Doncare - Community Services


Frequently Asked Questions


  • The font on this website is too small. How do I change the font size?

    For Internet Explorer users, on the top menu bar, click on VIEW > TEXT SIZE > LARGER or LARGEST

    For Netscape or Mozilla users, on the top menu bar, click on VIEW > TEXT ZOOM and then select the text size.


  • How qualified are Doncare's counsellors?

    Counsellors at Doncare are volunteers and have to at least be doing a fourth year, or have completed a fourth year University level in counselling, psychology, family therapy or social work. Many are more highly qualified and choose to volunteer their services at Doncare.

  • What if I can't pay for counselling?

    Doncare's counselling program charges minimal fees, based on a client's level of income. Fees can be reduced or waived for clients experiencing financial difficulty.

  • How long is the waiting list for an appointment?

    Often there are appointments available immediately, and sometimes people are asked to call back in a few days time. If you have special or urgent needs, please call our Counselling Co-ordinator.

  • Do your counsellors see children?

    We do have some counsellors who see children and adolescents. For children, a session is usually held with a parent first. Parents can speak to the Counselling Co-ordinator about matching their child with a suitable counsellor.

  • I need help with my relationship, can I bring my partner?

    Yes, we do have some counsellors who have been trained to work with couples. However, there is quite a demand for this, and we cannot always offer an immediate appointment. However, we can direct you to other local agencies who can offer couple counselling at subsidised rates.

Family Services

  • What services do you have for families?

    We have a 'Hands on Parenting Support' Volunteer Home Visiting program, an In-Home Family Support program, a Chinese Family Playgroup and Parenting Education programs.

  • Do I qualify for any of these services?

    Hands on Parenting Support (HOPS): To qualify for HOPS you need to live in Manningham and have at least one child aged 5 years or under or be expecting a baby.

    In-Home Family Support: To qualify for In-Home Family Support you need to live in Manningham and have at least one child aged 18 years or under.

    Chinese Family Playgroup: The playgroup is open to families of Chinese heritage with at least one child aged 5 years or under.

    Parenting Education programs: These programs are open to any interested person who would like to attend.

  • How do I know which service is appropriate for me?

    If you are unsure about which service is appropriate for you please phone Doncare on 9841 4215. The Manager of Family Services will be happy to discuss your individual needs and work out with you the appropriate service.

  • Is there a cost for any of these programs?

    Hands on Parenting Support and In-Home Family Support are both free. There is a small fee associated with the Chinese Family Playgroup, and some of the Parenting Education groups. However, concessions are available and no one will be refused a service because of an inability to pay.

  • Are the programs offered by Family Services confidential?

    All services are confidential as per the Information Privacy Act and its principles.

  • Are interpreters available?

    Interpreter services are available at no additional cost.

  • Are services provided in the home?

    Hands on Parenting Support and In-Home Family Support services are provided in the client's home.

  • Are services provided by volunteers?

    Hands on Parenting Support uses trained volunteers to support families. However, the In-Home Family Support service is provided by a paid, professionally qualified worker. Parenting education programs are provided by a combination of qualified and trained paid and volunteer workers.

  • Are services times limited?

    Hands on Parenting Support volunteer home visits are usually conducted once a week for approximately 2 hours and the visiting can continue for a maximum of 12 months.

    In-Home Family Support visits are usually 1 – 2 hours in length and occur weekly. The length of the visiting will depend on the family’s needs but is generally 3 – 6 months.

    The other programs do not have a time limit and can continue for as long as there is a need.

Social Support

  • How do I join a Social Group?

    A person can make a self-referral or be referred by a family member, friend or other individual or organisation by contacting Doncare and speaking with the Social Support Co-ordinator on 9841 4215.

  • How do I know if I am eligible to join a group?

    The Social Support Manager will visit you at home to complete an assessment with you regarding eligibility.

    See Who can join for more information.

  • How much does it cost to be in a group?

    There is a transport fee of $4.00 per outing and then the cost of the particular activity. For example, depending on the venue, lunch can cost from between $9.90 – $14.00.

  • Can I join more than one group?

    Yes you can, however this will depend on vacancies in groups and whether you are able to be supported in those groups.

  • Do I have to attend the social group on a regular basis?

    The expectation is that you participate in the group on a regular basis. Of course there will be instances where you are unable to attend either due to illness or other circumstances, and this is okay.


  • What happens to the money I spend at the Op Shop?

    Doncaster Community Care and Counselling Centre Inc. (Doncare) is a community based organisation that commenced in 1969 to support the local community and offers the following programs:

    • Counselling
    • Family Support
    • Social Support groups for older people
    • Information and Emergency Relief for low-income families
    • Support for women who have experienced family violence.

    To run our programs at a high standard we receive some government funding but rely heavily on assistance from our Opportunity shops, donations and other fundraising activities.