Community service directory

School Focused Youth Service: Supporting vulnerable young people to remain connected to education.

BCH’s SFYS is aiming to provide as much information as possible to support school communities through this challenging time. We will continue to add to this information regularly. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance at any time.
  • Joanne Smith School Focused Youth Service Coordinator
    Mobile: 0419 329 026 | [email protected]
  • Rosie Mullany School Focused Youth Service Coordinator
    Mobile: 0459 808 929 | [email protected]

The following information is correct as of Tuesday 31 March 2020. During this time, organisations and information can change on a daily basis so we encourage you to contact providers directly for their current information.

Mental health and wellbeing supports

Here is a comprehensive list of services in Ballarat to support young people during the current pandemic.


The Ballarat Community Health counselling team are still taking referrals and are offering clients telephone or Zoom appointments. Anyone requiring support can access either Generalist Counselling or Family Violence Counselling by calling: (03) 5338 4500 and requesting either the Counselling Intake worker or the Family Violence Intake Worker.


Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit web and app-based meditation program developed by psychologists and educators to help bring mindfulness into your life. The Smiling Mind app is free, and they have a COVID 19 Support page at

Butterfly Foundation for eating disorders offers a multitude of services and programs that provide support, treatment, prevention, early intervention, education and training.
Website: | National helpline: 1800 33 4673

supports young people aged 12-25 with mental health, physical health, drug and alcohol support, and educational and vocational support.
Website: | 28 Camp Street, Ballarat, Victoria 3350 | Phone  (03) 5304 4777 | Fax (03) 5304 4700 | [email protected]

  • Monday: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am-7:00pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am-7:00pm

During COVID-19 restrictions headspace Ballarat is still open – we’re just operating a little differently – using telehealth measures.

Life in Mind is a national gateway connecting Australian suicide prevention services to each other and the community. Their website includes a collection of suicide prevention programs, services and resources.

The Student Wellbeing Hub is a space for educators, parents and students to build safe, inclusive and connected school communities that promote wellbeing and learning.

Youth & family services

While physical offices are closed, Berry Street is continuing to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential services, including out-of-home care, case management, family violence and education, are still being delivered to children, young people and families. Contact the Ballarat office for further details:
Phone: 03 5330 5000 | Email: [email protected] | Website:

Barwon Child Youth and Family (BCYF) remains open for business and is continuing to provide services to clients but some services are being provided remotely.
Holidays have been brought forward for BCYF’s Kindergartens. Term 1 concluded at the end of session on Monday, March 23, 2020, but Wydinia Early Learning Centre in Colac remains open. | Website:

Support for clients is continuing via phone contact. Programs such as ChildFirst and Indigenous Housing are still operational.
Cafs Ballarat – Ph: 03 5337 3333 | Cafs Bacchus Marsh – Ph: 03 5367 9900 | Cafs Daylesford – Ph: 03 5348 8200 | Website:

Child and Family Services have a list of resources on its website that includes information about financial assistance and resources for children. Included is a free link to a Michael Carr-Gregg presentation for parents called ‘Preparing for remote learning’.

Where appropriate and possible, Centacare are providing services to our clients over the phone and via video technology, and will continue to do so.  We are also continuing with scheduled appointments where required, while adhering to physical (social) distancing and other necessary preventative measures. Current office arrangements and contact details can be found here.

Youth law is continuing to provide free legal advice and support to young people (25 and under) during this period, via phone consultations and email correspondence.  The COVID-19 outbreak is likely to cause lots of legal problems for young people including: bill stress, fine stress, tenancy issues, employment issues, family violence, and changes to court dates and processes.

Contact us to refer a young person, answer your legal questions or request a legal information session (via video conferencing):
Katrina – referrals and worker questions
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0407 854 22

Sophie – worker questions and legal information sessions via video
BCH Email: [email protected]
Youthlaw Email:  [email protected]


Disability supports

The Pinarc Parent Support Program will continue to operate.  Please contact Rebecca Paton, Parent Support Program Coordinator | Phone: 5329 1361
Days of work: Monday to Wednesday, 9.15am to 2.45pm.


Food security

For  information about Ballarat food relief services operating during the COVID-19 response, click here.

Vulnerable Victorians self-isolating due to coronavirus with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages. To access this service, call: 1800 675 398.

Family violence support services

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – 24-hour, national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line.

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre: 1800 015 188 or (03) 9322 3555
Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1800 806 292
Men’s Referral Service: 1800 065 973


WRISC Ballarat is fully operational via phone service. Children’s program will continue with support offered to parents via phone.
WRISC will continue to offer information about the Flexible Support Packages. Family violence flexible support packages provide a new individualised approach to respond to victim survivors experiencing family violence. The packages deliver a personalised and holistic response to victim survivors experiencing family violence by assisting them to access support, move out of crisis, stabilise and improve their safety, well-being and independence into recovery.
Phone: 03 5333 3666 | After Hours: Safe Steps 1800 015 188 | Website:

Sexual assault support programs

The Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) provide free and confidential counselling and support for people who have experienced past or recent sexual assault. As well as those participating in or are affected by the child abuse royal commission. The service is available for females and males of all ages, including children. CASA is a same sex attracted, sex and gender diverse inclusive service. CASA Ballarat are still accepting referrals. Provision of support is currently through phone appointments via their duty system.
Phone: 03 5320 3933 | Crisis Care 24 hours, free call 1800 806 292 | Website: | Email: [email protected]

Parenting support

Legal Aid: Covid 19 and parenting issues:



The government has released these fact sheets covering how eligible individuals and households may access financial support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Financial Support for Households
Financial Support for Individuals
Centrelink payments and additional assistance for those already on a payment
This factsheet provides information on what Centrelink can do if you have been affected by COVID-19.




Employment associated frequently asked questions relating to COVID 19:

Fair Work Ombudsman:



Tenancy rights/advice for tenants:


Contact us

School Focused Youth Service – Ballarat, Golden Plains, Hepburn & Moorabool
SFYS supports all Government, Catholic and Independent schools across the Ballarat, Golden Plains, Hepburn and Moorabool Shires. Through SFYS, schools and community organisations work together to support young people from Grade 5 to Year 12 who are attending school, but are vulnerable to, or showing signs of disengagement from school, to remain connected to education. SFYS is based at Ballarat Community Health.


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