Eligibility and referrals

toddlers hands playing tambourine

Eligibility

All clients must meet all of the following eligibility criteria: 
  1. the child must be under the age of 16 years 
  2. have an eligible Medicare card/number (clients with yellow Medicare cards are ineligible) 
  3. live at an address in the Greater Perth Region. 

Child development services for children living in regional areas are available from local community health centres through the WA Country Health Service (external site).

Clients who, at any point in time, no longer meet eligibility criteria will be discharged. The clinician(s) will discuss this with the parent, and agree on completion of current service plans, and referral or handover to alternative services.

Referral tips

  • Provide as much information as possible on the referral form and attach any other relevant history, reports and information.
  • If you are a professional making a referral (teacher, GP) please discuss your concerns with the family, and ensure that the parent understands the reason for referral and has provided consent before submitting.
  • Describe the parents’ main concern and how it impacts on the child and family in their everyday life. This will help us to decide which clinician will make first contact with each family. 
  • Consider if it is the right time to make a referral. We understand that sometimes life is busy and parents may not have the time or capacity to participate in services at a particular point in time. Parent participation is key in achieving developmental outcomes for children.
  • Let us know if there is anything you are aware of that may impact on a family’s ability to respond to appointment letters, or attend appointments. This will help us to follow up with families who may need extra assistance to access our service.

Making a referral
  • A referral can be made by parents, legal guardians or professionals. 
  • All referrals require parent or guardian consent. 
  • Please read this Referral Information (PDF 218KB) first.
  • Incomplete or overly brief referrals may result in unnecessary delays in clients accessing services.
  • When you submit a referral form electronically, you should receive a confirmation email.

Metropolitan Child Development Service Referral Form

Interactive Metropolitan Child Development Service referral form (PDF 1109KB) 

  • Note: Adobe interactive forms may not be compatible with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. If the interactive Form will not open in your browser, adjust the computer settings or use an alternate browser (such as Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge). 

If you continue to experience difficulties, please print and complete this referral form (PDF 106KB) then send to:

For further assistance phone 1300 551 827.

Child development services for children living in regional areas are available from local community health centres through the WA Country Health Service (external site).

Referrer checklists

These optional checklists enable health or education professionals to provide additional information to support a referral to the Metropolitan Child Development Service. Checklists must be accompanied by by a completed Referral form (PDF 1109KB). These checklists should be completed by a health or education professional with knowledge of a child obtained through direct observation over a period of time. 

Checklists

Discharge and re-accessing services

Families may leave our service for a range of reasons - by choice, their child completes their service plan, or they change to another service provider.

After families leave our service, they can always contact us again if they have further concerns for their child as long as they still meet our eligibility criteria.

Services may end, and families may need to go through the referral process again, if:

  • they miss an appointment without contacting us
  • they don’t respond to appointment invitations
  • they change their contact details (phone and/or address) without telling us and we can’t contact them.
Other services to consider

There are many community, public and private services that support children and families. The right services for your child (PDF 575KB) explains some of these services.

Some families are interested in exploring private therapy services for their child. Private therapy services are provided on a fee for service basis by a clinician working in private practice. Children are still eligible for our services even if their parents also decide to access private services. 
 
When choosing a private clinician, parents may find it helpful to ask:
  • What are your qualifications? What is your area of speciality?
  • What age group do you usually see? 
  • Where will the service be provided - home, school, clinic?
  • What programs are offered? Is it on a group or individual basis? Will you provide me with a written report? 
  • What will the appointment cost? Do you bulk bill?
  • Are you registered with Medicare and/or my private health insurer to provide rebates? Can you tell me how much the rebate is?

Some children may also be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate for a limited number of private service appointments. There may be a gap between the Medicare rebate and the private service fee. For more information, parents can discuss this with their GP or phone Medicare (external site) on 132 011.

The list below provides links to various professional organisations where parents can search for details of private clinicians that may be relevant to the needs of their child. 

Please note that these links only cover the services which we also provide, and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all of the professionals who work in child development.
Audiology
Occupational Therapy
Paediatrician ​

Please discuss a referral to a private Paediatrician with your GP

Physiotherapy​
Psychology
Speech Pathology