Helping kids prepare for the new school year

Welcome to a regular column with Human Services General Manager, Hank Jongen. Here you can find out important information about the Australian Federal Government Department of Human Services, which includes Centrelink, Medicare and the Child Support.

Helping kids prepare for the new school year

Many children will be returning to school this year for the first time after their family has separated.

Over 74 500 applications for child support were registered with Child Support last year, with the highest number of applications received early in the year just after the Christmas/ New Year period

Many children worry about what will happen to them when their parents split up, and it can be a big relief to them if the arrangements are clear and predictable.

It can be hard to keep things stable, but if possible try to avoid changes in schools straight away. Also, try to come to an agreement with the other parent about who does what – especially pick ups and drop offs. It’s the little things that matter.

Child Support has a number of support and referral services available to assist separated families understand and manage the stress of separation.

This includes links to websites such as Family Relationships Online which has practical information on parenting plans and related support and mediation services for parents.

We also have a new website  which has links to the latest publications, games and activities for teenagers and children under 12.

To find out more about your child support options and support services for separated families  in your area visit or call 131 272.

Finally, remember you can check your child’s immunisation history online before school starts.

Parents who register with Medicare Online Services can go online and print their child’s immunisation history statement from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, which records vaccinations given to children until they turn seven.

It’s important to get your child’s immunisation history statement because some preschools and primary schools require proof of immunisation for enrolment.

An up-to-date immunisation statement can also help to show eligibility for the Child Care Benefit and Maternity Immunisation Allowance.

To register for Medicare Online Services or for more information about the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register go to or call 132 011.

Until next time,

Hank Jongen
Human Services Portfolio General Manager

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