Child Services

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Children and Family Services

At Bellarine Community Health we value family centred practice which is ‘gold standard’ in early child hood services. The approach recognises that each family is unique and that the family is the expert on their child’s needs and abilities, and that they will be there for the long term.

BCH therapists work in partnership with families, to ensure that family strengths and needs are considered when providing the most appropriate services. The needs of the child are looked at in respect to their age, developmental stage, gender and cultural influence.
If you have concerns regarding your child’s growth and development, our staff will work with you to get the best support for your child. We will talk with you to identify best activities for your child to assist the whole family.

Our team is diverse. We have specialised staff with experience in working with young children who have developmental concerns. Every member of our specialist team is a qualified health professional who will work with you to: develop your child’s speech, language, play, motor, feeding and social skills; support your child’s engagement in home, educational, social and community settings; provide you with information and support in accessing other services that may be appropriate for your child; achieve goals for your child that are identified and discussed during assessment and intervention sessions

of experience child health and development professionals consist of: Dietician, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologist, Physiotherapists, key workers.

Available at home Services are available in your home or other locations

Our Services

Drysdale

Drysdale Youth

Ocean Grove

Point Lonsdale

Portarlington

Child Services

Child Community Nursing Available at home Yes
Child Continence Clinic Available at home Yes
Child Dental Program Yes
Child Nutrition & Dietetics Available at home Yes Yes
Child Occupational Therapy Available at home Yes
Child Physiotherapy Available at home Yes
Child Podiatry Available at home Yes Yes Yes Yes
Child Speech Pathology Available at home Yes
Key Worker Model - Early Childhood N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Click here to view information about fees



Click here to view Specialist Health & Support Programs

Child Community Nursing

Child Community Nursing

The Community Nursing and Support Program provides high standard nursing care to people in their own homes and other community settings.

This service extends to children and could include assistance with:

  • Wound assessment and management
  • Medication management
  • Referral to other services

Child Continence Clinic

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Children’s continence clinic nurse will see children of all ages. They will work with the family to assess and treat children who have:

  • Enuresis (bed-wetting)
  • Help parents set goals in pre-schoolers
  • Assess and treat for Constipation
  • Assist with toilet refusal
  • Order NDIA supplies through SWEP (client negotiated plan with NDIS)

Child Dental Program

Child Dental Program

Free dental services are available to all primary school and pre-school aged children 0-12 years of age with no waiting list. Examinations or treatment include:

  • Checkups, cleaning and extractions
  • Fillings and fissure sealants;
  • Radiographs
  • Fitting of mouth guards and splints
  • Professional and dietary advice
  • Referrals to paediatric dentists 

Phone 5258 0828 for all dental appointments.

Child Nutrition & Dietetics

Child Nutrition & Dietetics

Our specialist nutrition and dietetics team support your child to grow well, perform well, attain and maintain good health. We can offer advice on nutrition so that health is maintained through all ages and stages of your child’s development and support individual children’s diets to treat medical conditions and related symptoms.

We offer dietary advice relating to:

  • Pregnancy
  • Infant feeding
  • Introducing solids
  • Feeding and eating behaviours
  • Fussy eating
  • Food allergies and intolerances

Some of the speciality areas we provide information on are:

  • Constipation
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • Diabetes
  • Coeliac disease
  • Allergies

Our team will listen to your concerns for your child and can provide education on food choices, assessment of growth and nutritional status.

Child Occupational Therapy

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Occupation Therapists support children in their day to day tasks.  They assist children and families to attend to daily routines and be involved in activities that are age appropriate.

An Occupational Therapist can support your child with the following:

  • Self care skills:  dressing, eating, cutlery use, bathing, toileting, grooming, sleep routines.
  • Hand Skills:  scissor skills, grasp, handwriting, drawing, construction, shoelace tying, doing up zips and clothing clips.
  • Following and completing routines:  getting ready for school, going to school, looking after their belongings, following instructions.
  • Play skills: join in age appropriate play including: pretend play, table- top tasks such as puzzle skills and craft activities.
  • Social skills: learning to play with others, taking turns, sharing, responding to other’s emotions and requests, problem solving in social situations.
  • Sensory needs: support children who may seek out or avoid different types of sensory input through their body senses. For example sound, touch, smell, movement and sight.

Our Occupational Therapist listens to your concerns and goals for your child. Together, we work on a plan to build your child’s skills. We will work with you to identify where the most appropriate location is for your child to be supported and can see your child at home, kindergarten, child care, school and in the community. We can assist your child in a group setting or individually to ensure your child achieves success. Fun activities are presented through play.

Child Physiotherapy

Child Physiotherapy

Our Physiotherapist can assess your child and provide activities and a plan to support their physical developmental.

They can assist your child with:

  • Gross motor concerns, balance, coordination skills e.g. difficulty sitting up or slow to crawl or walk, recurrent falls
  • Joint, muscle tone or nerve problems that are causing weakness or stiffness eg, floppy or stiff body, arms and legs
  • Assess lower limbs concerns including foot anomalies such as limping, growing pains, flat feet, in /out toeing, toe walking, bowed/knock knees abnormal postures of feet (e.g. positional talipes, club foot)
  • Treat head turn tendencies, flat head shape (Plagiocephaly) and or tight neck muscles
  • Address neurological conditions: e.g. cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, pre-term birth, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, ASD, premature infants,
  • Screen for developmental concerns such as curved spine
  • Support early detection of movement disturbances and activities including: poor posture, positions for play in babies (tummy time) and early seating guidance
  • Recovery after surgery or injury.

Our Physiotherapist listens to your concerns and goals for your child. Together, we work on a plan to build your child’s skills. We will work with you to identify where the most appropriate location is for your child to be supported and can see your child at home, kindergarten, child care, school and in the community. We can assist your child in a group setting or individually to ensure your child achieves success. Fun activities are presented through play.

Child Podiatry

Child Podiatry

Podiatrists are trained foot specialists who can diagnose, treat and prevent foot and lower limb problems. Children’s feet are different to their adult form and early intervention with our qualified Podiatrist can prevent foot, lower leg and gait problems continuing into adult life. The podiatrist works closely with other team members and the family to provide treatment through home exercise plans and orthotic therapy.

Children may be referred to this service if they are experiencing:

  • Foot and leg pain
  • Uneven shoe-wear
  • Gait problems
  • Warts and skin problems
  • Corns and callous
  • Ingrown toe-nails
  • Sporting injuries
  • Curly toes
  • Footwear issues

Child Speech Pathology

Child Speech Pathology

Speech Pathologists are trained to provide assessment, diagnosis, advice and treatment for a range of communication and feeding difficulties/disorders.

  • Speech: how your child says sounds in words, and how well others can understand them
  • Language: how your child uses words and sentences to express their ideas and thoughts, and/or how your child understands what others say to them e.g. instructions, questions.
  • Literacy: for younger children, this usually focuses on important pre-reading skills; for older children, we cover a broader range of skills, including decoding words, reading comprehension, reading fluency, and spelling
  • Social communication: This includes your child’s ability to read and understand “hidden rules” of communicating, such as what another person is thinking or how they are feeling from their gestures, expression or actions. It may also include your child’s ability to use their language for various purposes, such as asking to play, asking for help, making comments, or telling stories. Social communication skills are very important for developing relationships and making friends
  • Voice: making sure your child is using their voice in the best way, and trying to prevent any damage to their vocal cords
  • Fluency: commonly known as stuttering.

Our Speech Pathologist listens to your concerns and goals for your child. Together, we work on a plan to build your child’s skills. We will work with you to identify where the most appropriate location is for your child to be supported and can see your child at home, kindergarten, child care, school and in the community.  We can assist your child in a group setting or individually to ensure your child achieves success.


Key Worker Model - Early Childhood

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A key worker is a highly qualified, compassionate specialist staff member who acts as a single point of contact between you and the team. They might be a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, a physiotherapist or an educator.

Your key worker is able to support you with a wide range of ideas and resources and will be your main contact regarding your child and family priorities. These may be about your child’s development, your family’s ability to participate in activities, access to child, care, kindergarten or school or information about other support services. Your key worker will provide you with ideas about how to help your child’s development on a day to day basis. They will work with you and other team members involved with your child to write a Family Service Support plan and connect you with other resources in the community.