea and coffee available for adults.

When: Tuesdays 10-12pm
Where: Playroom 9 at Bestchance, 583 Ferntree Gully road, Glen Waverley.
Runs during school terms.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands is a program designed for women residing in the City of Monash, who have been impacted by trauma, and their pre-school aged children. The outcome of this program is to enhance the wellbeing of women and their preschool aged children

Health Promotion: emotional support, nutrition, natural therapies, excercise, meditation, art therapy, counselling and story telling
Capacity Building: resume writing, food handling courses, information on pathways to employment and education
Advisory: play therapy, parenting skills, advocacy and referral
Early Childhood Education and intervention: play group, music & movement session

When: Wednesdays 11-1pm
Where: 583 Ferntree Gully Road, Glen Waverley 3150
Runs during school term only

For residents in the following postcodes: 3165-3166-3167-3168-3148-3149-3147-3150

In-Home Support

The In-Home Support program utilises the skills and experience of suitably matched volunteers to provide support to young, local families in their own homes.

“It has now been 7 months that I have had the privileged of using bestchance’s volunteering service and I couldn’t be happier. We have Margaret, a volunteer who comes to my home and spends time with me and my kids on weekly basis. My kids love her and ask for her every day. She is very creative and the kids have the opportunity to be creative (something that I don’t have time for) with her and experience making different things each week. I feel comfortable around her, I feel comfortable to talk to her and do my errands around the house (washing, cleaning etc.) while she is playing with the kids. Margaret is fantastic and I like having her around; I highly recommend her and the program to families who are struggling and need support. “

Our mature age female volunteers:
• Are experienced in the care of infants and children
• Have an understanding of children’s development and behaviour
• Are caring and empathetic with a special interest in families
• Have the ability to follow direction, and work according to the philosophy and values of the family
• Are respectful of diversity, specific cultural values, and parenting styles
• Have a current Working With Children Check/Police Check

Benefits of having an extra pair of hands:
• Provides company, friendship and encouragement
• Monitors your child while you attend to other tasks
• Supports you to have one on one time with each child at a time
• Cares for your child while you are having ‘me time’ at home (nap, reading, bath a book etc)
• Accompanies the family to appointments, medical, shopping or outings

The family is visited during the week at an agreed day and time.
The commitment is for 3-4 hours per week, for approximately 12 months.

Solution Focused Counselling (SFC)

The aim of the 5 sessions is to focus on the client’s present and future circumstances and goals rather than past experiences. The facilitator will support the client by identifying the appropriate services and strategies to ensure these goals are met.

Available to individuals (preferably with postcodes 3165-3166-3167-3168-3147- 3148-3149-3150)

How it can assist you:
• Goal orientated, directed by the client.
• Providing strategies and copying mechanisms
• Awareness of triggers that can provoke emotional difficulties.
• Unburden of difficult situations in a safe and confidential environment

Where:
bestchance, 583 Ferntree Gully road, Glen Waverley 3150.
By appointment only.

Further Information

If you would like more information about the bestchance Parent and Child Support program or would like to enquire about volunteering with this program, please contact Sandra Roberts on 8562 5100 or pacs@bestchance.or

Or alternatively, complete the form below.