At the Child Development Service, we see tamariki/ children with developmental needs and disabilities from birth through to their 16th birthday. We strive to work in partnership with parents, caregivers and whānau to support your child's development and allow your tamaiti and whānau to participate in life’s activities.
The Child Development Service team is an allied health team based at Montreal House in Christchurch and covers a wide geographical area from Kekerengu (north of Kaikoura) to the Rangitata River (south of Ashburton), inland to the Alps and includes the Chatham Islands. We see tamariki with a range of conditions such as;
Our team provides assessment and intervention for this group of tamariki which may include:
The Child Development Service team at Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury includes a range of allied health professionals who work with the tamariki and whānau accessing our service. Your tamaiti might receive support from one person in our team or several, depending on their needs. This could include support from:
Our Physiotherapists work collaboratively with tamarki and whānau to support motor development and participation in activities and improve quality of life.
Our Occupational Therapists work with tamariki and whānau around the development of day-to-day life skills, fine motor skill development and provide sensory processing education and support.
Our Social Worker supports parents/ whānau / caregivers in meeting their own needs and challenges while caring for a child with developmental needs.
Our Speech Language Therapist works with whānau to assess and support swallowing safety and skill.
Our Dietitian role is to work with whānau to assess and provide interventions to support the nutritional needs of tamariki with enteral feeding needs, restrictive eating, or faltering growth.
Our Kaitautoko engages with Māori whānau referred to the Child Development Service.
Our Psychology team complete assessments for consideration of Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Intellectual Disability diagnosis.
Our Allied Health Assistants/ Kaiāwhina, support our clinicians in their work with tamariki and whānau. This could include providing support with individual intervention plans for tamariki, providing group or 1:1 parent information session’s, supporting with running clinics, and supporting with the creation or development of resources for tamariki.
Our team members are here to work alongside you and your whānau and to support you with achieving your goals for your tamaiti. We work closely with the professionals who refer to us such as paediatricians, general practitioners (GPs), Plunket and Lifelinks (Needs Assessment Service). We also have strong ties with early childhood education providers, schools, and the Ministry of Education, so we can provide a coordinated service for you and your tamaiti.
Your support from our team is individualised and tailored to meet your current priorities or concerns for your tamaiti. We acknowledge that whānau know their tamariki best and know what will work best for them and see our teams’ role is to help you create a plan which you can use to support your tamaiti in achieving their goals. We work alongside whānau and regularly review goals set to monitor progress.
As our mahi with tamariki is tailored to meeting individual needs, our length of time being involved with tamariki can vary. Generally, once goals are achieved or if the tamaiti is making good progress towards achieving their goals, the episode of support with our team will end and tamariki will need a new request for support to re-enter the service. We welcome re-referrals up until tamariki have their 16th birthday if additional support is required in the future.
We aim to work to our service vision, values and mission statement below, as well as the principles of Enabling Good Lives (www.enablinggoodlives.co.nz for further information).
Kia tutuki pai e te tamaiti ki tōu pae tawhiti
For every child/tamariki to reach their full potential within an inclusive Aotearoa/New Zealand
Whakapiki Hauora o te Tamaiti me te Whānau
To improve, promote and support the health of the child and whānau
We want to work together with you so that your tamaiti and whānau achieve the best outcomes. Our services are under constant demand and to be able to provide the right service at the right time to tamariki and whānau we request that the following occurs;
Our online learning packages are free and have been developed for families, whānau and caregivers – all you need is a computer or mobile phone. You can come back and review these as many times as you like and share with those who support your tamaiti.
We welcome feedback on our online resources. If you wish to share any feedback after completing these learning packages.
The purpose of this module is to help you identify your child’s sensory preferences and how these impact their everyday activities. You will also learn about alert charts and how you can create one for your tamaiti/child to support their sensory needs.
Home Safety Suggestions (PDF, 200KB): This handout has some ideas around how to support your tamaiti to be safe at home.
Learning to ride a bike (PDF, 400KB): this handout provides a starting point to support your tamaiti with learning to ride a bike
Learning to throw (PDF, 350KB): this handout provides some ideas to support your tamaiti with learning to throw a ball.
Some further resources or websites from other services you may be interested in:
The Child Development Service is funded by Whaikaha, the ministry of disabled people to provide services to tamariki with ongoing developmental or disability needs. As we hold a Child Development Service contract from Whaikaha, our team provides services according to this contract. Referrals to our team are reviewed as we receive them to ensure that we are the right service to provide the support being requested.
Please note, that referrals for our psychology assessment team are only accepted from the paediatric department.
Request for Support – Therapy Team Child Development Service Referral Form (MS Word Docx, 100KB)
Ministry of Education referral form (PDF, 250KB)
Page last updated: 7 November 2023
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