Health and community organisations are recognised as key partners for ECEC services and schools in supporting children’s mental health. ECEC services and schools are encouraged early in their KidsMatter journey to research the community groups, agencies and services operating in the local area and build a map to use in their KidsMatter planning. Health and community professionals can assist ECEC services and schools in a number of ways, including:

  • Providing information about your organisation, programs and services available for children and families.

  • Assisting in the delivery of KidsMatter Professional Learning, especially Component 3 (Working with families) and Component 4 (Helping children with mental health difficulties).

  • Supporting ECEC services and schools to develop their referral policies and procedures. You might like to look at this tool for schools about having discussions with families and health and community services when there are concerns about children's mental health and wellbeing [318KB].

  • Delivering intervention at the service or school eg parenting groups, information sessions.

  • Providing specialist knowledge or advice about mental health, managing change, strategic planning, working with diverse cultures and so on.

  • Becoming a member of the KidsMatter Action Team (primary schools) and/or Leadership Team (ECEC services) to assist the implementation process. This might include supporting Group dynamics  [324KB] or helping teams make sense of existing data and surveys conducted with staff and families as part of implementation. For more information about data collection for KidsMatter Primary see pages 17-18 of the Action Team Handbook and for KidsMatter Early Childhood the 'Plan' and 'Surveys' sections of the Tools and guidelines for implementation.

  • Assisting the Leadership or Action Team to develop comprehensive plans for supporting children’s mental health. For KidsMatter Primary read Topic 4: The planning process in the Action Team Handbook and for KidsMatter Early Childhood read Part 2: Planand Developing your Action Planfrom Tools and guidelines for implementation.

  • Offering consultation or playing a critical friend role to support the implementation process. A critical friend is a person who knows the context of the ECEC service or school. They ask questions that are reflective and challenging, provide constructive feedback and offer a different perspective. Find out about Critical friends [582KB].  

What are the professional and personal skills, qualities and knowledge you bring to the external support role?