Supporting Families

Victorian families face more complex challenges than ever before. Almost 40,000 people are on the public housing waiting list. More than one-in-five women suffer abuse at the hands of their partners. Children from low socio-economic backgrounds have fewer educational opportunities, making it difficult to escape their current circumstance.

Through our extensive range of family services programs, we’re working towards stronger, happier Victorian families. Our services help families to understand and overcome serious issues such as parenting, mental illness, violence, drug and alcohol dependence.

Contact us or call 1800 809 722 to inquire about a service or program.

Family services


Child FIRST provides a central, community-based referral point to a range of Family support services designed to support children and families within Victoria.

Integrated family services

Integrated Family Services (IFS) provides specialist in-home and casework support for vulnerable families. The IFS program aims to provide a range of tailored services to strengthen families and improve the wellbeing of children.

Cradle to Kinder

Cradle to Kinder is an intensive ante- and post-natal support service which provides long-term intensive family and early parenting support for vulnerable young mothers and their children.

Parenting Teenagers

The Meridian Youth & Family Therapy

This program aims to strengthen relationships and improve family functioning whilst also focusing on the evolving needs of the young person. Many of the families referred to this program have complex issues and to address the complexity of family dynamics a family therapy approach is used in the context of providing wrap around supports.

Meridian provides short, medium and long term support to young people aged 10 to 23 and their families.

Specialists can help in addressing a range of family related issues such as:

  • Adolescent violence in the home
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioural problems
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Eating disorder
  • Family breakdown
  • Gaming & Internet misuse
  • Grief and loss
  • Parent-adolescent conflict
  • Self-harm & Suicidal thoughts
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Sexual identity & gender issues
  • School refusal
  • Social Isolation

Breaking the cycle

An 8 week therapeutic group work program for parents and carers of adolescents (10-23 years) who are using violence in the home.  This program is supported by research and developed in consultation with families experiencing adolescent violence. The program aims to stop violence in the home. It helps parents and carers work with their young person to keep them accountable for their actions. The program focuses on relationships and communication and assists parents, carers and young people communicate that violence is an unacceptable choice.

    Men’s Behaviour Change Program

    The Men’s Behaviour Change Program is an intensive group program for men which aims:

    • For men to stop using abusive, violent and controlling behaviour
    • For men to accept full responsibility for their behaviour
    • For men to manage their intense feelings safely
    • For men to develop and maintain nurturing and caring relationships with women & children


      Education is an essential aspect of our work. ParentZone, our parent resource centres, offer support to parents through information and group-work, including:

      • A variety of free parenting programs
      • A quarterly newsletter featuring information about support groups, events, family support and professional development
      • A resource library of parenting books, videos and articles
      • Training and consultancy for professionals in facilitating parent programs
      • Information about other family support agencies and resources


          AV’s TEACHaR program has made a huge difference to the education of vulnerable children and young people for almost a decade.

          Education Specialists (teachers) work collaboratively with children and young people, their carers/parents, school staff and other professionals to transform their feelings and attitudes towards learning.

          Services offered include:

          • One-to-one learning between student and highly experienced teachers
          • Flexible learning environments, including home, school or online
          • Variable program length to suit the needs of the student – between 4-40 weeks
          • Support and advocacy at critical times such as the transition from Year 6 to Year 7
          • Educational strategies to manage complex classroom behaviours
          • Assistance with funding for vital education resources and activities

          Peaceful Warriors

          Through our educational mentoring programs Peaceful Warriors, we help socially disadvantaged boys navigate the challenging journey from adolescence to manhood.

          Family violence

          Whenever issues of violence or abuse arise in families, the first step is to ensure that every family member is safe and protected from harm. Once that is achieved, counsellors and support workers can educate and equip families with new skills to help them move forward in a positive way.

          We provide a range of protection services addressing both adult family violence and adolescent family violence, with a primary focus on the safety of women and children.