News; UNSW’s new, Australian-first parent training program is providing childhood behavioural support to parents in remote and regional NSW


Families in rural parts of Australia will soon have access to a new, Australian-first online parent training program, thanks to the efforts of UNSW and Karitane. The play-based program, known as Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), provides specialised support services for severe behavioural problems in young children, and there is currently a trial being held of a government-funded online toddler clinic underway across NSW.

UNSW Sydney’s Dr Jane Kohlhoff is working with parenting service Karitane to provide the service via the internet that will give access to specialist mental health therapy for families in remote areas. Clinical psychologists will be able to use a live video link to coach parents as they play with their children, and to then give support based on the interactions and behaviour they have witnessed.

“This is the first time that parents who don’t have easy access to specialist help in their community can receive live video-based coaching in parenting strategies while the parent and child are playing. This program allows parents to access support from a psychologist in their home and should help ease the burden on other mental health services.”

– Dr Jane Kohlhoff, from UNSW Medicine’s School of Psychiatry

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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