A referral from a trusted source, such as a GP, is often the motivation a family needs to join Go4Fun. Go4Fun has successfully reached over 13,000 families across NSW to date, making significant improvements to their health and well being.
For health professionals
There are three different versions of Go4Fun available, catering to different family needs:
- Standard Go4Fun: face-to-face program delivered over 10 weeks
- Aboriginal Go4Fun: a face-to-face program tailored for Aboriginal children and their families
- Go4Fun Online: designed for families who cannot attend a face-to-face program
The crucial role of health professionals
Many parents don’t know when their child is above a healthy weight. That’s why a health professional’s role is vital, as they can screen for and address a child’s weight status as part of normal growth assessments.
If you’re a health professional, you can refer families to any version of Go4Fun by completing this online referral form. Our registration team will do the work for you and find the most suitable program for your patient, based on the information you provide and what is available.
To be eligible for Go4Fun, children should be between 7 and 13 years old and be classed as being ‘above a healthy weight’ (>85th BMI percentile for age and sex). Parents or carers must be available to attend each session, too.
How to refer?
There are a number of ways for health professionals to refer a patient to Go4Fun:
- MedicalDirector (look for ‘Go4Fun childhood obesity treatment program NSW’)
- Best Practice (search ‘Go4Fun referral form’)
- Health Pathways (search ‘Go4Fun’)
- Healthy Kids for Professionals
- Our online registration form
- Download a copy of the health professional referral form.
- To referral multiple patients at one time, use this bulk registration form. Families will be contacted individually by the registration team to identify the most suitable program.
Families can also refer directly using our online registration form on this website, or by calling 1800 780 900.
Health Professionals are one of the highest sources of referrals into the Go4Fun program. A referral from a trusted health professional is often the motivation people need to join Go4Fun. Go4Fun is designed to complement the patient care you offer, and provides you with a practical solution for patients and their families.
The benefits of Go4Fun include:
- Significant, positive changes in health-related behaviours
- An equitable program that’s free to all eligible children, especially those most in need
- A practical solution you can recommend to patients, referring health professionals receive a report highlighting improvements at the end of the program.
Healthy Kids for Professionals
Healthy Kids for Professionals is a set of weight management resources designed to support GPs and other health professionals with their young patients.
The website is free and open to all health professionals. It contains a range of resources to help with assessing and managing children above a healthy weight, including:
- A weight status calculator
- BMI-for-age and gender charts
- Fact sheets
- An online learning module
- A Conversation Starters section to help raise the issue
- Online referral forms for secondary and tertiary services in NSW.
NSW Get Healthy services
The Get Healthy service is a free, confidential telephone-based health coaching service for NSW adults 16 years and over. When you sign up, you’ll receive the support of your very own health coach. They will call you around 10 to 13 times over six months to help you make gradual healthy changes, stay motivated, and feel better.
To get started, visit the Get Healthy website or call 1300 806 258.
FAQS for health professionals
We’ve answered some common questions you might have as health professional. Please don’t hesitate to call us on 1800 780 900 if you’d like to know more.
To refer an eligible child between 7 and 13 years over a healthy weight, please register them here or use the referral form found here. You can fax the form to 1300 325 301, or email it to us at email@example.com .
All referrals (by phone., email, fax or software) are followed up by the centralised service provider.
Nominated and referring health professionals will be kept up to date with participant information throughout the program and will receive a report at completion.
Go4Fun is a free community based program for NSW children aged 7-13 years who are above a healthy weight. It’s delivered by trained facilitators including qualified health professionals e.g. dietitians and exercise physiologists.
Go4Fun takes a multi-disciplinary approach that includes:
- Family involvement
- Increasing physical activity
- Practical education in nutrition and diet
- Behaviour change and goal setting.
Our aim is to support children and their families to adopt a healthier lifestyle by improving dietary habits, fitness and confidence.
Parents/carers are required to attend all 10 sessions.
There are a number of resources available to you, including:
- Referral pads
- Brochures, magnets, posters for your practice
- RACGP webinars with CPD points
- Video testimonials from past participants.
We’d love to tell you more and have flyers, posters, magnets and referral pads and other specific resources available for health professionals. Please get in touch on 1800 780 900 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Some brochures and posters are available here. To order additional resources click here.
Go4Fun only runs for 10 weeks, so changes may be small, but they are significant. Importantly, children make changes to health-related behaviours, which can then modify their weight status trajectory.
On average, children who complete the program achieve:
- A decrease in BMI of 0.5 kg/m2
- A decrease in waist circumference of 1.2 cm
- Increased physical activity of around 3.6 hours per week
- A decrease in sedentary behaviours by 3.1 hours per week
- Improved fitness, with recovery heart rates decreasing by 4.2 beats per minute
- Statistically significant improvements in self-esteem
- Greater fruit and vegetable intake
- Less intake of occasional foods.
6 month follow up has shown the program to be effective with statistical improvement in weight status (BMI – z-score) compared to baseline.
Any children you refer must be:
- Between 7 and 13 years of age
- Above a healthy weight (≥ 85th BMI percentile for age and gender)
- Accompanied to each session by a parent or carer
- NSW residents.
At the end of the program, participants and their nominated health professionals get a report detailing the changes to the child’s health since they joined Go4Fun.
Parents and carers are provided with information on community clubs and programs available in their local areas, and are encouraged to check them out when their child’s Go4Fun sessions finish.
Families also receive a quarterly newsletter for 12 months after the program and will also have access to The Active 8 website. These are designed to support and inspire families to continue to make healthy choices.
Go4Fun is available in NSW only, but there may be similar services in other states.
Go4Fun® is run by qualified health and community professionals (like dietitians and exercise physiologists).Leaders undertake specific Go4Fun training which includes group facilitation and anthropometric measurement training. Aboriginal Go4Fun leaders must also undertake NSW Health Respecting the Difference: Aboriginal Cultural Training.
Programs are located across NSW.
Specific locations are updated each term here.
Our typical venues include school halls, council facilities, community halls and local recreation facilities like parks. All program sessions are usually at the same venue, except for a supermarket tour.
If families are unable to make it to a face to face program, we also have an Online program. More information can be found here.
- It’s not always easy to tell if a child is a healthy weight for their age and height. Children and teenagers need to grow, but they are healthiest if they stay within a certain weight range as they grow. This is called a healthy weight for their age.
- You can find out if a child or teenager is a healthy weight for their age using the healthy weight calculator. This calculator can be used for children and teenagers from 2 years through to 18 years of age.
When speaking to children above a healthy weight and their parents, it’s important to use sensitive language, for example, ‘above a healthy weight’ instead of ‘overweight’. It may be helpful to raise the issue using clinical resources, which can:
- Engage families
- Explain weight status
- Set expectations
- Set goals
- Guide ongoing management.
The Healthy Kids for Professionals website has a range of weight management resources for health professionals, including Conversations Starters: https://pro.healthykids.nsw.gov.au.
There’s a common belief of some parents that puppy fat is harmless. However, we know that extra weight in childhood can mean:
- Higher rates of depression
- Lower self-esteem and body image
- Less success at school
- Being bullied at school
- Increased risk of being overweight as an adult
- An increased risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality by middle age.
There is one two-hour session each week for 10 weeks. In the first hour of each session, children and parents or carers learn about nutrition together. In the second hour, they play game-based activities while their parents or carers attend a behaviour modification session.
This face-to-face version of Go4Fun is adapted from the standard option to be more culturally appropriate for Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal Go4Fun is delivered in partnership with Aboriginal organisations.
If a parent or carer can’t be present, a responsible adult such as an aunt or grandparent can attend sessions with the child.
Go4Fun Online has been developed for families that can’t attend a face-to-face program. Geographical barriers, working families, custody issues or additional needs are some of the reasons a family might prefer Go4Fun Online.
There are 10 weekly online modules, plus phone calls from our team to check each family’s progress. Each participant receives resources to support the program, and we also set weekly goals, encourage participation in the online community, and communicate with participants via text messages as well as by phone and online.
Yes. Local Go4Fun program managers should update you of your patient’s progress when they start and complete the program. They will also be in touch if a family drops out, or chooses not to take part in the program after you have referred them. If you haven’t heard from your local program manager please use the Contact Us function on this website and we will follow up.
There are occasionally reasons why a child might qualify for re-entry with a health professional referral. These might be:
- Custody issues
- Special family circumstances
- A child’s weight has increased with time.
Please note, there is a six-month waiting period between program attendances if a child qualifies for re-entry.