Family support

At Cafs, supporting families is at heart if everything we do. Our family support services cover a wide range of programs designed for families at all stages of life. We understand that every family is different, and we tailor our programs to your individual needs.

Early childhood support

Cafs provides a range of targeted programs for families of young children.


  • Access to Early Learning is a free kindergarten support program for three-year-olds who do not have access to preschool. We work intensively with families at home and with staff in kindergartens to ensure that children can fully engage in this critical year before school.
  • Growing Together Parenting Group provides a safe and inclusive environment for parents with learning difficulties and their young children. We welcome families to come together and learn through play, education and social interaction.
Boy with his parent reaching for leaves in the garden - family support
  • Parenting Assessment and Skill Development Services (PASDS) assists families in developing the skills they need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their young children.
  • Transition to School is run by Cafs volunteers who provide support and early learning enhancement for children transitioning from kindergarten to school.

We help every type of family

At Cafs we help families of all different shapes and sizes. Our family relationship counselling services are private and confidential.

Family support

Our family support services offer a wide range of targeted programs to meet the needs of families in our community.


  • Family services  provide a comprehensive range of targeted services for vulnerable children and their families. Our programs promote the wellbeing, safety, stability and healthy development of children from pre-birth up to 17 years old.
  • Family relationship counselling helps foster the skills to navigate relationships within your family. Our private and confidential sessions are available to individuals, couples and families.
Portrait of a mother and child - family support
  • Post Separation Cooperative Parenting Program or PSCPP is a skill-building and education program for separated parents. We support parents when the conflict in their relationship interferes with their parenting. The program is aimed at both parents individually and is helpful even if only one parent attends.
  • Keeping Families Together is placement prevention and reunification intervention for families involved with child protection.
  • The Ballarat Children’s Contact Centre provides a safe and nurturing environment for children to maintain contact with a parent or carer who is no longer living with them.
  • Dad’s Tool Kit is a proactive parenting program that helps fathers foster the skills to improve their relationship with their children.
  • Circle of Security groups help parents and caregivers to develop a strong and trusting relationship with their child. To foster a secure bond, parents are encouraged to reflect upon their children’s attachment needs.

Children with complex disability support needs

We provide flexible and tailored support for families of children with complex disability support needs who are living voluntarily in residential care or at risk of requiring care.


Our key area of focus is on early intervention to prevent a child with complex needs requiring care outside the family home. We also help parents navigate the NDIS and support children and their families foster their relationship while in care.

Portrait of happy women with disability on spring lawn - family support

This referral program is targeted at children between 10-18 years who have an intellectual disability and/or autism spectrum disorder as well as severely challenging behaviours that impact the wellbeing of both themselves and their families.

CAFS stories

Cafs Thread Together is leading the change in the local community

The new Cafs Thread Together clothing hub in Ballarat is a life changing moment for those who walk through its doors. However, it isn’t just the “shoppers” who are discovering its power but also the volunteers.

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How Step Up helped a young boy overcome violent behaviour toward his mum

Dylan was the last child anyone expected to be violent or aggressive. He’s the quiet one in the family. When Dylan was nine, he started lashing out at home.

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How June and Robert found the right time to become Cafs foster carers

Becoming foster carers can be a life affirming experience. June and Robert always knew that fostering would be in their future; it was just a question of timing. 

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How Cafs financial counselling helped
a dad battling with cancer

When you’re a self-employed dad, being sick comes with more concerns than your own health. With no money coming in, Tony was stressed about his family. 

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Housing Support: How Cafs ATAR team helped a father avoid eviction

Bruce was admitted to hospital for three months, and while he was in there, he asked his adult sons to take care of the home he'd been renting for the past eleven years.

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How Cafs helped Chloe and her family find hope

Chloe was 16, and her young life was falling apart. She’d dropped out of school and had started drinking and taking drugs. She also started stealing and self-harming.

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How Cafs day stay helped one young family establish a healthy bedtime routine

For Bianca and Josh, the excitement of becoming new parents was giving way to exhaustion. They were desperate for more sleep.

Read more
Client Engagement Team 1800 692 237

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Head Office
115 Lydiard Street North
Ballarat VIC 3350

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Cafs acknowledges our past. In the spirit of reconciliation, we give deepest respect to Australia's First Nations Peoples. Their histories, their stories, their resilience. Their connection to culture and land. The wisdom of their Elders past, present and emerging.

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