A place for families | ourballarat autumn 2023
Having provided vital services to Ballarat families and carers for more than seven years from its central Sturt Street location, Parent Place is trialling an expansion of its services to new locations across Ballarat.
Walking from Ballarat’s busy Sturt Street into Parent Place is like entering a haven – particularly if you’re a parent or carer of young children.
Upon entry, you’ll find a light-filled space with a play area brimming with books and toys, private nooks to change nappies or feed, as well as friendly staff and volunteers ready to help or provide information.
More than just a safe space for parents and carers to have a break and connect socially with other parents and carers, Parent Place facilitator Angela East says the space provides vital services that help families in Ballarat thrive, such as Maternal and Child Health and family law advice.
“We know how beneficial Parent Place’s free services and opportunities for social connection are for families and carers of young children,” Angela says.
“That’s why we want to reach other areas of the city to coincide with the growth of Ballarat.”
Connections to services
Parent Place is now trialling an outreach program in which community members can access Parent Place services in other areas of Ballarat on select days. VicHealth is funding the trial program.
Angela says the trial aims to support families and carers with young children to connect with timely, relevant support, as well as build social connections.
“While the CBD may still be the centre of Ballarat, the reality is that we’re a growing city — a single Parent Place location in the CBD may not be a practical or accessible location for families located across Ballarat.”
Parent Place partner organisations Maternal and Community Child Health (MCCH) and Ballarat and Grampians Community Legal Service (BGCLS) are also involved in the outreach service.
The City of Ballarat's outreach services provide opportunities for families based in other areas of Ballarat to connect with the services available to them, including access to a free drop-in Maternal and Child Health nurse service.
BGCLS provides free advice on all aspects of family law, including parenting, property and divorce.
BGCLS Family Lawyer Tamar Haigazian says the outreach service is a great way for the organisation to assist more members of the community in a wider area.
The free Parent Place outreach service operates regularly at different locations, according to the needs of the local community.
The outreach program has provided services at the Lucas Community Hub, the Salvation Army in Delacombe and at Sebastopol Library and has plans to visit other locations, including Stockland Wendouree.
The outreach service provides free activities, a safe and inclusive space to play, and the opportunity to ask questions about services and supports for families with young children.
Angela says Parent Place staff are also exploring co-locating with other community services.
“Our goal is to help young families thrive — whether that looks like providing a safe space for parents of young children to build connection and community, or whether it’s the connection with services such as family violence support, lactation consultant services and more.”
Parent Place Services
Parent Place supports families with young children to thrive.
Parent Place provides services and information on:
- Maternal and Child Health
- Central Kindergarten Registrations
- Lactation consultant services
- Family day care
- Family violence and family law advice and support
City of Ballarat Council Plan Alignment
The projects, initiatives, and ideas in this article align with the following goals of the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2021-2025:
A healthy, connected and inclusive community