Support For Your Family Overview

Support

Raising a child with unexplained physical, behavioural or cognitive challenges can be difficult. Parents can feel isolated, angry, confused, helpless, distressed. SWAN Australia is here to help. 

  • Our peer support network is here to bring families together and share experiences. SWAN provides a critical social hub where parents and carers can mix with like-minded families, seek peer support and lend comfort and advice.
  • We also provide practical information to help families access health and support services and navigate the complex web of diagnostic testing pathways.

Below you will find a complete list of SWAN’s support and information services.

Dedicated telephone support and information line 

Receive help when you need it with our dedicated phone service (0404 280 441), available Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm. If you can’t get through, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we can. 

Facebook messenger and email support 

Prefer to message us? No problem, reach out for support via Facebook Messenger (click ‘Message’ at the top of SWAN’s Facebook page) or email us at [email protected]. 

Telehealth Patient Pathways Nurse 

Our dedicated Telehealth Patient Pathways Nurse provides free and confidential information support to SWAN families in Australia. To make an appointment, please complete the booking form or call 1300 755 050. The patient pathways nurse can help with questions or concerns you may have about your child. They can assist by:

  • Helping you with questions you may have about your child’s undiagnosed or genetic condition.
  • Providing emotional support.
  • Providing information on how to manage life with your SWAN child.
  • Helping you navigate the various supports, services and resources available to assist you in caring for your SWAN child. 

Peer support

Face-to-face catch-ups

Meet with other SWAN families at in-person gatherings and events held across Australia. Connect with other parents over a meal, a low-key morning catch-up or an afternoon tea in the park. Our informal gatherings are many and varied. We can even connect you with other SWAN families in your area so that you can arrange your own local catch-up. Upcoming catch-ups are listed on our website. Sign up to our newsletter and we’ll let you know about events near you.

Virtual catch-ups 

Join our virtual community for regular online sessions where SWAN members can share information and support one another through the different stages of their parenting journey. SWAN hosts two virtual catch-ups: 

  • An open session available to all Australian members.
  • An over-10s group where parents of older children can discuss topics such as puberty and transitioning from school to further study or work. 

We share upcoming virtual catch-ups in our newsletter and in our events calendar. 

Dads’ group

Meet other fathers of SWAN children at our Dads’ Group. Launched in Victoria, our Dads’ Group provides support for fathers. We plan to expand the program to other states soon. We recognise that dads’ experiences of parenting SWAN children may be different from their partners’. Many dads don’t have the opportunity to attend therapy sessions with their child and miss out on connecting with other parents. Our Dads’ Group brings SWAN fathers together for fun activities so that they can feel connected and supported. This may include activities such as barefoot bowls, rock climbing or a day at the cricket or footy. Our SWAN dads are welcome to suggest activities they would like SWAN to host. We’ll let you know about the next Dad’s Group in our regular newsletter and we’ll add it to our events calendar

Siblings

Our siblings’ program addresses some of the needs of SWAN siblings. It provides a safe place where they can socialise and be supported emotionally. The program offers a range of different activities and provides a structured environment where siblings can discuss their emotions, learn about resilience and also enjoy social outings with other SWAN siblings such as ten-pin bowling. We share upcoming siblings’ events in our newsletter and on our events calendar. You may also find our siblings resources helpful. 

Meet the experts 

Join our virtual Meet the Expert Series and hear our guest speakers talk about important topics such as carer wellbeing. Each session features a different guest speaker and topic of interest. This may include issues like Wills and estate planning, and variant curation. We invite SWAN members to suggest topics and speakers. Virtual Meet the Experts sessions are listed on our website and shared in our newsletter.

Hospital care packs

If your SWAN child is in hospital, please let us know so that we can send a small gift for your child. We will also include a parent meal voucher for you too. Simply email [email protected] so that we can send you a care pack. It’s our pleasure to send you this pack. We hope it helps ease your child’s time in hospital and serves as a reminder that you are not alone.

Social media

Join our SWAN community on one of our social channels below.

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