Family Centred Care

What is Family Centred Care? 

Family-centred care is an approach to whole child health and wellbeing that considers and supports the environment around the child, including families and carers.  

It’s centred around the idea that to deliver the best possible care to our patients we must also care for the mental health and wellbeing of parents, carers, siblings, and supporters.  

Studies show that programs designed to support families can have the following benefits to patient care: 

  • improved health outcomes 
  • improved nutritional status 
  • improved early childhood development 
  • improved attendance and performance at school 
  • decreased cycle of violence, including perpetration of future violence 
  • increased social cohesion 

Family Wellbeing Model 

We are implementing an evidence-based model of family and carer mental health detection and support through the Family Wellbeing Model. 

The model is designed to support staff to assess and monitor the mental health needs of families, carers and siblings so that they know when, where and how to get help for the whole family.  

The model is a simple, non-diagnostic approach that helps staff start conversations with families and carers about their mental health and wellbeing. Staff ask how they are feeling based on the Wellbeing Continuum (pictured below). Based on their answers, they are provided with different options for support.  

Wellbeing Continuum 

The Wellbeing Continuum is an evidence-based accessible tool that can be used to provide a snapshot of a family member’s, or carer’s social-emotional wellbeing at a point in time. 

The four anchor points range from “good” through to “coping”, “struggling” and “overwhelmed”. The continuum is not a screening or diagnostic tool. 

Family Wellbeing Continuum 


Lived experience involvement 

We have worked closely with Lived Experience Advisors, staff and families to design the Family Wellbeing Model.  

Lived Experience Advisors decided staff using the model should: 

  • give succinct context prior to asking (reducing the risk of shame when reaching out for support) 
  • give the option to respond with “unsure” or “don’t know” 
  • be conscious about cultural considerations 
  • not suggest one child is more important than another; ask about each sibling and the patient 
  • offer a quiet, safe space to chat (provide water, hot drinks, tissues etc) 


Acknowledgement of Country

Australian Aboriginal Flag
Progress Pride Flag
Torres Strait Islander Flag

At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge all people with a lived or living experience of mental ill-health and recovery. At the Campus, we particularly acknowledge children, young people, families, carers, and supporters. We recognise their vital contribution and value the courage of those who share this unique perspective for the purpose of learning and growing together to achieve better outcomes for the Campus, staff, sector, and all people of lived experience.


Proudly supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation