Referral to community groups and supports

Educators can be the link between families and other organisations and can research what is available and relevant for particular children and families. Educators are best placed to know what is available locally, regionally and nationally.

Being a link to services can make a huge difference for the child and the family (Wilson, 2014), and create a bridge to move to help the family cross over turbulent times or when they are new to the area.

gray bridge over green trees

Referral to community groups and supports 

Educators' local knowledge can be very useful for families who have just arrived in the area or who have only just discovered they need a service. You might become the link to:

  • occasional care days
  • schools
  • other early childhood services
  • playgroups
  • early intervention services
  • mother’s groups
  • parent groups
  • libraries
  • toy libraries
  • family support with supported playgroups
These are all general resources that the parents might like to know about.

boy sitting near red table reading book

Each state and territory education department has an agency that handles inclusion support. For example, in NSW and the ACT, it is Gowrie, Include Me and KU Children’s Services for all children. These organisations are building their capacity to support children from service families.

brown bear plush toy on white textile

There may be specific medical and allied health services parents would benefit from, such as Community Health, community dental services, counselling, GPs and health clinics.

If the family are located in rural or remote areas, information about regional hubs might be needed for referral to medical and allied health specialists and screening for specific support services. For example, for inclusion support or disability support services.

round life buoy

Try to familiarise yourself with relevant organisations that offer national support. These might include:

Defence and Veteran families

First Responder

All families

Some organisations can also act as a source of information and referral for specific needs.

It is important to realise that the vast majority of organisations that support children and develop their skills are safe places. However, we need to be mindful of the risk of predators and the need to protect children. To do this, we need to be aware of the signs of grooming and take our role as mandatory reporters seriously.

Non-linked reference

Wilson, T. (2016). Working with parents, carers and families in the early years: The essential guide. Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Last modified: Monday, 18 December 2023, 3:15 PM