10 May 2017

Better support for families with new child health program

  • Western Australia’s child health program has been updated, based on feedback from families and research into best practice.
  • Purple Book appointments are changing to better fit with key ages and stages of a child’s growth and development.
  • The new child health program will be more flexible, with a focus on offering families extra support at times when it’s needed. 
WA Health is changing its child health program to better meet the needs of Western Australian children and their families. 

The new program, which launches on 1 July 2017, is based on feedback from families, research evidence, and lessons learnt from child health programs across Australia and overseas. 

Child health check appointments (or Purple Book appointments) will now focus on five key ages of growing and learning in the early years – 0-14 days, eight weeks, four months, 12 months and two years – along with a health check when kids start school. 

Child and Adolescent Health Service Chief Executive, Professor Frank Daly, said services are also becoming more flexible, with more child health drop-in sessions and group sessions, which parents have told us are important to them.

As part of the changes, child health nurses will also increase their focus on providing extra appointments and support to families between the Purple Book appointments when this is needed. 

“The new program will offer a better balance of supporting all young children and their parents/carers, as well as offering more support for those who need it most,” Professor Daly said.

WA Country Health Service Chief Executive Jeff Moffet said the new program’s focus on providing flexible services and supporting children at risk of poorer outcomes is expected to have a positive impact on the health and development of Western Australian children.

WA Health, through the Child and Adolescent Health Service and the WA Country Health Service, provides a comprehensive range of community based health promotion and early intervention services for children, adolescents and families, focusing on growth and development in the early years, and promoting wellbeing during childhood and adolescence. 

ENDS

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