Parent Matters Program

Parent Matters is a support service launched at Peter Mac in response to the unique challenges faced by patients who are also parents of young or adolescent children.

Parent Matters - a joint initiative of Peter Mac and CanTeen – responds to the profound and long-lasting impact that cancer can have on children as roles and family relationships change to adjust to the presence of the disease.

The service provides structured support to parents, helping them to communicate with their children when distress is present, and easing some of the challenges experienced by parents with cancer.


Any Peter Mac patient who is a parent of children under the age of 25 years may access this service. Support begins at initial diagnosis and continues on throughout treatment periods, as well as at the palliative or survivorship stages.

While aware of these issues, parents can find it difficult to raise these with their healthcare professionals in the midst of their own emotional trauma and commitment to treatment.

The service’s origins are in a patient study at Peter Mac in 2015-16, which highlighted the need to identify parents as early in their cancer experience as possible so their additional family pressures could be addressed.

Around the same time the study findings were being reviewed, CanTeen approached Peter Mac to discuss working in partnership to deliver a service specifically aimed at supporting parents with cancer and connecting their children with CanTeen’s established youth support services – which include tailored services for children of parents with cancer.


For more information, or to make a booking to see a social worker in the Parent Matters program, please contact: (03) 8559 5267 or email [email protected]