Refugee Child Outreach

This program works with families to help them meet the needs of their children in their new country.

A toddler draws with her mother

Families with young children who have recently arrived in Australia as refugees often come from circumstances in which it was hard for parents and carers to meet the needs of their children. Settling in a new country can be challenging, and navigating a complex system of services for children can be confusing. 

The Refugee Child Outreach program is free, and offers:

  • support to  access services such as playgroups, childcare, kindergarten and maternal and child health centres
  • assistance to attend medical appointments
  • play sessions in the home  to encourage healthy parent-child relationships
  • advice on parenting and child development
  • help to access children’s activities in their local community
  • assistance in finding support for children with special needs, such as a child with a disability.

Who is eligible

Parents and carers with permanent residency who:

  • have children under eight years of age 
  • arrived in Australia less than five years ago as refugees, or on a family stream visa, and who have a low level of English 
  • live in Melbourne in the local council  areas of Brimbank, Hobson’s Bay, Hume, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley and Yarra.

View suburbs

  Albanvale, Albion, Ardeer, Brooklyn, Cairnlea, Calder Park, Deer Park, Delahey, Derrimut, Hillside, Kealba, Keilor, Keilor Downs, Keilor East, Keilor Lodge, Keilor North, Keilor Park, Kings Park, St Albans, Sunshine, Sunshine North, Sunshine West, Sydenham, Taylors Lakes, Tullamarine

Hobsons Bay: Altona, Altona Meadows, Altona North, Brooklyn, Laverton, Newport, Seabrook, Seaholme, Spotswood, South Kingsville, Williamstown, Williamstown North

Hume: Attwood, Broadmeadows, Bulla, Campbellfield, Coolaroo, Craigieburn, Dallas, Gladstone Park, Goonawarra (Sunbury), Greenvale, Jacana, Kalkallo, Konagaderra, Meadow Heights, Melbourne Airport, Mickleham, Oaklands Junction, Roxburgh Park, Sunbury, Somerton, Tullamarine, Upfield, Westmeadows, Yuroke

Maribyrnong: Braybrook, Footscray, Kingsville, Maidstone, Maribyrnong, Seddon, Tottenham, West Footscray, Yarraville 

Moonee Valley: Aberfeldie, Airport West, Ascot Vale, Avondale Heights, Essendon, Essendon Fields, Essendon North, Essendon West, Flemington, Keilor East, Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, Strathmore, Strathmore Heights, Travancore

Yarra:  Abbotsford, Alphington, Burnley, Carlton North, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Cremorne, Fairfield, Fitzroy, Fitzroy North, Princes Hill, Richmond


We acknowledge the Australian Government for its valuable financial contribution under the Settlement Services Program.

Contact us

Hume Region
Sian Thomson
Refugee Child Outreach Program Officer
Phone: 9422 5650 or 0438 727 426

Western Region
Stephanie Johnson
Refugee Child Outreach Program Officer
Phone: 9422 5650 or 0410 020 924

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse. Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.