Child health services aim to promote improved health outcomes for babies, young children and their families across Western Australia through the provision of universal and targeted prevention, early identification and intervention community health services. The universal community child health service begins with child health nurse contact with all mothers with new babies and additional contacts at the critical points in the child's development throughout the first four years. It is a vital entry point for families with young children into health and social services and a unique opportunity to improve outcomes for families experiencing difficulty in caring for their children.
Community health nurses in Western Australia offer all children aged 0-6 years universal child health and developmental assessments.
Acknowledging that parents are the best source of information about their own children, the Parent Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS), a parent completed screening tool, is offered to all parents and caregivers of children at the 3-4 months, 8 months, 18 months and three year old child health assessments, and again at school entry (4 to 6 year olds).
The PEDS is a ten item questionnaire and only takes a few minutes to complete. It asks parents to identify any concerns they have about their child’s development. The information gathered helps the nurse gain a better understanding of the progress of each child.
Depending on the outcome of the PEDS and clinical assessment the nurse might suggest that parents complete a more detailed child developmental questionnaire called the Ages and Stages, or they might offer a referral to specialist services.
Further information on the PEDS questionnaire can be accessed at:
Further information on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire can be accessed at:
For more details regarding child developmental assessments please contact your local child or school health nurse.
School health services aim to promote improved health outcomes for school aged children and young people through universal and targeted prevention, health promotion, early identification and intervention. Services are provided on site and in collaboration with public and private schools. The Department of Education and Training is a joint funder of the program. Universal health assessments at school entry, support to children in school with particular health needs, access to health care for adolescents and health promotion for all students are key elements of the program.
The metropolitan Child Development Service provides a range of assessment, early intervention and treatment services to children with or at risk of developmental disorders and delay. Child development services also play a key role in health prevention and promotion through the delivery of community education, professional development and the delivery of universal prevention programs. Child development services in WA are important referral points from universal and specialist health service providers.
At risk services specifically focus on children, adolescents, young people and their families who are socially and economically disadvantaged. These special focus groups include migrants, refugees, culturally and linguistically diverse groups and Aboriginal people. Services include health surveillance; universal and targeted prevention, early identification and intervention, health promotion and education to improve health outcomes; disease control; health care advice and specific family health programs. School health services and the joint Commonwealth - State Innovation Health services for Homeless Youth (IHSHY) program are the major service delivery vehicle for young people.
Health promotion and community development aims to facilitate community engagement and action to create healthy and sustainable environments and communities for children and their families. Health promotion practitioners work in partnership with community nursing staff, the community and local agencies to deliver health promotion initiatives in response to community needs.
Policy development and evaluation encompasses the use of information and research, and the strategic engagement with consumers and stakeholders, to ensure the business of Child and Adolescent Community Health is evidence based, relevant to the needs of the WA community and consistent with the strategic directions of WA health.
Service development and service support provides support in workforce planning and development, data collection/analysis, strategic planning, service evaluation, operational policy development, program management, information provision and business support functions, with the aim of supporting and strengthening the service delivery component of CACH. A number of these services are provided across the State while others focus primarily on the metropolitan area.