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Forest Lodge Child and Family Health Centre offers services in the community

New centre to help families thrive

May 2019

Forest Lodge Child and Family Health Centre offers services in the community

Forest Lodge Child and Family Health Centre offers services in the community

The doors are now open at our new Child and Family Health Centre at Forest Lodge.

“Good health in the early years can really set children up for life,” Miranda Shaw, General Manager of Community Health Services at Sydney Local Health District said

“We are able to provide children with the nursing, medical and allied health services that they need to be able to thrive.”

The purpose-built centre provides a range of services to support children and their families from antenatal care through birth to 12 years of age.

“One of the great things we do is provide services in the community.

“Families don’t have to travel into hospitals, into very clinical environments. They can come to their local Child and Family Health Service site.    

“We have 16 sites across the District. And, this new site is at Forest Lodge,” she said.

At the Forest Lodge centre:

  • Midwives provide antenatal care to women during pregnancy for physical check-ups and to assess the baby’s growth and wellbeing
  • Nurses provide health and developmental checks for babies and children plus support, education and information about parenting
  • Paediatrians provide medical assessments for children to help families to learn more about their child’s physical health, growth and emotional health and development
  • Dieticians offer advice about child nutrition, healthy weight ranges, and common nutrition issues like iron deficiency anaemia and cow’s milk protein intolerance
  • Psychologists and social workers provide treatment for children who have difficulty with emotions, social functioning or behaviour
  • Occupational therapists provide assessment and treatment for children who have difficulty with everyday activities like play, self-care, handwriting and getting dressed
  • Physiotherapists provide assessment and treatment for babies and children who have difficulty with the development movement, balance and coordination
  • Speech pathologists provide assessment and treatment for children who have difficulty with communication and feeding
  • Orthoptists offer assessment to identify, diagnose and manage eye and vision disorders

The centre is a key way the District delivers its program of services and resources to support the development of children and their families.

“Healthy children start with healthy families. The first 2000 days of life is imperative. It’s so important for the outcomes for children,” Lou-Anne Blunden, Executive Director for Clinical Services Integration and Population Health, said.

“We’ve embedded the centre in the community… so that people want to come and be part of the service,” she said.

The District has a long history of providing care in the community for families.

The first early childhood clinic in NSW was established at Alexandria in the District in 1914 followed by Newtown later that year.

Now, more than 100 years later, evidence still shows that good health in the first years of life can have a lasting impact on the health of people for the rest of life.

The District’s Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson AM officially opened the centre.

As part of the celebrations, our clinical experts answered questions about child health and development and about the services provided at the centre.

Sydney children’s author Susanne Gervay read from her picture book Elephants Have Wings and Chloe Jasmine Harris read from her debut book Maple the Brave. Children also had the opportunity to decorate a book swap box made by Redfern Community Men’s Shed or have their face painted.

The focal point of the new centre is an Indigenous mural by artist Lee Hampton called Getting Better Together.

“In Sydney Local Health District, we have made a commitment to having the healthiest Aboriginal community in Australia,” Dr Anderson said.

“As part of that commitment we continue to build partnerships and ensure our health services are culturally appropriate and welcoming for our communities and their families.

“The centre has been purposefully designed to meet the needs of families and to support our clinicians to provide the best care possible,” she said.     

To find out more information on the right service for your family please contact the Child Health Information Link (CHIL) on (02) 9562 5400 from 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday or see

Interpreter services are available on request.

To view the image gallery, please click here.

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Page Last Updated: 27 May, 2020