Helping family members gain resilience

  • By Graeme Westaway
  • 28 July 2023

Media Release – Thursday 27 April 2023

Helping family members gain resilience and thrive - New Children’s Contact Service in Narre Warren

The service supports children to maintain their relationship with their separated parents and family members in a safe, supportive and child-focused environment. It is aided by funding from the Collier Foundation and Living Local Team at the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry & Regions.

Local State MP Belinda Wilson, representing the Minister, spoke to attendees from a range of areas across Family Law and Court Services, the Attorney-General’s Department, family law support service and community providers.

Children’s Contact Service Manager Helen Skinner said, “When families go through separation or experience complex parenting arrangements, it is a stressful situation for all involved. Children are particularly vulnerable to the sudden changes that separation brings, and this is where our service comes in.”

Dr Rachel Bonnici, Senior Research Officer from the Centre for Better Relationships, who devised the service monitoring framework used in the Children’s Contact Service, said, “The Narre Warren service employs an ongoing service development technique to contribute to the wider body of knowledge about how children can be better supported during separation.”

The Children’s Contact Service provides a fun, safe, all-weather space where children can have supported supervised visits and facilitated changeovers with their parents and other family members. The family is assessed initially for safety and risk to ensure standards are met.

“The service and space are designed around the needs of children: children of all abilities, including children with disability, and those from diverse cultures.” said Ms Skinner.

With 35 years of experience in providing family meditation and counselling services at Better Place Australia, families who use the service will also be able to access a variety of wraparound services that include mental health support and parenting programs. The centre is also available for booking by other agencies which may benefit from the better support provided by its child-centric and fully equipped facilities.

Better Place Australia CEO Serge Sardo said, “We are a not-for-profit organisation that is committed to the area and recognises that family members often need additional help to prosper and move through the change to positive relationships. Many families do not have easy access to a Children’s Contact Centre in their area and waiting times mean they are left with little option but to wait or travel further to use a similar service.

“The Children’s Contact Service fills a gap in the area. Families and caregivers have access to vital family services under a single roof in their local area.”

Families wanting to use the service can contact Better Place Australia on 1800 639 523 or visit

End Release

Media contact – Graeme Westaway

p. 0438 318 311.


Better Place Australia is a non-profit that has been providing Family and Relationship, Psychological services, Financial Counselling for over thirty-five years. From over 15 locations, Better Place Australia supports over 11,000 Victorians every year to help them take back control of their lives.

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