Services for children

Sometimes it’s hard for kids when parents separate. There are services available to help children and young people who need support after their parents separate.

Supporting Children after Separation program

The Supporting Children after Separation program provides support services for children and young people of all ages who need some help coping with and understanding their parents’ separation. These services can help them to adjust to the changes that arise from separation and to express their feelings and thoughts about separation. The services use a range of age appropriate interventions, such as individual counselling or group work.

Children and young people under 18 can use the services delivered under the program at any time during, or after the separation process. Fees are payable for these services, with arrangements made for families on low incomes.

To find a local service under the Supporting Children after Separation program near you, call the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321 or search Find Local Help.

Children and separation brochure

Children’s Contact Services

Children’s Contact Services help children from separated families establish or maintain a relationship with the parent they do not live with, or with another family member.

A Children’s Contact Service can be used for supervised visits and changeovers when families have:

  • high levels of conflict,
  • there are concerns about violence or
  • a child is being introduced to a parent they don’t know well.

The child can spend time with each parent or other family members in a neutral and safe place.

Use of the Children’s Contact Service may be voluntary, or it may be ordered by a court. During a supervised visit, a worker from the Children’s Contact Service will observe the visit. During a changeover, a worker will facilitate the move of the child from one parent to the other parent. A court may also order a report from the Children’s Contact Service about the interaction between the child and parent there.

The Children’s Contact Service will have a range of toys and activities for children and parents to use. Fees are payable for these services, with arrangements made for families on low incomes.

Some Children’s Contact Services are government funded and use government guidelines, while others are privately-owned and set their own policies.

The Australian Children's Contact Services Association (ACCSA)

To find a local Children’s Contact Service, call the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321 or search Find Local Help.

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

The national telephone and online service Kids Helpline provides counselling for children and young people between 5 and 25 years of age, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It is free and confidential.

Call 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelp.com.au

Vic is worried that her son Jackson, aged 14, is not coping well with his parents’ separation. She uses find local help to find a service that offers the Supporting Children after Separation program.

Related links

Best for Kids - Information for children and young people about family separation, family law and family courts, including about Independent Children’s Lawyers and Family Consultants.

Family Law Courts for Children and Young People - Information about the family law courts for children and young people.

Raising Children Network - The Australian parenting website.

Next steps

Use Find Local Help or the Family Relationship Advice Line to locate services.