Support Services

The information below contains details of Support Services that are available to the Merriwa Community. The information on this page has been supplied by the listed service providers themselves. Each listing contains a brief summary of their services as well as their contact details for further information.

Ability Links

(02) 4905 0748

Ability Links NSW – Get Linked to your community.

Ability Links NSW supports people with disability aged 0-64 years, their family members and carers to live the life they want, as valued members of their community.It does this through a team of Ability and Early Linkers who support people to fulfil their goals, hopes and dreams and link them to their community.

Whether it’s a goal to participate in sport, education, volunteering, or other activities, Ability and Early Linkers ensure the people they assist remain at the centre of decision making about how they want to lead their life.

Our Linkers work alongside communities assisting them to be more welcoming and inclusive, and have information and knowledge of what’s available in the community they work in. Linkers know that a community that includes people with disability is one that is truly enriched. Individuals, clubs, groups and businesses can also access Ability Links for information and support on inclusion of people with disability.

To connect with a local Linker you don’t have to meet any eligibility criteria or go through an assessment process, and best of all Ability Links is a free service. We have 44 Linkers working across the Hunter and Central Coast region and have a Linker in your area.


Aboriginal Family Worker

(02) 6542 3555

Primary focus on assisting parents and families with children aged 0 – 8 years, in a culturally appropriate way.

Early Links Inclusion Support Service

(02) 4934 3773

Early Links is a family centred organisation that offers early childhood intervention support to families and their children birth – 8 years who are experiencing significant difficulties in 2 or more developmental areas. We provide support to children and their families living in the Lower and Upper Hunter areas. Eligible children may or may not have a diagnosis. This is a FREE service.

Referrals can be made by Family Members, Educators or other professionals (with parental permission). Referral forms are available at early childhood services, on our website or by calling Early Links.

Family Insight

(02) 6541 3000

Family InSight works with families with children aged 0-8. Our programs are designed to enhance the health, wellbeing and development of children and to support parents to be confident, positive and connected with their communities. Family InSight also works with and supports a comprehensive range of Child and Family Practitioners and Service Providers to promote the development of coordinated evidence based and accessible services to families and young children. Family InSight is a free service.

Our Family Worker Program provides more intensive support to families in their home or in community settings. The focus is on child development, positive parenting and connecting families to community supports. A referral is required for the Family Worker Program.

Our Parenting and Early Years Program supports children 0 – 8 and their families with a focus on positive parenting, early development and learning support. This is about taking a whole of family approach that gives children a firm basis on which to embrace the learning and opportunities offered at school. Parenting and Early Years provides support through Parenting courses, Stories in the Street, Transition to School and Early Literacy programs.

The Hunter Networks of Practice works with a comprehensive range of Child and Family Practitioners and Service Providers to promote the development of coordinated evidence based and accessible services to families and young children. Hunter Networks of Practice initiatives include: network and practice forums, practice groups, learning and practitioner training.


Hunter Prelude Early Intervention

(02) 6571 4384

At Hunter Prelude Early Child Intervention centre our highly skilled and experienced staff work with families and young children from birth to 12 years of age with a disability or developmental delay to promote development, wellbeing and greater inclusion in their community.

Hunter Prelude has been working with families for over 30 years in the Upper and Lower Hunter and have built a reputation for reaching the goals and hopes our families have for their children.

Currently Hunter Prelude has the role as a “Transition Provider” for children 0-6 years of age. In this role, Hunter Prelude is able to support children who are eligible for “Reasonable and Necessary” supports to access funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). 

Hunter Prelude is also able to provide short term support for children 0-6 who may not be eligible for individual funding.

As an Officially Registered Provider under the NDIS and are able to provide therapeutic supports for children 0-12 who have access to funding through NDIS, and also through Medicare and Private Health insurance.

Merriwa Family Support Network

(02) 6521 7000

The Merriwa Family Support Network meets quarterly to discuss ways of supporting families in and surrounding the Merriwa area. The network has representatives from the local community, health services, schools, preschool, playgroup, parents and several agencies that specialise in children and family services.

Contact: Tash Taaffe – Community Services Officer

Muswellbrook Neighbourhood Service

(02) 6542 3555

Providing information, referral, advocacy and support. Muswellbrook Neighbourhood Service provides emergency relief such as food and electricity vouchers; community development; needle and syringe exchange.

Upper Hunter Family Support Service

(02) 6542 3555

Assisting families who may be experiencing difficulties. A service with a focus on strengthening and supporting families who have children in their care aged 0 to 12 years. Support may include, but not limited to: court support, referrals, parenting and financial education.

Our group worker can offer parenting support and information in a friendly group environment. These courses are offered at various locations throughout the Upper Hunter Region and topics include Circle of Security, 1-2-3 Magic and Emotion Coaching, Triple P Seminar and Group and Engaging Adolescents.

Our Generalist Counsellor works with young people and adults experiencing a wide range of issues such as breakdown, self-esteem, stress and work and family issues.

Upper Hunter Youth Development Officer

(02) 6542 3555

The Youth Development Officer works in partnership with young people, community services, government agencies and the wider community to develop and implement appropriate responses to address the needs of the young people.