Children's Assessment Team at Flinders Medical Centre

The Children’s Assessment Team (CAT) is an inter-disciplinarily team that provides specialised assessments of children with complex or multiple developmental problems in three or more areas.

There is currently considerable waiting times for assessment with the Children's Assessment Team due to the increasing demand on the service.

Staff in the team include:

  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Paediatrician
  • Physiotherapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Paediatric Registrar (trainee)
  • Administration Staff

Referrable criteria

Concerns in at least three or more of the following areas:

  • regarding cognitive functioning
  • speech and language problems, excluding stuttering
  • fine motor problems (eg hand writing, cutting, manipulation and dexterity)
  • gross motor problems (eg locomotor, balance, ball skills, coordination, muscle strength, motor planning)
  • sensory processing issues
  • socialisation problems (eg not relating to peers, poor play skills)
  • restrictive and repetitive behaviours (eg repetition, inflexible, routines, posturing)


Unless occurring in conjunction with at least three of the aforementioned criteria areas

A single area of concern such as:

  • learning difficulties only
  • behavioural issues only (eg Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, aggressive and/or violent behaviour)
  • mental health concerns only (eg anxiety, depression, paranoia)

Who can refer to CAT?

All referrals must be completed using the CAT Referral Form with parental consent.

  • medical professionals (General Practitioners, Paediatricians, Medical Officers, Specialists)
  • allied health professionals

Referral acceptance

A referral to CAT will allow an information gathering process to begin but referral acceptance and allocation of appointments is only determined following completion of the CAT referral form (.DOCX 3.8MB), parent and/or educator questionnaires and a CAT review of the information provided.

Catchment areas

Acceptance of referrals is subject to catchment areas which are defined for the three assessments units. If you are unsure of the appropriate unit, please call any of the numbers on the Catchment Area Map below for assistance.

  • Flinders Medical Centre - Children’s Assessment Team (08) 8204 4433
  • Lyell McEwin - Gordon McKay Child Development Unit (08) 7485 4109
  • Women’s and Children’s Hospital - Child Development Unit (08) 8161 7287

Waiting times

Assessments with the Children’s Assessment Team that have been accepted after review of referral information have a waiting time of approximately 14–18 months. Please note once a child is referred to the Children’s Assessment Team, the family and referrer will receive correspondence from CAT regarding the referral once all the requested paperwork has been returned and reviewed. If you have not heard from CAT following a referral please contact to make sure the referral has been received.  Due to the high demand for the CAT service there is likely a 3 month wait time between receipt of all paperwork for triaging and review of completed referral information. 

Referral process

Below is an outline of our referral process:

  1. Referral is received requesting assessment by Children’s Assessment Team. Please note that a referral to the Children’s Assessment Team does not mean the referral is automatically accepted and placed on a waitlist. There is no waitlist for assessment for referrals. Once triaged (see below) they are either accepted for assessment or not accepted with letter correspondence closing the referral. 
  2. Additional information is then gathered from parents/guardians and educators (if applicable) to accompany the referral information in the form of questionnaires.
  3. Once all the questionnaires are received the referral documentation is considered complete and ready for triaging to determine eligibility of the referral request. 
    • If all referral documentation (ie parent and educator questionnaires) is not received within two months then the referral to the Children’s Assessment Team will be closed.
    • A letter will be sent to the referrer and parents/guardians advising the referral has been closed.

There is currently a backlog of referrals waiting to be triaged due to the increasing demand for our Service. Once the referral is triaged a letter will be sent to the referrer with a copy to parents/guardians regarding the outcome of the referral request.

  • If the referral is deemed not eligible for an assessment with the Children’s Assessment Team a letter outlining reasoning will be forwarded to the family and the referrer.
  • If the referral is accepted, an appointment letter will be sent to families advising the appointment time with the Children’s Assessment Team with a copy to the referrer.


Contact details

For further information, contact  CAT on: 
Ph: (08) 8204 4433 / (08) 8204 7130
Fax: (08) 8204 3945