Support for parents and carers

Our telephone counsellors are qualified and experienced professionals with social work or psychology backgrounds.

Who can ring Parentline?

All Victorian parents and carers of children aged from birth to 18 years old.

We also provide a consultation service for professionals. See: Parentline for Professionals

How we can help

We understand

  • Parenting is not always easy, and at times all families can benefit from extra support.
  • Strategies are developed in partnership with parents and carers, who are the experts in their own lives, so parents and carers can enjoy their children and their parenting experiences.
  • Our counsellors provide a personalised and tailored response to each caller, in a non-judgmental way.
"The counsellor didn’t just blab on…. what they said was relevant to my situation. I felt understood."

We respect your privacy

Parentline respects privacy of callers. Your calls are confidential and anonymous.

What are some reasons to ring Parentline?

Staff are available to discuss a range of issues about parenting, including:

  • child behaviour and development
  • parent / carer child relationships
  • education
  • bullying
  • living with teenagers
  • family violence
  • family breakdown
  • parental stress
"I often lack confidence in what I am doing so being able to talk with someone was really great for me. I did not feel put down or judged."

Common parent concerns

Examples where Parentline counsellors have explored strategies with callers include:

  • 'My 8 and 10 year old continuously fight.'
  • 'I am worried that my child is bullied at school.'
  • 'My stepchildren ignore me.' 
  • 'My 12 year old daughter is on the internet a lot and I am not sure what she is doing.' 
  • 'I suspect that my 14 year old is seeing an 18 year old.'
  • 'Child care had told me that my 2 year old is biting other children.'
  • 'I feel like hitting my 4 year old, I don’t want to, but I am at my wits end.'
  • 'My 15 year old has hit me.'
  • 'I read my daughter’s Facebook – she said that she doesn't want to live anymore.'
  • 'My 2 year old has lots of tantrums and I am struggling.'
  • 'I'm worried about how my relationship with my partner is affecting my children.'
  • 'My son seems very fearful and anxious, and I'm worried he's not coping.'
  • 'I can't seem to talk to my 14 year old daughter without getting into a screaming match.'
'I was most impressed that Parentline took my issues seriously. Sometimes I feel as if I am banging my head against a brick wall but I felt I got somewhere after the call.'

How Parentline works

When is Parentline open?

You can call from 8am to midnight, seven days a week, every day of the year, including public holidays.

Are the calls to Parentline time-limited?

No. Calls are not time limited. Parentline counsellors try to give callers as much time as they require.

Is it free to phone Parentline?

Calls from a landline are charged at a local call rate. Mobile call rates will depend on your network provider. If unsure, please check with you provider.

We are happy to call you back to minimise the cost to you.

Can I ring Parentline more than once?

Yes. If your question is about parenting anyone can ring as often as you need.

If the line is busy, can I leave a message?

Yes. If a counsellor is not available at the time of your call, you can request a call back. A voice message will explain how to do this, and you will not lose your place in the queue.

About counsellors

Who answers the phone when you ring Parentline?

Our staff are qualified and experienced counsellors with social work or psychology backgrounds.

Can I ask to speak to a male or female counsellor?

Yes. You can request a male or female counsellor.

Can I speak to the same counsellor if I ring Parentline more than once?

Yes. You can ask to speak to the same counsellor.

Your privacy

Do I need to give identifying information to the counsellor?

Parentline is an anonymous service. Counsellors do not keep case-related notes.The counsellor will ask for your postcode for statistical purposes, but it is your choice as to how much detail you provide aside from this.