The Parent Connect program supports families with young children with a newly diagnosed disability or developmental delay by providing information on how to access specialists and assessments. It is designed to help parents better understand what is happening by providing support and some financial assistance to help access local assessments and interventions.
Families face many challenges when they discover their baby or child has a disability or developmental delay. If you have a child with a newly diagnosed disability or developmental delay, or you are awaiting a diagnosis, the Parent Connect initiative may assist you in navigating the support system and helping you determine a response that best suits your family.
The primary focus of Parent Connect is with parents with a child (0-6) newly diagnosed with a disability or developmental delay or awaiting a diagnosis. The secondary focus is delivering an early response to parents of children up to the age of 10 with newly acquired or identified disability or developmental delay.
The Parent Connect Program supports:
- the importance of an early response in the formative years 0-6;
- that parents are significant and valued, and are best placed to understand and provide for their child’s needs;
- meaningful relationship building between parents, families, service providers and community organisations
The Parent Connect initiative assist families to access support services and provide parents with the knowledge, skills, support and extra resources to optimise their child’s development and their ability to participate in family and community life. It also aims to complement and strengthen the support provided by families, parents and the natural networks existing within the community.
The Parent Connect workers will work with parents to provide assistance with planning processes to plan for positive future outcomes for the child, parents and the family, and to connect with appropriate services and supports.
Examples of information families have accessed after contacting Parent Connect:
- Parent Support groups
- Playgroups for children with special needs
- Assistance with navigating systems for exploring a diagnosis for their child
- Inclusive Child Care
The 3 levels of service provided under Parent Connect are:
Stream 1. Family Networks provides:
- Information, referral and opportunities for parents to get together and share experiences and ideas
Stream 2. Community Capacity Building provides:
- Short-term case coordination and planning support (up to 12 months) eg, working with specialist to procure a diagnosis;
- Assist parents to develop goals and plans;
- Provide information that will support parents to make informed decisions;
- Build connections in the community which will assist children with a developmental delay or disability
Stream 3. Transition support provides:
- One-off funds to pay for direct service provision including therapy and specialist fees. Families receiving Federal funding under Better Start and Helping Children with Autism programs are unable to access these one off funds;
Services purchased with the funding must benefit the child with disability OR increase the family’s resilience and capacity.
Parent Connect is a funded initiative by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and is delivered in partnership with the Children’s Therapy Centre.
If this sounds like something your family could benefit from, please contact the friendly Parent Connect staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning:
Greater Sunshine Coast Region: Kellie Hickson on 0408 791 211, or
Moreton Bay Region: Madallon Malancioiu on 0408 056 727