Skip to main content

Watch Me Grow weblink for development and wellbeing

South Western Sydney Local Health District

Date Funded:
  • 1 February, 2021
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Professor Valsamma Eapen
Watch Me Grow weblink for development and wellbeing project team

Project summary

A digital solution to address the mental health and psychosocial impacts of the pandemic for children and their parents in the first 2000 days.

What is the issue for NSW?

Children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds are experiencing significant stress due to the pandemic from psychosocial and mental health perspectives. Yet they are facing significant barriers to service access – particularly families from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds who are reluctant to access mental health services. With most Child and Family Health Nurse clinics closed to in-person consultation due to the pandemic, many children are also missing out on health and developmental checks and identification of psychosocial needs.

The Watch Me Grow – Electronic (WMG-E) Platform is an innovative technology that provides unique opportunities to reach vulnerable families at their homes (critical during the current pandemic) and enable an integrated approach to supporting the child’s developmental, parental mental health and wellbeing needs. WMG-E has been tested for child development and we propose to expand this to screen and address parents’ mental health and psychosocial needs – optimising the family’s wellbeing.

What does the research aim to do and how?

The aim of his research is to use the WMG-E to engage parents to identify and address parental mental health, psychosocial wellbeing, and child developmental needs for families of children aged 0-5 years from CALD and regional/rural communities. We will test 1) the acceptability 2) effectiveness and 3) cost-effectiveness of the WMG-E (child development, parent mental health and unmet psychosocial need screening and interventions) “virtual care approach” compared to “care as usual (CAU)” in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to engage families that are hard to reach due to sociocultural or geographic barriers as a direct NSW Health COVID-19 response.

More information

Equipping parents of at-risk kids to catch child development issues early article on NSW health and medical research website.