Ellen Barron Family Centre:

The Ellen Barron Family Centre is a 20 bed early parenting centre situated in Chermside, a northern suburb of Brisbane. It was named after one of the first child health nurses in Queensland. EBFC caters for parents and their children aged up to three years. Support is provided by child health nurses, paediatricians, social workers and a psychologist. Families can be admitted to EBFC for a 4-5 day residential stay to help with problems relating to settling and sleep, feeding and eating, behaviour and general parenting support. There is also a longer 10 day programme which is designed to offer a more intensive form of parenting support. EBFC is a free service to Medicare Card holders. Referral from a child health nurse, social worker or doctor is required for admission.

EBFC offers a comprehensive education programme which has been designed to cover a diverse range of parenting related topics. Nutrition and feeding, sleep and settling, safety, common medical conditions, play, relaxation and stress management are included. Fathers are welcome to attend any of the education sessions, in particular a specific group tailored for dads which acknowledges the importance of their role in the family.

Contact Details for EBFC:

Ellen Barron Family Centre
C/o The Prince Charles Hospital
Rode Road Chermside
07 31396500 [email protected]

Ellen Barron Family Centre is part of the Community Child Health Service within the Children’s Health Service District of Brisbane. EBFC works closely with the community Child Health Centres which are located throughout Queensland and Brisbane. The Child Health Centres provide support to parents with children aged from birth to 12 years of age.

The three main Northside Brisbane clinics are located at:

  • Eastern Suburbs: clinics at Brighton, Chermside, Fortitude Valley, Nundah & Zillmere. Contact number: 3359 0876 or 1300 366039.
  • Western Suburbs: clinics at Keperra, Ferny Hills, Paddington & Alderley.
  • Contact Number: 3355 4144 or 1300 366039.
    Northern Suburbs: clinics at Strathpine, Albany Creek, Dayboro & Kallangur
    Contact Number: 3205 2453 or 1300 366039
  • School-based Youth Health: 3360 4880

Southside Health Services are located at:

  • Beaudesert Contact Number: 5541 9263
  • Beeleigh Contact Number: 3827 9833
  • Browns Plains Contact Number: 3387 5320
  • Jimboomba Contact Number: 5547 9713
  • Logan Central Contact Number: 3290 8900
  • Springwood Contact Number: 3387 5319
  • Coorparoo Community Child Health Centre: 3847 0902
  • Inala Community Health Centre 3275 5460

Services Offered by The Child Health Centres Include:

  • Support, advice and education to parents on feeding and settling, adjustment to parenting, behaviour management, immunisation and general post-natal support.
  • An early feeding support service is located at some child health centres. These generally cater for younger babies in the early stages of establishing breast feeding.
  • A longer consultation is available for babies aged to six months at the Infant Feeding Support Programs.
  • A home visiting service is provided to parents who have complex needs and all first time parents.
  • Health assessments, which include vision and hearing and growth and developmental assessments.
  • Tripe P (Positive Parenting Program) sessions are run for parents and caregivers.
  • The 24 hour telephone advisory service is no longer offered by EBFC. Parents can ring 13HEALTH or 13 43 25 84 to receive advice on a full range of parenting issues. This is a free service.

Settling Techniques Suggested by EBFC:

  • Every family is encouraged to develop their own settling goals. What works for one family may not work for another.
  • Babies under the age of three months cannot regulate their own emotions and need their parents to soothe and comfort them. Wrapping, rocking, patting and cuddling are all effective strategies in helping young babies to settle.
  • As babies get older they are more able to soothe themselves. They still need their parents to be emotionally available to come to them when they cry.
  • As babies mature, it is reasonable to settle them into their cot awake, though clean, dry, comfortable and fed and try to settle them in their cots.
  • Sleep associations can work towards helping a baby to feel secure and safe enough to drop off to sleep. If they always need the parent to provide them, e.g. rocking or feeding, the child can become very dependent on them.
  • Frequently, dummies become a problem and the child is dependent on having it put back in every time it falls out of their mouth. Stopping a dummy is reasonably easy though parents often need support to provide other means of comfort.
  • Bottles can often become a sleep association with older children. Overnight bottles of milk are commonly ceased, especially when they are influencing how much solid food the child is eating through the day.
  • Comfort settling, hands on settling and sitting beside the child’s cot can all be trialled and depend on how involved each parent wants to be with the settling process.
  • Parents are encouraged to follow a regular routine of care, particularly with older children. Feed, play and then sleep is a one option, as is developing a flexible daily routine which includes feeds and meal time, activity, bath, play and interaction.

For more information see Baby settling or Baby Care