SRF Program

  • Family Mentoring

    VEYLDF Alignment

    ​Item uses these practice principles: Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Equity and diversity, Partnerships with professionals.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Not applicable.


    ​The Family Mentoring program promotes a holistic approach to working with children and their families. It aims to support those who have recently arrived in Australia to engage with, access and take full advantage of early childhood education and care services. It also assists services to better understand the needs and cultures of children and families, and how these may affect wellbeing, communication, access and engagement.

    Program mentors:

    • provide direct support and cultural advice to service providers, including in relation to the needs of newly arrived families, and in the development of partnerships to support and empower services to be more culturally inclusive
    • encourage and assist families to access, communicate with and utilise universal early childhood services, primary health care and other services, supporting families to understand and engage with them
    • support children’s transition into kindergarten, and from kindergarten to school, and to any other support services required
    • facilitate families’ access to other supports if necessary (for example, support in crisis situations including homelessness and family violence)
    • provide information and education to newly arrived families to facilitate their understanding and access of services including kindergarten services.

    Detailed Costs

    ​Family mentor visit: $135 ($45 per hour for a minimum of three hours; incl. GST)

    Supervision support: $60 (minimum one hour required for every three hours of family mentoring; incl. GST)

    Family consultation (for up to one hour with family mentor and supervisor): $195 (incl. GST)

    Travel outside of the Melbourne metro region: 79c/km plus staffing costs for travel time of more than one hour.

    Implementation Considerations

    ​Target population: newly arrived immigrants with young children (aged 0 to 12). The program is specifically designed for families who have little knowledge of the Australian or Victorian early childhood and education systems, and parents/carers with little or no English language skills.

    Program adaptability: can be adapted to suit the needs of individual families or cultural groups. The model can facilitate inclusion and/or crisis intervention.

    Staffing: services should consider the cost of backfill in determining the cost of accessing this resource.

    Training requirements: no prerequisites.

    Supervision/coaching: provider closely supervises family mentors, and oversees their ongoing training. Provider can also coach educators about the complexities of engagement and inclusion of families, through a second consultation and joint planning processes, for individual or group family mentoring.

    Australian experience: program was developed in Victoria and has been implemented across Melbourne.

    Current best implementation knowledge: the program is most effective as part of an integrated service system supporting families with preschoolaged children.

    Strength of Evidence

    ​Level 4 – Emerging research evidence