Skip to main content
Information for our consumers – Updated 16 November 2022
The Child and Family Health Service acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of Country throughout South Australia. We acknowledge and respect their ongoing and deep spiritual connection and relationship to land, air, sea, waters, community and country. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Supporting Parents


Tips and strategies to support you on your parenting journey.

With a new baby comes changes and challenges to you and your family’s life. Special moments of pure joy and wonderment co-exist with physical and emotional demands of becoming new parents/caregivers at a time when resources may already be depleted from the impact of childbirth and disrupted sleep. It is important that parents/caregivers find the balance between meeting their own needs and meeting their baby’s and focus on staying physically and emotionally healthy.

Maternal and paternal health and wellbeing

The Child and Family Health Service recognises that families can be any shape or size, including single parents or same-sex couples, and families with adopted or foster children, and we respect and welcome all kinds.

Parenting has been described as the most rewarding and incredible yet challenging accomplishment in a person's life. As a parent/caregiver, it’s important to take care of yourself and take regular time out to refresh, rejuvenate and regroup.

If you or your partner are feeling particularly stressed and/or overwhelmed, we encourage you to speak with your CaFHS nurse who can support you and your family.

Mental Health

SA Mental Health Triage Service - 13 14 65 operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Australian Association for Infant Mental Health (AAIMH)
  • AAIMH assists families, professionals and communities to build nurturing and strong relationships with their children, and to be aware of the causes and signs of mental, physical and emotional stress in infants.
Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA)

Information and resources and information for new and expecting mums and dads affected by anxiety and depression.

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue covers everything from bonding with your baby to spotting the signs of anxiety and depression and Dadvice for new and expectant dads.

If you’re having thoughts about hurting yourself or your family, speak urgently to your GP or call Lifeline Australia on 131 114. If you believe that someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 000 or go to your local hospital’s emergency department.


Social, emotional and cultural wellbeing online resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

Find out more here.

Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE)

Provides support for the emotional challenges of becoming a parent.

Pregnancy Birth and Baby

Parenting Resources

How every child can thrive by five

The size of a child’s brain reaches 90 per cent of an adult’s by the age of five. Early childhood is a time of rapid change – particularly for the development of a child’s brain. These early years are critical for lifelong learning and well-being. Talking, reading, playing and singing with babies and toddlers is so important in shaping thinking and emotional patterns for life and influencing learning, relationships and resilience.

Adults Supporting Kids (ASK)

The Adults Supporting Kids website contains links to help and support parents and caregivers. Search for services in your area or ask questions via Chat 9.00 am to 5.00 pm weekdays.

Circle of Security International

The Circle of Security® Parenting™ program is based on decades of research about how secure parent-child relationships can be supported and strengthened.

Parenting SA

A South Australian government program that provides the community with quality information on raising children.

For the full range of Parent Easy Guides, go to:

Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic violence is the most common form of assault. Women are most at risk of violence in their own home. Physical violence and sexual violence from your partner is against the law. Emotional abuse can be as harmful as physical abuse.

Domestic violence may first start during pregnancy or may get worse during pregnancy. It has been estimated that about one third of pregnant women are affected by domestic violence.

Your safety and the safety of your unborn child and any other children are very important.


For some people, home is not a safe place and restrictions and increased stress during COVID-19 may increase domestic violence incidents. Research has found that there is often a spike in violence against women during disasters where we see an increase in self-isolation and increased stress, which we’re seeing with the current COVID-19 crisis.

During self-isolation you may find yourself at home with an abusive partner, and without access to your usual support networks and/or friends. It is important for people to keep in touch with their friends or family members who may be in an unsafe environment.

If you are being abused, it's really important to get some help.

Safety planning tips

  • Identify safe areas of the house where there are less dangerous items and may be ways to escape if possible
  • Have a phone charged and accessible, with stored important numbers, and a backup phone if possible
  • Call 000 at any time if you are in immediate danger, and teach your children how to call 000 if you are unable to do so. You will have to notify the police if there are COVID-19 concerns at your home
  • Let trusted friends and neighbours know of your situation and develop a plan (this might include a code word or visual signal if you need help)
  • Make a habit of backing into the driveway and keeping the car fuelled
  • Look through our Escape Bag checklist and make a note of things you may need to take with you (for example, phone and charger, keys, important documents, key card or cash)
  • Download the Sunny or Daisy apps for more information about safety planning and services in your area.

Where to go for help

If you are feeling unsafe and need help, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) who have highly trained and qualified counsellors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via phone and webchat, for free, confidential information and support. 1800RESPECT counsellors are experienced in dealing with situations where the person using violence is still in the house, and will work with you on a safety plan.

Mensline Australia

Men using violence, threatening and / or controlling behaviour can seek help from Mensline Australia 1300 789 978 (24 hours) and the Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491.

The impacts of domestic and family violence on children

Living with domestic and family violence is a distressing experience for children. The effects can be traumatising, ongoing and long-lasting. They can build up over time and impact on every aspect of children's lives, including health, development and wellbeing. Find out more about the effects of domestic and family violence on children on the
1800RESPECT website.