Karitane is a Sydney based health service, specifically designed to support parents who are caring for young children. Karitane is funded though the NSW Health Department and most of its services are free. Karitane provides support both directly and indirectly to parents.
Staff are specially trained to deliver support and include Child and Family Health Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Mothercraft Nurses, Paediatricians and Playgroup Coordinators. Volunteer programmes are also run.

Services Provided by Karitane:

  • Karitane Careline is a 7 day/week telephone and email service which is staffed by Child and Family Health Nurses. They are qualified to answer any parenting queries which relate from birth to 5 years. This is a free service.
  • The Karitane Education Service delivers education to parents, staff, the community and professionals working with families. Their parenting education programme is a major component of their service.
  • Jade House is a parent and baby day stay unit which is situated in Carramar NSW. This is a specialty unit for mothers who have, or who are at risk of developing, post-natal depression, a peri-natal mood or anxiety disorder, or who are pregnant. This unit caters for mothers with baby’s aged up to 12 months. There is no charge for this service.
  • Karitane @ Home is a private service for parents who want in-home support from a qualified Child and Family Health Nurse. They provide support for children aged 0-5 years and complement other Karitane services. Fees are rebatable through some private health insurance groups.
  • Karitane Volunteer Programme is funded by the DOCS and is available to families who fulfill geographical and needs based criteria. Group support and education sessions are also available in some areas.
  • Karitane Toddler Clinic is a service for parents who want help to improve their toddler’s behaviour and their relationship. This is a programme based largely on play and looks at how parents communicate, praise and encourage their child’s responses. This is a free service.
  • Liverpool Family Care Centre is for families who reside in the Liverpool Local Area. It provides day stay support for parents who need help with complex problems relating to sleep, feeding or their child who is aged between 0-5 years. This is a free service, though there is a charge for some of their groups.
  • Randwick Family Care Centre is for families who live in Eastern Sydney. It also provides day stay support for parents who need support and guidance with parenting their 0-5 year old child. This is a free service.
  • Residential Family Care Unit operates as an in-patient service Monday to Friday. Parents need a referral for admission, from the professional who has been supporting them. Cost for parents is a boarding fee of $37.50/day; children are covered through Medicare or private health insurance.
    Parents can contact Karitane to enquire how they can be supported.
    NB- Parents need a referral from the health care professional who has been supporting them if they need admission to one of the Karitane residential centres.

Contact Details for Karitane Services:

General Contact:

Phone: (02) 9794 2300 Fax: (02) 97942323
Postal Address: PO Box 241 Villawood NSW 2163
Karitane’s 24 Hour Telephone Careline:
Karitane Careline 1300 CARING (1300 227 464) Fax (02) 9794 2323 [email protected]
Website: http://www.karitane.com.au

Settling Techniques Suggested by Karitane:

  • Aim to follow a Sleep, Feed, Play and then Prepare to Sleep routine. Remember that your baby is different and unique and will develop their own routines and patterns for sleeping.
  • Settling in Arms is recommended for very young babies, who need to have their parents close to them when they are distressed. If cuddling your baby to sleep is working for you both, there is no need to change.
  • Hands on Settling is for babies aged 0-6 months. Place your baby into the cot when they are still awake. If they are calm and content you don’t need to do anything. If they are crying, try placing your hands gently on them and pat or gently rock their body. You may like to stroke their head or arm. Stay with your baby until they are calm or go to sleep.
  • Comfort Settling is one option for babies over 6 months who are used to a cot. Leave your baby for short periods to give them an opportunity to settle on their own. If they are distressed, return and comfort as necessary. Listen to your baby’s cry and try to decide if they really need you to go back into them.
  • Parental Presence is for babies aged 6-24 months whose parents want to stay in the room with them when they are settling. Parents set up their own bed and lie down, in view of the child but pretend to be asleep themselves.
  • Self Settling is another option for babies over 12 months old. Parents comfort their toddler but don’t stay until they are asleep. Try leaving the room for slightly longer periods each time after returning to offer comfort and reassurance.
  • Gradual Withdrawal is when the parent stays with the child until they are asleep. Over time the parent reduces their proximity to the child as they learn to go to sleep by themselves. This is a good strategy for children when they are in beds.
  • Read to your child from birth, have a wind down time before you settle them and try to follow predictable routines when you can.
    Check “Sleep & Settling”: www.karitane.com.au.
    You can’t spoil your baby by responding to them when they cry. Keep trying with whatever option is working for you.

For more information see Baby settling or Baby Care

Reference: http://www.karitane.com.au Cited July 2009