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Child Development Team

The Child Development Team (CDT) is a specialist child development unit for families with children aged 18 months to 12 years. The Child Development Team is a community-based, multidisciplinary team that specialises in providing developmental assessments for children. We are a tertiary multidisciplinary team who see families with children who are experiencing difficulties in 2 or more areas of their development.

Families living in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland, Cessnock, Dungog and Singleton Local Government Areas are eligible to access all CDT services. We run a Paediatric Medicine outreach clinic in Muswellbrook for those living in the Upper Hunter.

What services are provided?

The Child Development Team offers multidisciplinary assessments for children with multiple or complex developmental needs. This can include, but is not limited to, assessing for

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  • Learning Disorders

As children are all uniquely different, we may also explore the possible impact of a broad range of other factors and developmental difficulties on a child and family. This may include the impact of psychosocial difficulties, adverse experiences, trauma, or attachment disruption on a child’s development. We may also explore the impact of developmental difficulties such as language disorders, difficulties with fine and gross motor skills, sensory preferences, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), living skills, anxiety and cognitive ability. CDT is an assessment only service and does not offer therapy or ongoing management. We provide onward referrals and recommendations at the conclusion of assessments.

The CDT consists of clinicians from the following disciplines who all work together to help children and their families
  • Occupational therapists
  • Paediatricians
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Speech pathologists

CDT also has a specialist service within it that works with children under the age of 10 years who have displayed problem or harmful sexualised behaviours and their families. This service is known as Sparks. Further information can be found here. A completed referral form is required.

Do I need a referral and how do I make an appointment?

Referrals are accepted from a wide range of health, school, Non-Government, pre-school, day-care, and education professionals. We do not accept direct referrals from parents and carers.

Initial enquiries can be made by phone on 49246400 or via email at hnelhd-childdevelopmentteam@health.nsw.gov.au.

Professionals can access the Child Development Team referral form.

We strongly suggest that any child under the age of 7 years who presents to a referrer and meets the CDT criteria of significant concerns in two or more developmental domains is also referred to their local NDIA Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) provider.

After the team receives a referral it is discussed at the weekly intake meeting.

If the child meets the criteria the parents/carers are offered an initial interview. The purpose of this interview is to together develop a plan for how CDT can best help the child and family. This generally results in the child being placed on the waiting list to see a CDT clinician from one or many of the disciplines listed above. This interview can also result in a referral to another service that can help support the child and the family.

We value working together with the families we consult and aim to partner with children, parents and carers in working together towards the best outcomes for the child.

Use SeNT eReferral to send referrals to HNELHD.  If your GP management system does not support SeNT, you may FAX referral.

Location and contact details

Child Development Team
Harker Building
Longworth Avenue
Wallsend  NSW  2287

Postal Address:
Locked Bag 1014
Wallsend  NSW  2287

Phone: 4924 6190 / 4924 6400

Fax: 4924 6401

The staff at the Child Development Team will make contact with families following a referral from a Health Professional.

Hours:                      Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm
Fees:                       This is a free service
Wheelchair Access: There is wheelchair access to the centre
Outreach services

In addition, CDT Paediatricians offer outreach clinics to the following places:

  • Nikinpa (Toronto)
  • Muswellbrook
  • Charlestown

The Child Development Team recognises the complexities faced by children with development difficulties and their families. Counselling may be provided to help address these unique developmental needs while your child is seeing the Child Development Team. This may include counselling, parent education and support, and/or case management. You and your clinician/s can discuss whether this may be helpful during your child and family’s time with the service.