Support for parents

We run a huge array of programs to help the families of Darebin to get the best start possible.

Parent education groups

We run a range of parent education groups during school terms. These services offers support, education and the opportunity for you to meet other parents.

Group sessions are free and available to Darebin residents.

Parent-child Mother Goose program

A highly regarded early years program for parents and carers and children aged 0—4 years. The program is aimed at promoting healthy development in young children and positive family relationships. Facilitators will deliver the weekly sessions with families, including fun activities such as rhymes, songs, simple action games and oral story telling. Eligibility criteria applies.

Families who can apply

  • Families living in Darebin with children aged 0—4 years and have a child with a delay in speech development
  • Families with someone in the family with a Health Care Card (or equivalent concession status)

When and where

Weekly sessions Wednesdays 10am—11.30am or Thursdays 10am—11.30am during school terms at Ruthven Community Room, Ruthven Reserve, Corner of Albert and Malpas Streets, Preston

For more information, download the Parent-Child Mother Goose program flyer.

You can register to join the program by emailing the early years team.

In your email, please include your name, mobile number, child’s name, child’s date of birth and how many adults and children will be attending the session.

Email us about Parent-child Mother Goose Program

Brush Book Bed

An interactive dental hygiene program for families with young children. The program will help you teach your children to brush their teeth and practice good dental hygiene. Sessions include songs and play-based learning strategies.

You can take part with your children in the session.

For more information, download the Brush Book Bed information sheet.

Brush Book Bed sessions

When Where
Tuesday 29 November 2022, 10am—11.30am Keon Park Children's Hub, Reservoir

You can register to join the program by emailing us.

In your email, please include your name, mobile number, child’s name, child’s date of birth and how many adults/children will be attending the session.

Email us about Brush Book Bed

Play activities list

A list of fun family activities to engage with your children.

Family Services

Family Services can provide short and long term support to families experiencing complex issues such as family violence, mental health, substance abuse that can affect their children's safety, stability and healthy development. Our services include intake and duty work, information and referral, in home parenting support and advice, case management, linkages and advocacy and groupwork (see list below for programs offered).

Phone: 03 9496 1018 or 0407 102 423 or

Email the family services team

Circle of security group

If you have children aged 0-8 years, this program will help you understand your child's emotional needs. It can strengthen your relationship with your child and help you respond to their needs.

Email us about Circle of security group

Parenting after violence group

A group for women dealing with the effects of family violence.

Email us about the Parenting after violence group

Tuning into kids

A program that supports parents of primary school aged children (5—11 years). Learn how to understand and manage their emotions.

Email us about Tuning into kids

Tuning into teens

A program that supports parents of children aged 10—18 years. Learn how to understand and manage their emotions.

Email us about Tuning into teens

Orange door (in north-eastern Melbourne)

A centralised telephone intake service that gives children and their families information and referrals.

Phone: 1800 319 355

Single-parent families

Single-parent families include families where there may be only a mother or a father, or even a grandparent raising children. These families have additional stress involved with raising children, managing a household, working and keeping ahead of household bills.

We have a range of services to help you:

Financial help

If you're a single-parent family and you're eligible for a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card, you're also eligible for discounts on:

  • municipal rates
  • pet registration
  • green waste collection
  • kindergarten and child care application lodgement fees.
  • toy library joining fees.

Government grants are also available for eligible residents experiencing financial hardship. Grants can help you pay any electricity, gas or water bills that are overdue due to a temporary financial crisis. The Brotherhood of St Laurence and Victorian Government can help you find and switch to cheaper energy companies.

For more information, download the:

Our Maternal and Child Health team can help if you need resources for your baby or toddler.

We also work closely with St Kilda Mums and Big Group Hug to provide essential items for families experiencing financial hardship.

For more information, talk to your Maternal and Child Health Nurse or call 03 8470 8298.

Darebin Community Portal

The Darebin Community Portal is a directory of services in Darebin and surrounding areas. It lists organisations that provide:

  • counselling
  • emergency relief
  • women's and men's services
  • childcare options
  • housing support
  • legal advice.

More information

Contact Darebin Family Services between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday

Phone: 03 9496 1018
Mobile: 0407 102 423

For more information, download our Family Support Services brochure