Family services


Rumbalara works for the safety, stability and development of Aboriginal children, young people and their families - inclusive of their spiritual, cultural and emotional wellbeing. Our family programs include:

Family services
office hours

20 Rumbalara Road

Mooroopna 3629

P: 5831 2010

After hours

on-call service


On-Call Worker available

P: 5831 2010

Aboriginal family-led decision-making program

This voluntary program invites families with children aged 0 to 17 years to work with a Rumbalara care worker to explore the best options for their care and safety while at home or in-care. Rumbalara will convene the meeting with the family and make sure families are supported to develop their own solutions to their own situations. Aboriginal family-led decision-making meetings will also explore options for ongoing support for a child, children or young person who may be in care.

Why do we need this program?

When a report is made to Child Protection that is substantiated (proven to be true), the government refers the family to Rumbalara, and we offer you the option of having a family-led decision-making meeting. Every Aboriginal family, where a report to Child Protection has been proven, is referred to this program and offered a meeting. The meeting can be held wherever you feel most comfortable - at home or even at Rumbalara's offices. You don't have to meet at a government office. You can include anyone in the meeting that you like, including your Rumbalara case manager. We will them work with and support your family to make decisions that include and ensure culturally appropriate solutions. Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on the Family-led Decision-making program.

Kinship Care

This program supports child carers who have been contracted for case management from the Child Protection Department of Human Services. We help provide culturally appropriate case-management advice and support to Aboriginal children and their carers. We can help ensure carers from non-Aboriginal backgrounds are able to provide a culturally safe and nurturing home environment, which recognises and celebrates the child's cultural identity, and their connection to family, land and the local Aboriginal community.


Rumbalara also helps carers access professional services such as paediatricians, speech pathologists, counselling, homework and school support, accommodation and referrals to other agencies such as the Department of Human Services. Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on the Kinship Care program.

Informal Kinship Care

This program is for carers of children who are in an 'informal' private arrangement. For example, children who are cared for and live with extended family members such as grandparents, cousins, or friends of family. The Informal Kinship Care program offers the same advice and access to professional support services as the Kinship Care program. These services include cultural advice and family support to create a culturally safe and nurturing home environment, which recognises and celebrates the child's cultural identity, and their connection to family, land and the local Aboriginal community.  Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on the Informal Kinship Care program.

Out-of-home Care

Rumbalara Family Services offers out-of-home care to support families that need temporary childcare support. Out-of-home care is also referred to as 'home-based care' or 'foster care' by non-Aboriginal service providers.


Our out-of-home care program provides several types of care. Children and young people aged 0 to 17 years of age can be placed in care for a couple of days, weeks, months or sometimes years, depending on the need and type of care required. Children and young people are carefully matched to families to ensure they get along well together. Children in care are supported to maintain their usual activities including school, sports and time with friends.


Why do we need this service?

There are times when a child or young person cannot stay in their family home, for many reasons. Parents sometimes experience difficulty in the daily care of their children, due to an illness or other stressful situation. At times, out-of-home care may be the only option available for some families. An out-of-home care placement allows a child or young person to remain in a healthy, culturally sensitive home, for however long they need. Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on the Out-of-home Care program.

Family preservation program

This program helps Aboriginal families remain together by providing intensive, time-limited in-home support to families where a child may be at-risk of being placed in extended care because of concerns regarding their safety and wellbeing. Rumbalara's support workers can help empower parents to preserve the family and keep kids out of home placements by working through issues and linking them to appropriate services. We'll work with government and non-government agencies in the Greater Shepparton and Moira Shires regions on your behalf to help resolve issues impacting on your ability to care for your children.

Why do we need this program?

When an Aboriginal child is at-risk of, or already has been, placed in out-of-home care, a referral can be made to our Family Preservation service. To use this service, we need a referral from either: an agency, a family, DHS, or a Child Protection Unit. Rumbalara will do everything it can to reduce the chance of Aboriginal children being placed in out-of-home care. We provide families with therapeutic information and practical support, problem-solving and practical parenting skills training, confidence-building, and training on how to manage crises. We also help re-unify families where children are currently in care, and reduce the chance of having children returned to out-of-home care placements. Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on the Family Preservation program.

Integrated Family Services program

Rumbalara's Integrated Family services program is a voluntary service that supports Aboriginal families experiencing problems that may impact on their ability to care for their children. The program provides short-term and medium-term support to families who live in Shepparton, Mooroopna and surrounding areas. For example, we work with a family to link them to specialist support services within our community, and to other Rumbalara programs across Community Services, Health & Wellbeing Services, and Aged Care & Disability Services.

To use this service, parents and/or children need a referral from themselves (self-referral), a school, community agency or Child First Alliance.

Why do we need this program?

The Integrated Family services program, previously known as the 'Innovations Program', was established to support vulnerable families and help reduce reports to Child Protection by increasing community support for the family. The ultimate goal of Rumbalara's Integrated Family Services program is to help avoid or prevent initial reports to Child Protection, and reduce or eliminate the rate of re-reporting to Child Protection. Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on the Integrated Family Services program.

Therapeutic Out-of-home Care program

This program empowers distressed children, young people, their families and carers with the knowledge and skills to understand and overcome their personal difficulties, recover from the effects of trauma, and support them to achieve their full potential.

Statement of purpose

Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative views the poverty, emotional wellbeing, and mental-health issues experienced by many Aboriginal families to be the result of intergenerational trauma and the dehumanising impact of colonisation. Consequently, our practice is informed by the 'consciousness-raising' techniques of Paulo Freire and uses an eclectic approach influenced by 'narrative- and solution-focused' therapies. These therapies empower people with the knowledge and skills to overcome the multiple levels of oppression, commence healing, and achieve their full potential.

Mission statement

We aim to ensure provision of a Consultation and Brief Intervention Program that empowers our service users to really make a difference to their own lives. Our brief interventions include provision of, and training in, the following:

  • Consultation and brief interventions

  • Psycho-education

  • Calmer classrooms

  • Therapeutic interventions such as training in cultural knowledge and understanding, life story work, counselling, meditation, drumming, memory and motor skills activities, play/art therapy, conflict resolution, psychological education and training for parents and carers, and anger management

  • Group work including drama therapy, empowerment workshops, drumming, positive parenting, and training in how to manage challenging behaviour

  • Mentoring, recruitment training and support programs.

How to access therapeutic out-of-home care services

To receive these services, you must obtain a referral from a care worker in Rumbalara Family Services. Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on the Therapeutic Out-of-home Care program.

In-home Support services

This program provides one-to-one support for families and individuals who are parents, to help increase their parenting skills and knowledge. This support includes:

  • Breastfeeding techniques for mothers, and links to expert advice if mothers experience difficulty breastfeeding

  • Role-modelling developmentally appropriate play experiences at home

  • Assisting families with appointments and attendance at key milestone events such as maternal-health and child-health visits

  • Immunisation sessions, and child and adult health checks.


Group and social connections

We offer support in developing and implementing family and children's group activities, focusing on education, health and wellbeing outcomes for children and families. This includes:

  • Involving community Elders in group/community activities

  • Playgroup - every Monday from 9.00am-2.30pm

  • Parent education programs

  • Providing or assisting families with access to transport so they can attend group activities.

Linking families with community

Rumbalara helps families and individuals to access and participate in Aboriginal community activities, programs and events. We also encourage families and the wider community to participate in health promotion activities such as dental check-ups, medical checks and other services. Call 03 5820 0000 and ask for more information on In-home Support services.