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Referral criteria and requirements


  • steps 
    The referred child must present with mental health difficulties that have not shown the desired response to previous or ongoing intervention

    Coral Tree adopts a broad definition of mental health difficulties as behavioural or emotional challenges where the level of severity, chronicity or complexity of the child’s difficulties is such that the referrer and the child’s parents or carers agree that previous or ongoing intervention has not brought the desired outcomes. ​​

  • kids 
    The child must be between the ages of three and 12 years
    Interventions provided by Coral Tree must be completed by the referred child’s 13th birthday. Therefore, referrals may be declined if it appears unlikely that a service could be provided by such a point, given the waiting times and other relevant factors.
  • kids 
    Re​ferrals must be made by a professional providing a mental health intervention​
    Referrals need to be made by professionals providing a specialist intervention targeted at addressing the referred child’s mental health, behavioural or emotional difficulties. The referrer must have regular contact with the child’s family and a brief to provide such a service in an ongoing timeframe. This would involve being able to work with the family prior to and following Coral Tree’s involvement, implementing the recommendations made by Coral Tree. Ideally, such interventions should primarily involve working with the child’s parents or carers, as the main people working to bring change in the family.​​


 The child’s family must attend assessments and interventions

​The child’s family must attend the assessment and interventions provided by Coral Tree. Coral Tree embraces the many different forms a family can take, and seeks to engage a child’s family in a way that is meaningful to their day-to-day life. For the purposes of service provision, we define a child’s family as those they live with. This can include both of a child’s biological parents and biological siblings that share the same two parents. However, in many instances, this is not the case and a child’s family can include one biological parent; or two separate households each with one of their biological parents; or a parent’s new partner; or siblings that share one biological parent; or grandparents and others that might live in the family home.

A child’s family can include neither of their biological parents—this can be described as Out-of-Home Care (OoHC)—and can be care provided by a biological relative (e.g., grandparent, aunty or uncle, referred to as kinship care) or foster carers. Children in such care arrangements can be in the care of the Minister or parental responsibility can reside with those caring for them, or there can be shared care between the two. While, in such instances, there may be the need to seek certain consent from Family and Community Services (FaCS) or the Non-governemnt organisations (NGO) responsible for overseeing the child’s care, we engage with these carers in the same way as we would with a child’s biological parents.