Intake Team Offering Reassurance and 47 years of Experience

Intake Team Offering Reassurance and 47 years of Experience


In 2020/2021 Tweddle’s Assessment and Intake (A&I) team delivered an incredible 1614 intake assessment calls with referring health professionals, mums, dads, carers, and interpreters.

For some parents, their in-depth discussion with a Tweddle A&I clinician is the first time they’ve had to disclose their concerns, often involving exhaustion and an unsettled baby. Their assessment may extend for around 30 minutes depending on the complexity of their needs.

At the foundation of each phone call is a need for specialist support. Parents talk about their experiences of postnatal depression, anxiety, stress, relationship worries and traumatic births. Some disclose family violence and fears about bonding and attachment. A&I worker Laura Kelly, who has been with Tweddle for 33 years, said you never know what the next phone call will bring.

Assessments are triaged and parents are recommended residential, community based, day stay, online or other supports. The A&I team is made up of Lauren Doig, Maria Tenaglia and Laura Kelly. Together they bring over 47 years of clinical and early parenting sector experience and dedication to every family they help.

We spoke with the team about their role at Tweddle, their career journey and their dedication to families.

Lauren Doig

Lauren started her career at Tweddle in 2008 and worked up until 2010. She then returned in 2015 and has been at Tweddle ever since, working across all programs.

Tell us about your career so far, qualifications and role at Tweddle.

“I started working in childcare in 2004. I then came to Tweddle as a student in 2005 while I was studying Pre and Postnatal family support.  I really enjoyed my time here as a student and wanted to eventually pursue a career working with Tweddle. I have a Diploma in community services (children’s services) and also Postgraduate certificate in pre and postnatal family support.”

Part of Lauren’s role within the A&I team is to complete assessment calls, triage referrals and liaise with all health professionals. She provides phone support to families and also manages all bookings across Tweddle’s residential, day stay & telehealth programs.

Lauren said that for her, working at Tweddle helped to provide vulnerable children with a voice. “I know that as a whole, we are making a difference in the lives of babies and toddlers and their families which is very rewarding.” she said.

“I’m really passionate about supporting mums and dads who are suffering with postnatal depression (PND) and postnatal anxiety. Sometimes it’s just being able to help someone who is struggling with their mental health find the light and their way through and to help them understand that they can feel better and start to enjoy being a parent with help and support.”

The questions Lauren is asked about most often relate to when babies start sleeping through the night and how long should each sleep go for (sleep cycles).

“For me, to have made a difference, even a very small one, is very rewarding.” she said.

Maria Tenaglia

Lauren’s A&I colleague Maria has been at Tweddle since July 1st 2015.  Maria’s role is to triage families into programs to meet their specific needs by identifying the level of risk and ensuring vulnerable families are prioritised.

“My role involves contacting families and asking a range of comprehensive questions (risk assessment) and then exploring further to unpack the existing and the more pronounced parenting challenges they are facing. I also step into the role of Duty Worker when required.”

 What has been your career pathway to Tweddle and what are your qualifications?

“I had a career change in 1999 when I set upon an enriching path of supporting school children with special needs. After 7 years, I sought a new challenge, to educate young children to give them the best start in life. I began kindergarten teaching and soon became a Director and an Educational Leader. After 9 rewarding and fulfilling years, I began seeking my next challenge; to support babies, toddlers, and their families and with that in mind, I applied for a position at Tweddle.”

Maria said that her qualifications are broad and varied. She has Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood). Following her career changes, she feels that she has found her vocation working in A&I at Tweddle.

“I feel that to be part of a service that offers hope and support to vulnerable families experiencing trauma and distress, is both admirable and rewarding. To be part of a close-knit team undertaking meaningful and vital work is truly fulfilling.” She said

What are you passionate about when it comes to your work?

Giving families a voice, so they feel heard, respected and understood is important to Maria.

“I am passionate about helping families to alleviate their stress and heartache by offering them comfort, reassurance, and support.”

“Working at Tweddle is about being the voice for the child and acting on their behalf when risk/harm is identified. It is also about understanding families’ needs and allocating them to the services that will best support them.

The advice that Maria is asked for most is on baby self-settling and sleeping throughout the night.

Laura Kelly

Early Childhood Professional Laura Kelly has been at Tweddle for an amazing 33 years. Her pivotal role with the A&I team allows her to share her extensive knowledge and experience.

We spoke to Laura about her time at Tweddle and dedication to her work.

Tell us about how you started at Tweddle and where your career began.

Laura’s career began with training at St Patrick’s Children’s Hospital in Dublin as a mothercraft nurse equivalent and her first job in Australia was in a Turkish day care/Kindergarten.

“For over the thirty years at Tweddle I have worked in various roles but currently I’m in Admission and Intake where my role is in the assessment and triaging of clients seeking support from Tweddle and helping to maintain targets for our programs. We work in collaboration with referring agencies like GPs, community services and health workers, and our multidisciplinary team ensure complex care needs are effectively identified and prioritised.

What does it mean to you to work at Tweddle?

Working at Tweddle doesn’t feel like working as I enjoy what I do, especially working alongside families and being part of their journey at their most vulnerable time. I enjoy working with parents of different cultures, listening to their struggles and challenges and helping them adjust to their new lives as parents.

What are you passionate about when it comes to your work and what advice you are asked for most?

I work with an amazing team and colleagues. Tweddle has a real sense of family. I am grateful to have been a member of staff in this wonderful Early Parenting Centre and to share in the lives of so many families.

I am very passionate about providing parents the support they need during their major life transition to parenthood. It is a privilege to be a part of someone’s personal journey and incredibly rewarding to witness the changes that families can make to their lives with support and guidance. Listening to their stories is inspirational. I am passionate about providing parents with evidence-based advice, so that they can feel confident and informed about making safe and healthy choices on their own path to parenthood. Making small changes can have such a big impact on parents’ lives.

What advice are you most asked for?

I am often asked for the following advice.

“When will my baby sleep longer than 20 minutes, and when will my baby sleep through the night? At this stage I will talk about sleep cycles. I am also asked “Why is my baby so unsettled? We can talk about reflux and other challenges that can lead to a baby being unsettled.

If you need support with early parenting, you can contact Tweddle during business hours on (03) 9689 1577. Tweddle also has an online Parent Info Hub and a Sleep and Settling advice page.


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