Universal health checks, a focus on families in need and more informal access to child health nurses are part of Tasmania's new Child Health and Parenting Service model of care launched today.
The cornerstone of the Service - universal health checks – will not change with newborns through to four year olds receiving their normal checks.
The Child Health and Parenting Service is one of the most powerful tools available to help parents give their children the very best start at life want but everyone must benefit.
While universal checks will continue for all, there will be an increased focus on working with families at risk of falling through the cracks.
The first three years of life are the most critical for a child.
Child Health and Parenting nurses play a fundamental part in a child's early life not every family stays in contact with the service.
Efforts will now firmly be on retaining attendance so all children get the benefits of every health assessment up until the age of four.
The new model of care focuses on early intervention to ensure families that need more help get it quickly.
The additional help may come in the form of a CHaPS nurse or other support service, with psychosocial, post natal depression and breastfeeding assessments available.
Changes have also been made to allow for more casual 'drop in' contact from parents who might have a question or a concern they want to discuss with their CHaPS nurse between scheduled appointments.
This is important because it allows parents to allay any anxieties or concerns they might have without needing to wait.
These improvements build on the strong foundations laid almost 100 years ago when CHaPS began.
Universal screening for every newborn in Tasmania will continue up until the age of four.
The prep screening check will be replaced by the more comprehensive Healthy Kids Check provided either through CHaPS or the family GP.
This is best practice and ensures any health issues are picked up and acted on before the child starts school so they can get the most out of their education.
The Prep screening test will continue to be offered this year as a transitional measure to ensure all children who haven't received the Healthy Kids Check still get assessed. No child should miss out.
The CHaPS service is delivered by Children and Youth Services through a wide network of Child Health Centres, Parenting Centres, and Child and Family Centres.
The Service provides universal child health assessments for children as well as support and practical health and parenting information for families through more than 70 child health service sites around Tasmania.