the boroondara family network


Rotary International

Rotary Club of Glenferrie

District 9800


Rotary Club of Canterbury

City of Boroondara

Families & Children



The Boroondara Family Network (BFN) has been operating for the past eleven years in the City of Boroondara. The office is administered by an experienced Co-ordinator of Volunteers who assists with the allocation of suitable volunteers to the families in need of help. All suitable volunteers undertake thorough training which enables them to tackle the problems associated with those families who don't have a social or family network and who may suffer some stress with newborn babies and very young children. Each volunteer makes regular home visits to their allocated families. The volunteers are mothers (and grandmothers) who have reared their own families and a ready to provide their personal skills to other parents in the community.

Volunteers provide friendship and support with parenting, providing commonsense advice on everyday issues and helping with the problems which can arise when a new baby arrives in the family. They provide encouragement and information on how to access local child care, education, health and social services.

Families are referred to the BFN through organisations such as the Maternal and Child Health Services in the local Boroondara community.  The BFN also has a good working relationship with Camcare.

Young families today are increasingly stressed, often with greater demands and less support. Difficulties in child-rearing and social isolation can in some cases exacerbate the problem. The Boroondara Family Network (BFN) works towards enhancing the potential of children in such families within the Boroondara Municipality, which comprises the suburbs of Camberwell, Hawthorn, Kew, Ashburton and North Balwyn and Balwyn.  It helps parents (and other family members) cope by providing much needed emotional support following the arrival of the new baby. 

Studies have shown that children growing up in families where the parent (or parents) are under some form of social and environment stress, are more likely to suffer from illness, accidents and injuries, are more likely to require hospitalisation, and to develop learning disabilities. Later in life they can be prone to vandalism, drug and alcohol problems, suicide and criminal behaviour.  The volunteers from the BFN are there to be a sounding board and can talk through sometimes simple but important problems.

Evaluation of similar services already operating in New South Wales and the USA has shown that support given will:

  • Help families to replace damaging behaviour.
  • Assist parents to manage conditions impeding effective parenting.
  • Bring order to households rendered chaotic by successive and compounding crises.
  • Guide families to use community services with discretion and purpose.

The Co-ordinator of Volunteers reports to a Management Committee established under the guidelines of Rotary International and maintains a close working relationship with the Committee.  This committee is comprised of Rotarians from clubs within the Boroondara community, community representatives and representatives of other community groups.  It is responsible for the efficient administration of the BFN and works to provide avenues of funding to maintain the Boroondara Family Network.

The Boroondara Family Network Management Committee welcomes enquiries regarding this service:

  • From people in the area who may wish to register their interest in becoming a support volunteer.
  • From people or organisations who can assist with funding.
  • To find out more contact Boroondara Family Network