For professionals

An independent evaluation of the Mums and Kids Matter (MaKM) Program commissioned by Mental Health Branch was conducted by Nous in 2016. A review of 9 programs with similar components indicated that there is no other program operating in Australia or indeed internationally, that offers the combination of program components delivered by MaKM.

Referral criteria

If you're looking to make a referral to the program, please review the criteria below.

  • Eligibility

    To be eligible for Mums and Kids Matter, a mother must:

    • be a current client of a NSW public mental health service
    • have a current care plan and crisis management plan at the time of the referral
    • be a mother aged 16 or over with a mental illness
    • be living with a complex mental health challenge (including physical health issues and other illnesses) that prevents her living in the community with her infant/young children
    • be abstinent from drugs and/or alcohol for a period of at least four (4) weeks
    • have the capacity to provide informed consent to participate in the program
    • residential stays are only available for mothers and their children who are less than five (5) years of age
    • specialist care in-home/community is available for mothers and their young children (0-5 years) who may also have older children living with them
    • inpatient admission in line with facility acceptance criteria.
  • Prioritisation

    Priority referral is given if a mother:

    • is in hospital without her infant due to high mental health support needs
    • has been separated from her young children due to complex mental health problems
    • has younger infants aged 0-3 years (based on research suggesting that the first three years of life is a period of crucial brain development that impacts upon later cognitive and emotional development)
    • lacks family and community support to parent safely
    • is homeless, at risk of homelessness, lives in inappropriate housing or finds it difficult to maintain stable tenancy without a high level of support.
  • Exclusions

    The following exclusions apply if a mother has:

    • no legal parental responsibility and no current restoration plan and does not have full access to the children for the duration of the program
    • no children aged 0-5 years.

State-wide referrals can only be accepted from NSW public mental health services.

To make a referral, please download and complete the referral and consent forms before sending them along with all relevant documentation to

Referral form Consent form

Related services