Introducing the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health: A focus for all health and welfare practitioners


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Content type
Short article

April 2018

With over 13% of 4–11 year olds in Australia having experienced a diagnosable mental health condition in the past 12 months1, promoting positive child mental health should be the responsibility of all health and welfare professionals, whether they work directly with children or not.

Despite the serious impacts of child mental health difficulties, children who experience or are at risk of experiencing mental health difficulties often go unrecognised, lack access to adequate assessment, and they and their families often don’t access appropriate support services.2

In response to this, the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, funded by the federal Department of Health, was launched in late 2017 to assist professionals and organisations who work with children aged 0–12 years and their parents to more effectively help children at risk of mental health conditions.

Led by Emerging Minds, the National Workforce Centre is a partnership of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (Australian National University), the Parenting Research Centre and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The National Workforce Centre aims to build the capacity of organisations and professionals who work with children and families to identify, assess and support children at risk of mental health conditions. 

Online training and resources

To build this capacity, the National Workforce Centre’s website provides access to free training and resources and is being continually updated with new courses and content.

The free online training covers topics such as childhood trauma, supporting infant and toddler mental health and intervention programs for families where a parent has a mental illness. It ranges from short courses that take a few hours to complete to more in-depth training courses. View the training available on the Emerging Minds website.

As part of AIFS’ work with the National Workforce Centre, the Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) information exchange will be hosting a series of webinars and resources focused on child mental health for child, family and community sector professionals over the coming months. 

Learn more

Visit the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health for more information and resources; and subscribe to the Emerging Minds newsletter to receive regular updates.


  1. Lawrence, D., Johnson, S., Hafekost, J., Boterhoven De Haan, K., Sawyer, M., Ainley, J. & Zubrick, S. R. (2015). The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health. 
  2. Milburn, N. L., Lynch, M., & Jackson, J. (2008). Early identification of mental health needs for children in care: A therapeutic assessment programme for statutory clients of child protection. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 13(1), 31–47.