Telehealth gives a voice to silent and vulnerable children

3 April 2020





Leading child protection organisation Act for Kids has quickly embraced telephone and online consultations to support children at the rising risk of abuse and neglect during the coronavirus lockdown.

Rather than scale back its traditional face-to-face services, Act for Kids embraced technology to support families under pressure and at risk of child abuse and neglect.

Sadly, 95% of children who suffer abuse are harmed by someone in a position of love and trust – often by a family member. Now, as families are being forced to stay at home during times of extreme stress and anxiety, online telehealth services are vital in providing children with access to safe adults.

Telehealth is connecting our therapists with children during a time when we are asked to physically distance ourselves, while maintaining social contact for welling and mental health.

Act for Kids CEO Dr Neil Carrington said it’s imperative we continue to protect and support vulnerable kids and families through this tough time.

“In Australia, there are far too many children that live in homes where they do not feel safe and they are not safe. Sadly, the risk to our children experiencing abuse and neglect during these stressful and uncertain times is high.”

“Right now, our work is especially important, and we need your help to make sure we can deliver life-changing services through telehealth to as many at risk children as possible.”

“Together, we can give vulnerable children a voice,” Dr Carrington said.

The life-saving work of Act for Kids’ therapists is now being offered to children and families in their homes over the phone and online.

In just one week, Act for Kids has transitioned key centres to telehealth services:

Service Centre Program % Telehealth % Face-to-Face
Cairns Family and Child Connect 80 20
  Intensive Family Support 70 30
  Therapy Services 90 10
Townsville Assessment and Service Connect 70 30
  Therapy and Education Services 90 10
Mackay Family and Child Connect 80 20
  Assessment and Service Connect 70 30
Brisbane Therapy Services 100 0
Gold Coast Family and Child Connect 80 20
  Assessment and Service Connect 70 30
  Intensive Family Support 70 30
  Sexual Abuse Counselling Service 100 0
Toowoomba Intensive Family Support 60 40


New figures released in the latest Child Protection Australia report reveals that in one year alone, 170,200 children in Australia received child protection services. That’s one in 33 children who have suffered abuse or neglect, are unable to live safely at home, or whose parents are struggling and need extra support.

Dr Neil Carrington said these figures are concerning and only highlight the urgent need for our services across the nation.

“With COVID-19 putting extraordinary pressures on families, the number of parents and carers who are unable to cope is only going to rise.”

“We need your help to reach out to as many isolated children through telehealth as we can.”

“Donate today to help Act for Kids heal little hearts and minds right around the country,” Dr Carrington said.

Being isolated doesn’t mean you are alone. If you would like to help Act for Kids connect with more children, please visit actforkids.com/telehealthdonate.