Building Strong Foundations (BSF) for Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities services provide a free, culturally safe and appropriate early childhood health service for Aboriginal children from birth to school entry age and their families. The service is provided by teams of Aboriginal health workers and child and family health nurses. In some locations, the core team is supported by other allied health therapists including social workers. The BSF service works with families, parents, carers, and the local community, to support the health, growth and development of Aboriginal children, so they are able to fully engage in life and learning.
Any Aboriginal child from birth to school age who resides within the catchment area of a BSF service is eligible to be referred to the voluntary service. The referrals can come from parents/carers themselves, or other services and agencies (with parent/carer consent), such as maternity services, the Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service (AMIHS), childcare centres, General Practitioners (GPs) and Child Wellbeing Units.
The BSF service aims to support families in providing a nurturing environment for their child, so that the child develops optimal physical, social, emotional and cultural wellbeing. BSF Services can be provided in the home, at the local community health centre/clinic, or in a place where families, parents, carers and children feel safe and comfortable. The BSF service includes:
- developmental surveillance and health monitoring
- health promotion, including primary prevention, health education, anticipatory guidance and support for parents and carers and community development
- early identification of child and family needs
- responding to identified need, with information, brief interventions and appropriate referrals.
Families can get assistance and information on topics including:
- other feeding issues
- their child’s sleep and settling issues
- their child’s immunisations
- childhood safety
- their child’s growth and development
- parenting issues.
BSF services across the state
Services are located in:
- Albury Wodonga
- Lake Cargelligo and Murrin Bridge
- Wentworth and Balranald
Access a map of BSF services
Building Strong Foundations Service Standards have been developed to guide the operations of BSF Services.
Training and Support Unit for Aboriginal Mothers, Babies and Children
The Training and Support Unit for Aboriginal Mothers, Babies and Children (TSU) provides high-quality education and support to the staff of Aboriginal Maternal Infant Health Services and Building Strong Foundations for Aboriginal Children, Families and Communities services. The TSU provides training and support to ensure staff have knowledge and are skilled to provide sustainable, culturally appropriate maternity and child healthcare to Aboriginal mothers, babies and children.